Real Men Sow

Grateful for an Extra Pair of Hands and Some Freebie Scaffold Planks

Posted on by in somerset with 2 Comments


It’s weird not growing veg*.

I’ve struggled to get my beds built as quickly as I thought. When we moved to Somerset in December, I was confident that rescuing the back of the garden from abyss and turning the space into a vegetable patch would be a doddle. I’d done it once, I could easily do it again.

However, things are trickier this time around and I have definitely underestimated the task. Back in Burnham on my original Patch from Scratch, the biggest problems were mainly hawthorn which were relatively easy to pull out once cut back. The back of the garden was scruffy and unruly rather than the jungle we inherited here!

Instead, we’ve got actual, proper shrubs to get rid of. Plants with decent root structures that have been allowed to get out of control and spread right across the back of the garden. We’ve been left with no choice but dig them out, bit by bit, slowly and surely.

Little and Often and an Extra Pair of Hands
When I’ve written posts in the past detailing tips I’ve talked about little and often when doing work like clearance or digging, and this is definitely a project where that advice is there to be followed. Some of the roots have been a right pain in the backside, and there are still more to be yanked out.

I’ve managed to do this with a pickaxe, spade, saw and fork, but I’ve also been grateful for an extra pair of hands. I’ve been lucky to have help from Ailsa and my mum at different times, which has helped no end. If there was ever advice to go in unison with working little and often, it’s definitely find a friend to work the land with! I’d be nowhere near as far along without having other people to help so if you’re looking to take on a plot that needs total transformation, consider roping someone else in if you can.

Treating Myself
I’ve also found that a few treats here and there help with the morale and motivation. Despite the cheery disposition of Real Men Sow, this year has been a slog, so rewarding yourself is important. I’ve recently put the feelers out and got myself 7 13ft scaffold boards in readiness for raised bed installation.

I’m a fair few weeks from being able to put them in, but my mojo has returned and the tape measure has been working overtime. I’ve been drawing up plans of an evening and suddenly I’ve got a goal all over again – and a goal is definitely important. I get all excited every time I look at my planks, knowing that all the hard work will eventually be worth it.

So, to summarise the above stream of consciousness:

If you’ve got a proper job on:

1) Do a bit at a time.
2) Get some help.
3) Treat yourself to some bits and bobs before its finished.

And everything will be alright. A few pics of my new space, minus trees, bushes, mess and pampas grass as big as a house to follow.

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  1. Jonathan JonesJune 26, 2017 at 10:11 pmReply

    A mattock is my weapon of choice for grubbing up shrubs. £20 well spent!

  2. CraigJune 28, 2017 at 6:31 pmReply

    Well done on making progress – slow and steady always wins and with a new baby time disappears! Where did you get your scaffolding boards from ?

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About Real Men Sow

meIn 2007, I took on a redundant allotment plot with my gardening-mad mum Jan. As all good mums do, she went along with it, but I don’t think she held out much hope. However, over a decade later, and she now lets me do stuff without watching over my shoulder, so I must be doing something right. [ read more ]

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