Big allotment jobs – circular planter

Remember our big and admittedly, very beautiful, elder tree? The one we cut down because it was making around a fifth of plot 103 uncultivatable? Well we were left with a large stump, which we didn’t want to pull, because the roots covered a greater area than the canopy of the tree and also because elder trees sucker, so if you leave viable roots behind, they will sprout a new tree! Instead we chose to incinerate the stump: building several of our winter fires on top of it to kill it and destroy the root run so that the roots don’t sprout. Now we’re working around it.

This rather impressive metal strawberry planter was donated to me – I have to say I was rather dubious at the time, but now we’ve got the first level of tiering in place, I am convinced. The circular bed will rise for two more tiers, each one smaller and higher than the preceding one, and because we have the stump and some large roots to work around, we’ve chosen to create eccentric, rather than concentric circles.

It took five barrowloads of topsoil and compost and a bag of sand to fill just the bottom tier, which was a bit more than I'd expected to be honest (my arms are complaining about the barrows, while OH put his back out dragging a previously buried carpet from below the soil - the tree had grown right through it) but now I'm really happy with the results. Of course OH is declaring that he won't help fill the higher tiers under any circumstances, but when I remind him how much he likes strawberries he'll knuckle under!

It looks fabulous and will allow us to plant our strawberries under controlled conditions this year: apparently as well as a little fountain-type watering system which we have got, there is also a net basket affair that protects the crops from birds and I’m trying to find out how to get one of those, as it would seem pretty essential.

Many allotments are square and rectangular, for obvious reasons, but sometimes you have to work around some strange restrictions and these circle planters seem ideal for those who want something a little different but still highly productive. I’m definitely convinced! Once I’ve got ordering details sorted out I shall post them, as I know several people are interested in getting one of these clever beds.

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Anonymous allotments4you said...

This is going to look great when it is full of strawberry planted...and has made your ground perfectly usable to boot!!

January 18, 2011 at 12:49 PM  
Blogger The Allotment Blogger said...

Hi Tanya, well with a slight re-think I'm very happy with this planter and the way it looks - lots of interest in it from our allotment neighbours. One asked me if it was 'for the Chelsea Flower Show' - I think she was a bit confused!

January 22, 2011 at 5:05 AM  

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