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Soiling the PBLC Polytunnel by Peter Adams

Posted by sheiladearing on 20 Oct 2011 at 10:37 AM

It has always been the intention to build a polytunnel on the allotment area in the Peter Buckley Learning Centre. In recent months this has become reality with a 48 x 18 foot polytunnel arriving a few months ago. The area the tunnel was built on had been left completely bare of topsoil; this meant that when the tunnel was built, the finished height would be a foot higher than the clay subsoil, allowing for a thick layer of top soil to be added at a later date.

Back at the beginning of September Pete Earl and I began the process of filling the tunnel with topsoil that had been bought in especially. Utilising a tractor and trailer
Pete loaded the trailer using a mini digger whilst I had the challenge of reversing the loaded trailer through the small tunnel doors with very little manoeuvring space and restricted head height; we tipped each load inside, progressively working our way out to the end.

Around 20 loads went in, weighing in at around 1.5 tons each, equalling out at around 30 tons in total. Since then Pete and I have surrounded the edges of the tunnel with sleepers to prevent the soil spilling out from under the edges of the tunnel, and have installed drainage on both sides of the polytunnel to drain rain water away to prevent the area from turning into a boggy mess.

 

 We are now currently in the process of laying a path through the centre of the tunnel, which will eventually be paved giving easy access to the beds, where varying crops will be grown.

But for the time being the soil has been cultivated and sown with a green manure to help improve the soil quality ready for next year’s growing season.

Whilst enjoying a walk around Rosemoor why not keep an eye out for many of the new projects that will be taking place on the learning centre site over the next few months.

Peter Adams

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on 20 Oct 2011 at 11:14 AM