Taming the Dragon

This weekend I was determined to make a little more progress with digging over plots 4a and 5a.

So Saturday morning, even though it was rather nippy, I excitedly walked up to my allotments and began digging (again). However, after digging only one row, my fingers began to burn with the cold! Even the dog was shivering pleading to go home.  I admit it – I’m a wimp!  I gave up and shuffled back home, to the welcome of a toasty warm house.

Not to be totally defeated, I gave digging another go on Sunday and I actually managed to dig another 3 widths of plot 5a (approx 2 more metres depth) then I gave up! Again. Not because of the cold, although it was bracing. No. I ‘wimped out’ this time because of the noise!  My peace and ‘headspace’ was ruined by the noise of rotavators….grrrrrrrrr.  What is wrong with a good ol’ fashioned fork or spade?  I hate rotavators!

5a – Another few metres dug!

It seems like I’m the only allotmenteer still digging.  Every spare minute I dig. Slowly but surely I’m preparing my plots for the growing season but all the plots around me are almost finished, thanks to the wonder of the rotavator!  It does feel like the story of the tortoise and the hare…but the hare wins! Disheartening 😦

However, just as I was about to put the last of the tools away…silence. The drone of the rotavators stopped.  “Ah, quiet at last!”  Then came a dilemma.

“You need to get a rotavator on that” said Mr R from allotment 7.

I looked at my two plots – “loads to do” – and, I’m ashamed to say,  in the blink of an eye I said “Oooooo, can you show me how to use it?”

Within minutes ‘The rotavator snob’ – me – was grappling with the beast and ripping through plot 4a and I liked it!

To my surprise it was blinkin’ hard work, something I can only describe as trying to tame a mud eating dragon with brute force! Turning the ‘dragon’ at the end of each row was torture but I managed to roughly rotavate the whole of 4a once.  My shoulder muscles and elbow joints could take no more!


It was done!

4a – The Dragon’s work!







12 thoughts on “Taming the Dragon”

    1. I was weak! My allotment site is so far up that you can really enjoy the sound of silence or birdsong – most of the time. It’s the best thing about the site! However I contibuted to the rotavator noise pollution on Sunday … *hangs head in shame*


  1. There’s no shame in a bit of rotavating – there’ll still be plenty of hoeing and forking to be done. Sometimes a mechanical helping hand is just the thing to get you going. I don’t know about you but my tilth never gets that fine! Me: I’m mechanical when I can get the thing started, so mostly I dig…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I tend to be a bit extreme and there are times when it can be appropriate to dig the soil but more often than not it is quite bad for the soil to dig it. Out of the two you mentioned I would say that rotavating is the worst as it can lead to a condition called ‘Plough Pan’ if used to regularly. This can lead to root constriction and water logging.
    Digging brings dormant weed seeds to the surface and depletes humus due to over exposure to oxygen. Digging also destroys the mycorrhizal fungi network in the soil. You plants rely on this fungi to take up many of the nutrients in the soil and once destroyed take about a year to rebuild, just in time for you to destroy it again.
    Look out for videos on youtube by Charles Dowding and Mark Abbot Compton (learnhowtogarden)

    Liked by 1 person

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