Welcome to the Secret Garden South of Bobber's Mill Bridge in Nottingham

Welcome to Windmill Community Gardens, home of the Climate Friendly Gardeners Project.

We are a group of local people, who are nurturing a wonderful community garden in the heart of the city. You'll find us just South of Bobbersmill Bridge, on the allotment site at the South end of Ascot Road. The Gardens are a great place where anyone can come to find out more about growing their own food in a changing climate. We cater for all abilities and welcome any nationality or age group.

Why not come and join us?

Thursday 2 May 2013

Next steps on the tyre bed

We're feeling pretty pleased with ourselves because today we were able to finish the tyre bed. Yesterday, we began with a curve of tyres, which was angled so that the curve will provide shelter from the coldest Northerly and Easterly winds, whilst leaving the area in front of the bed open to the south. This means that the sun will heat up the tyres and that heat will also make the area inside the south-facing curve a little warmer - a good place to try outdoor tomatoes, pumpkins and cucumbers. 

A filled tyre on the first layer

The first layer of tyres were placed to create the basic shape and then filled with a rim of partly composted wood-chips to fill the walls of the tyre. The centre of each was then filled with sieved soil to make sure we removed any plants like bindweed or ground elder which could be a problem later.

Adding the next layer of tyres, overlapping the first
Note there is a gap which needs to be bridged to stop soil loss
The next layer of tyres went on top overlapping like a course of bricks. It helps if you have made sure the first layer of tyres are about the same size and are sitting level, but we didn't manage to do that perfectly, and it still worked ok. Unless the tyres are being set into a bank, this second layer will need to have a brick or bit of slate inside it to stop soil falling out of the middle of the tyre where it overlaps the two beneath it.

Using slates to bridge the gap and stop soil falling out

If you sieve the soil first, it hopefully means
less weedy surprises later on!

The tyres are filled as before, and then a final layer of tyres is put in, again overlapping like bricks. The three layer structure should be tall enough to give new plants a good start, but it could be made taller if you are very pessimistic about summers in the UK!

Thank you to all the Gateway to Nature folk who came again this week to help us to finish the tyre bed. The work you did today will make all the difference to us getting it finished in time for the school group who will be planting up the tyres with strawberries!

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