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
|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!