Friday, 12 April 2013

Digging the drainage

allotment drainage Apr 13 4

We have made quicker progress on digging the drainage on the allotment than we expected. The first main drainage channel was dug last week. The plans however have constantly changed as we assess and reassess what resources we have available. The first plan was to fill the drainage channels with gravel we would buy from the local DIY centre. We were then given some drainage pipes by a friend so the plan was to install them in the drainage channel and then cover them over with gravel. Then we found that the pipes were not sufficient for the whole of the network we want to dig.

So, we decided to fill the first channel with bricks and rubble and cover it over with gravel from the DIY centre. That was until yesterday when we found that a thick layer of gravel near a corner of the allotment which I discovered when I first dug the channel was far bigger than I thought. It must have been dumped there years ago, well before we took on the plot. We have not previously noticed it as it was under a thin layer of soil and a year ago we deposited a few tonnes of manure there and left it to rot down. It looks like it will be sufficient for the entire drainage network.

Gravel Apr 13

This is the gravel layer. At the left you can see the drainage channel I dug through it. At the bottom you can just see the line of the channel, backfilled with bricks (as in photo at top) and covered over with gravel. This free gravel supply has saved us a great deal of money and has put something that was otherwise waste material to productive use. We will have to pay for the paving stones to create the path over the drainage but at least we have massively cut the cost of this project.

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