Obviously we're keeping a couple of beds free for our root crops of carrots, beetroots, and attempting turnips again. But the sweetcorn beds from this year have received about 3 wheelbarrow loads and will end up as courgette beds next year. They'll love that.
But also the Wife insisted on dumping some of the manure into her flowerbed ready for next yeah. No harm in that. But what really intrigued me was the floor.
When I built the flower bed, I put down weed membrane underneath to keep out the brambles and bind weed. This worked. (Sort of. A few incursions but they were easily dealt with.) But it also meant that I could dump a shed load of woodchips down as the walkway. Well underneath the top layer, they have all started to compost down into a decent humus. And if the number of earthworms buried down there is anything to go by, then that's some decent stuff.
Time to start digging.
I raked the old woodchips to the front. Making sure to use the back of the rake to stop the tines from digging into the weed fabric. Then sieved them to extract the soil. Apart from a shed load of sunflower seed husks (can't think where they could have come from), I ended up with a barrowful of good soil. Just right for topping up some of the beds.
I guess I'll have to get more woodchips though to ensure that my paths are nicely topped up. All around the plot at the moment there are small mushrooms popping up, which shows that there is a lot of fungal action going on breaking down the woodchips and returning the nutrients to the soil.
It's a matter of debate as to whether digging up the paths is the right thing to do. Some say that you should leave the woodchips in place the breakdown and then let the rain wash the nutrients down into the soil naturally. Some say that it should be dug up and used directly. I don't know which is the better choice. But in the flower beds, the roots of the flowers don't get down far enough to benefit from leave the stuff in place. So digging here doesn't matter so much. Around the veg beds, I think I'll leave the stuff there.
Good. Because my back is killing me.