Five years ago we planted three lines of willow just beyond Imogen polytunnel to protect all our tunnels from any easterly winds - we farm in a very windy place, but the easterlies are the most destructive and annoying. The willows are all now taller than the tunnel, and do their job well, but have also been sucking water out of Imogen, so that the final three lines of plants really struggle to survive. When I scraped away the top centimetre of compost in those lines it was all a web of willow roots - so our wwoofer Joel, who is a forestry professional, recommended that we dig in a root barrier between the trees and tunnel.
|Step 1 - brambles cleared, and nearest line of willow coppiced (whips planted around the chicken field, brash left around the other willow).|
|Step 2 - 60cm deep trench dug, all roots cut through and sections removed, and 25m of root barrier ready to lay in and backfill.|
Many thanks to everyone who helped coppice the willows or dig the trench - Joel, Yasmin, Nick, Rob, Ellen, Sarah, Polly, Matt etc...
Now we will see if the garlic crop planted in Imogen thrives this winter and spring.