Square foot gardening to start? Goodbye concrete!

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This bit of concrete has been marked for a long time to be where we will eventually have our square foot garden.  Up until now it has been mostly a junk area, at one time it had a playhouse but when t&J grew out of that it was just a place to put stuff out of the way.   A long time ago it had a shed on it, but that was before we lived here.  When the previous people moved out they took their shed with them!

The other week I had a go with the pick axe to see how think it might be and after a lot of hits with the axe and not much of a dent I thought it would need something a bit more business like to get through it.  So this weekend we hired a hammer drill thing (£40 for the weekend) and in about an hour it had turned to rubble!   It seemed like so much fun, if not a tad noisy.

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We were then left with a load of rubble of which I thought a quick visit to the DIY store to pick up a Hippo bag would do the job.  At around £10 for the bag and then £50 for someone to take it away, it seemed like a much cheaper method than hiring a skip.  Unfortunately it really was clear to see after a short time that a Hippo bag was just not big enough and in fact for the price it would really turn out to be a bad deal in the end.   Whoops.    I ordered a small skip instead to be delivered.

So much fun was had breaking up the concrete but the job of clearing it seemed less so.  With help from T&J we dug it all up into a large pile ready to be moved throughout the week into the skip in the front garden.   We have two black plastic trugs, a spade with no handle (don’t ask) and the evenings to get it sorted.  I am sure we will be fine.

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Interestingly, or annoyingly maybe, I found more concrete by the fence which had been underneath the other layer.  All a bit strange but I was thinking maybe they had a patio here before and just concreted over the top of it.  So out with the hammer drill thing  again.   This time it was all a bit different as it is soon very clear that while this concrete was a lot thinner underneath was nothing but dark cold air!   With my thoughts on either a nuclear bunker or a dead body, or indeed a secret stash from a bank raid, I dug a bit more to open up the hole.   It seemed to be possibly an inspection tunnel for a drain, shining a torch down showed at the bottom a lot of silt and some water, plus bits of old rubbish.

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Not quite what I wanted to find really but doing some tests by running the tap in the house and listening for water in the hole made me think it was no longer anything to do with the drains.   The strip of concrete seemed to run all along the fence and while I really wanted to dig it all up just to see what was underneath, and while I was pretty sure that because I could not hear the running water in the hole meant it was not an active drain, I was not fully sure.   Looking at the one known drain inspection cover in the garden it seemed to suggest it ran the direction of this hidden one and for that reason I decided not to investigate or dig it up further but to cover the hole and carry on.   It remains then a bit of a mystery of what this drain hole is and why it is only covered in a small layer of concrete and what was it all doing buried underneath where the shed used to be?   (I really was hoping for a nuclear bunker!)

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The rest of the day then was a mix of piling up concrete pieces, playing castles with T&J with the concrete pieces, and watching ants with them as we seemed to uncover small nests that had probably thought they were more than safe just a couple of hours beforehand.  The long clean up of broken up concrete is now to begin, followed by what should be an interesting time remodeling this bit of garden and getting our Square Foot Gardens underway finally.

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