The great wheelbarrow debacle

It all started innocently enough when the No 1 daughter loaned our wheelbarrow to a friend but it didn’t seem too big a deal as it was “only for a day or two”.

Just a barrow

When the wheelbarrow was finally returned to us it turned out that the wheel had a puncture. While this news was not very well received there was little that we could do about it now.

At the time this seemed a fairly simple problem to solve so I put the wheelbarrow to one side for many months while I considered the options. A fairly standard response to things in our house at least plus the upended, incapacitated wheelbarrow was a handy place to store our garden hose!

Let’s try an inner tube

Having spent many a happy childhood afternoon mending bicycles and fixing punctures in the garden I assumed that adding an inner tube to the otherwise undamaged (and tubeless) tyre would do the trick. After a quick search for wheelbarrows on the  B & Q website, it certainly looked a cost-effective option when compared to buying a complete new wheelbarrow.

This might have worked out nicely if it hadn’t been for the problems involved in getting the tyre back on the wheel after inserting the inner tube. Each time I got the wheel all back together there was a puncture in the inner tube. Probably as a result of my clumsy efforts but, needless to say, after the third time around I gave up with the inner tube and decided to order a complete replacement wheel.

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What turns a barrow into a WHEELbarrow?

Northern Tool and EquipmentHaving had no luck with a new wheel from B & Q (always out of stock on the website), the nice people at Northern Tool UK Ltd were more than happy to sell me a replacement wheel.

It arrived very promptly and was exactly as described on their website but given the lack of choice I ended up with a red wheel on a green wheelbarrow. Not the best colour combination but by this stage I was past caring and just wanted it working again!

Engineering by Botchit and Fudgit

Red wheel on a green wheelbarrowAs you might expect, this was not an exact match and required a certain amount of “re-engineering” with a hammer and spanner. Luckily I have extensive skills in that department so the job was soon successfully completed. And I didn’t lose any skin or blood in the process.

And so finally after all that effort we now have a working wheelbarrow again but as you might expect it is now propping up the house!

The weekend beckons and the garden is calling…

I have big plans for activity on the vegetable growing this weekend so there should be much progress to report next week. For the moment I have posted a page of advice on growing potatoes which contains most of the knowledge I have gathered from various websites, blogs and vegetable growing books.

This  will be updated with any additional potato advice that I find and also with further details of my own experiences with growing Charlotte potatoes in a new vegetable bed I’ve started using.

With luck I should be able to plant a lot of my leek seeds in my home-made seed trays using cardboard tubes from toilet rolls. I may even experiment a little bit by filling them with different types of compost.

I also hope to fix my wheelbarrow which has had a flat tyre for ages and my initial attempts at repairs last year using a new inner tube were less than successful. I may end up cutting my losses though and just buy a new one – I can always place  the old barrow at the end of the garden and use it as a new raised bed