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Latest posts by Palaisglide

Composting and wormery

Posted: 03/01/2013 at 22:56

Yes I know the tool you mention Artjak and very useful, i just prefer taking out the front slats of one of the heaps and using a fork toss it out and back, replacing the slats as I go the same end product only quicker.
I told my son to make a long heap on his farm so as you add to one end you can take compost from the back, he has plenty of room so no problem and we can turn it with the JCB.
Gardeners are tied by the room allowed and in some of the new build gardens down the lane they are lucky to get a Dalek in, a square of lawn back and front a garden shed and a clothes line although some manage to produce food crops. If the spirit is willing there is always a way.

PS Artjak my name is Frank, the Palais Glide bit was forced on me by the misplaced electronic madness we call board sign in, you would have seen a demonstration of the dance on the History of Ballroom dancing

Composting and wormery

Posted: 03/01/2013 at 16:42

Artjak, I agree with you on composting and recycling which I do religiously filling the appropriate boxes and bins also having a shed and garage full of stuff I may need one day. Can never find it when I want it though.
Composting has always been one of my garden chores although over many years I have discovered some things work and others are best left to the Green Waste collectors, lawn grass being one of those things. I do put a thin layer on my compost, but there is too much of it normally.
I have seen the Green Waste heaps, high as the JCB bucket will reach and steaming from the heat they reach because they are first shredded then turned on a regular basis. I did hear at one time they were taking butchers waste and laying it on the bottom although not now most is bagged up in quantity for potting compost as we cannot get Peat.
I even recycle potting soil by riddling it then into an old micro wave before mixing with sand and fine grit as a seed mix, if you do not have an old micro wave put it into a bucket pour boiling water on it and then dry out. It will get seeds away though no good for potting on.
I have discovered the best compost is made by turning the heap every few weeks, toss it into a barrow, stir it around and toss it back, better than a weekend in the Gym any day.


What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 03/01/2013 at 13:36

Hello Jo, my garden is as tidy as it can be with all the spring bulbs planted way back and now showing so not too much to do, I catch up on my History writing instead.
No point in starting anything too early in the North East as we are around three weeks behind the South with growth and fruiting. My garden is quite sheltered but not a patch on the walled garden I grew up in, we had two weeks start on all around in that garden plus lots of old fruit trees including the tastiest Victoria Plums ever.
We have some warmth but the light is very poor and plants need both to thrive so I sit back and wait.


Composting and wormery

Posted: 03/01/2013 at 13:26

How long does the composting course last?
After telling you you need "Air Heat Some Moisture" then saying you can mix anything in apart from hard woods sawdust and perenial weeds but do not layer more than an inch or so at a time, mix it as you go and damp from a watering can as you fill, not a hose, What more can they say?
Was once dragged to a Gardening class by BIL and did pricking out potting on and how to look after house plants for three months before packing it in, all things I had done as a lad with my Father, I was waiting for the new stuff that never came, went to cookery school instead.
Some subjects are more common sense than learning so assuming it is not free I ask why?


What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 03/01/2013 at 12:06

Stockton has leaden sky although dry-ish. Had to cross the Styx "Rain" for some S&M (shopping I mean) as I stood at the lights over the A66 it was a clear view of the whole length of the hills almost to Arncliffe, I sat thinking how much like looking into Wales from Herefordshire, the Black Hills look much like that view of the Cleveland Hills.
Back home after a coffee with the reading light on it is quite dark but very warm.


Composting and wormery

Posted: 02/01/2013 at 17:20

Artjak, all things change, my Daughter was worried on Christmas day about keeping things warm, she needed the oven space. I said have you got a cold box, she had so I lined the bottom and sides with newspaper put the dishes in she wanted to keep warm then covered it with more paper and towel. I moved on for lunch with second daughter, first rang me to say it had worked perfectly. I learned how to use hay boxes in the army and a cooler can be that or a hay box, I often used one like that when cooking for the family.
My Son has stables and horses but they do not use straw, wood chippings are not the same for heat generation, pig manure on its own is not good although mixed with horse it will work. I have heard of hot boxes using just compost though they would not reach the heat a proper box would.
Rough double digging in Autumn let winter do the work raking and manuring  early spring and let the worms do the work, sow two rows for yourself and one for the beasties, it all works, those gardening Dads knew what they were doing.


Composting and wormery

Posted: 02/01/2013 at 15:34

Artjak, my Fathers one interest apart from his business was gardening, he had grown up in that walled garden and smallholding which had to feed extended family in need well before my time, he knew every trick of the trade.
Each Autumn he would assemble wood panels as if for a raised bed in a sheltered spot next to a south facing wall so they got the most of any winter sun.
Next went in bales of straw, we had plenty from the farm and I do mean bales not a covering. On top of that went raw manure out of the midden a plentiful covering on top of the straw. More straw went on the manure a good covering then soil on top of that again a good covering and it was left to heat up naturally, if it was wet weather he had glazed panels to cover it. When it was up to heat Dad put boxes of seed on the soil and planted some straight into the pile, he would cover the pile at night and lift the glass during the day.
His motto was if you cannot eat or sell it then it is a waste of space, we had fresh spring cabbage beans and peas long before anyone else, he grew melons, marrows (we ate a lot of them) and some soft fruit, but he also brought on his Chrysathemum roots to take the cuttings, he loved them and showed them at the local shows.
When the pile had run its course we dismantled it and all the content went into the midden for next years compost.
Unless you had access to raw manure it was not viable so fell out of fashion as tractors do not produce the raw material.
I watched a program last night that said the calorific content of fruit and veg had fallen drastically as modern techniques put in the minimum feed needed to produce the crop. Us "auld lads" brought up in times of good gardening with "olde" fashioned ways of doing things have said that for years, nothing tastes as it once did.
In  these modern times I have a sand box in the greenhouse with heating wires in the sand and a thermostat, it does the same job only on a lesser scale. That apart from a frost guard fan heater is all the heat I use.


Composting and wormery

Posted: 02/01/2013 at 12:29

Jo, we had a huge midden behind the stables, you could open a hatch and throw the manure and straw straight into the midden, it also had the pig hen duck and goose cleanings plus garden waste, it was always steaming and did have the odd rat. When Dad told me to fill a barrow to spread on the garden from the composted end I would put my Terrier Peter in there first, he was a whiz at killing them so they did not hang around.
Just give them room to flee, if you corner them they will bite.
We would start the Hot Box every year from the hot end of the midden and bales of straw, we ate fresh veg from that hot box until the spring sowing was ready, two or three weeks later.


What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 02/01/2013 at 12:17

Stockton was dark dull and wet this morning although the sun is now trying hard, it has brightened a lot.
The Grandchildren just left so it was a sunny morning to me.


Composting and wormery

Posted: 01/01/2013 at 16:05

All I can say Artjak is my bins have been up and running in this garden for 28 years and never a sign of a rat and before that several gardens with never a sign of a rat.
My problem is the snails think it a five star hotel so I take a bucket of water and domestos to rid them of the idea, never fancied eating them.


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