Sunday, 8 April 2012

No stink at all

Well I finally did it. Something I'd not been looking forward to but knew needed doing (I had Monty in my head telling me off). I dug over the compost bed! Mal built two fantastic compost bins from pallets last year - one he put more rotten stuff in, and the other the really fresh stuff. We've been filling the fresh one with all the kitchen waste (but not grass clippings). As the lawn area is so huge, the grass clippings would fill up the compost bins in one go, so they all go in a separate pile at the top of the garden.

So I took all the top fresh material out of the bin and into a pile, then the more rotten material out and into another pile. We'd just cleared last years Brussels Sprouts out of their bed so the waste from them went into the bottom of the bin, then I tried to layer in fresh and rotten material with some wet cardboard (Monty say's that's a good idea). I was really impressed with how much everything had already rotten down, even though we'd done nothing with the compost bin - and there was no smell! Hopefully turning it over will improve things even more.

Last year's new blueberry plants (3 - all Top Hat variety) were starting to outgrow the trough that I had them in, so they've been separated into individual pots - containing a mixture of the soil from the trough and fresh ericaceous compost. Hopefully there'll be lots of blueberry pancakes (with maple syrup!) and blueberry muffins this year....

Next job was tidying up the front yard. We'd bought some box cones last year but failed to pot them up and water them properly so one has died.  Trying not to make the same mistake again, Mal potted up the new box balls, and while he was there I tidied up a few other pots - getting rid of weeds and leaves, and top dressing (adding more compost) to a few that looked a bit low.  All the pots had been grouped together for warmth over the winter, so we spread them out for the summer.

As well as all that, we dug over two of the veg beds behind the shed as they'd been given more soil (dug out from the polytunnel excavation).  One of the other beds there already had red onions planted, so we put white onions into the other half of the bed and covered with fleece and netting.  Hopefully there will be no little creatures digging them up this year.

Have to say it was really nice to have help doing all the little jobs today.  Usually Mal is so busy with digging something (a ditch, or more recently a polytunnel platform).... I've realised how much I've learnt over the last 18 months, as he's been asking questions about planting and stuff!

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