The link between composting and lockdown lunacy

It is a bit difficult to do it with a darlek type bin but we got a garden fork into the compost heap today to give it a good mix up and to get some air to the pile. We could feel a bit of heat in there while we were doing it so it looks like the heap is working.

Since the lockdown we’ve taken the composting a bit more seriously because we’ve got more time on our hands, anything suitable goes in pronto and a trip down there with a single tea bag is not unusual!

We think the neighbours may have noticed our passion for the heap too as we were asked did we want a weekly bag of straw procured from a guinea pig hutch. Turns out the straw and any guinea pig product is alright for composting as it’s classed as a “brown” and would be ideal if you recently had a load of grass clippings deposited as the straw would add a bit of dryness to the heap. We’ll keep you posted on our guinea pig hutch gifts and let you know if they are any help or not!Apart from the composting a good bit of gardening was done in the front, weeding and attacking the ivy on the garden wall and learning that some of it is in fact holding up the said wall. There may have to be a compromise tomorrow when it comes to finishing the job because of that. We’re clearing all of the two tier bed and when things get back to some sort of normality and garden centres are open again we’ll fill it with some shrubs and grasses but it’s good to see it so clear for once! #lockdowngardening

The day the sun came out…

We haven’t been out the back for weeks and it showed (above). The side bed had all sorts of debris on top of the soil: rotting comfrey leaves, dead sunflower sticks, dried nasturtium stalks and the like. We wrapped ourselves in a few layers of clothing, got the kneeling mat out and within an hour it looked fairly respectable (below).

The veg bed at the bottom put us in mind of an abandoned allotment (below) but now looks like any other bed during the winter. It was a bit frozen down there so the garden fork was left in the garage, a rake was the tool of choice and we got as much rubbish up as possible using it. All that’s left in the bed now is the couple of cardoons and a broad bean or two (below lower)!

The best thing we done was pull up the dahlia tubers, getting as much of the soil off as we could without damaging the them before storing them somewhere dry until the spring. We should have pulled them up earlier but laziness and life kicked in towards the end of last year. Let’s hope we’re not too late!

Keeping it short and sweet

Little and often is an apt saying when it comes to gardening. The job for today was to tidy up the bed at the bottom of the garden that had gone a bit haywire (above). There was a fair bit of weeding to do and pulling up of dead Nasturtiums that were left to their own devices followed by a good old forking over. It looks like a proper vegetable bed now (below) rather than a bombsite!
In the process we found a couple of spuds that were missed when we initially harvested them in the autumn and also found a few dried out pods of some heirloom French climbing beans we bought at the Roots and Shoots Potato Day earlier this year. That’s one less packet of seeds we’ll have to purchase then!

Talking of Potato Days and Roots and Shoots here’s the next event in a few weeks time and one well worth going to!
London Potato Fair/Roots & Shoots Potato Day
9th and 10th February 2019 11.00am-2.30pm
Roots & Shoots 
Walnut Tree Walk
Lambeth, SE11 6DN
More details on this and more such like events (all across the UK) at this site here.

And here’s a festive treat from The Groove Thief from KGNU Community Radio’s “Dub Palace” show. The mix includes some heavyweight bass from RSD, Prophet, Johnny Clarke and our very own Madtone with “Compost your mind”

A happy and prosperous 2019 to one and all from us at Weeds!

Gardening at the speed of light

rots-and-shoots_dec16We had to do a bit of speed gardening today (at the pace a council worker would go at if their foreman had said “as soon as you’re finished you can go home”) as we’d left it a bit late in the afternoon when we started. There were good intentions to begin earlier but you know how it is on a Sunday.speed-gardening-bed-afterIn the space of an hour, a couple of beds were dug over, some plants moved, lost root veg rescued and the Lemon Verbena hopefully protected for the winter. There’s still a good few beds to crack on with but at least we’ve started. The more you get out of the way now the less work it is in the spring. It’s just making that start!another-clean-bed