Weekend jobs – 27th & 28th October 2018

“Why is it that every weekend we end up at a garden centre?” my husband muses, as we pull up at the Big Green Shed.

He’s exaggerating, frankly. Clearly, a tree nursery is not a garden centre.

And that place that sells the donkey poo is an organic apple farm that just happens to sell donkey manure by the bagful for a buck.

OK, the plant sale last week – that was at a garden centre. But the free sausage sizzle made it totally worthwhile. And today’s expedition for an additional compost Dalek was a necessary pitstop. War on waste, etc. Doing our bit, etc.

I’ll admit, as soon as the weather warmed up, it was like a switch flicked, and every weekend has been all gardening, all the time. It was as if I was a little kid with my nose pressed up against the glass, waiting until my mum told me I could go outside to play. As soon as I got the nod, I was out like a shot. Now I only come inside when the sun comes down. Or when I have to feed my kids.

Nigella, or Love-in-a-Mist

Seriously though, who wants to be indoors in weather like this?

Anyway, we got the Dalek home, and my husband and I surveyed the veggie patch. So many jobs and not enough time to do everything that needed doing this week.

He offered to hill up the potatoes, which have been growing like crazy now that the weather is fine almost every day. The spuds are planted in a deep trench, and now that they have poked their heads up, they will need hilling to ensure continual growth. I left him to do that while I turned the compost, transferring the top layers in the old bin to the new bin, and digging the ready compost out to the garden.

The addition of pigeon poo (a friendly gift from my neighbour a few weeks ago) activated the compost so quickly that the bottom half of the bin was full of ready to use compost, while the top half needed to be moved over to the new bin. It’s a messy job, but I honestly don’t mind it. I put the ready compost around new tomato plants, on some mounds ready for zucchini plants, and in a bed I am preparing for tomatoes.

Now I have one half-empty compost bin, and another empty bin. Since we have started composting, we have reduced the household waste we send to landfill by half. Other changes, like switching to ground coffee from coffee pods, and leaf tea from teabags (mostly) has also helped. We still produce more waste than I am happy with, but composting is the single most-effective waste reducing effort that we have instituted in our household.

My husband picked the rest of the broad beans and broccoli – another kilogram of broccoli and 2.5 kilograms of broadies – and then went inside to shell and freeze them. Meanwhile, while I took on the task of mulching with sugarcane mulch. I only managed one bale today (we have at least three bales worth of mulching to do). It’s a huge task in our garden, and I will have to finish the rest next weekend.

Heading back out in the early evening to look over the garden, I noticed that the potatoes had already grown over the hilled soil and the mulch. No wonder spuds fed an entire nation!

Mind you, broad beans probably could too…

A mountain of broad beans, forsooth!

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