Is this my packed lunch for today?
Nope, this is the kitchen waste shredded down for our worms for the last couple of days. We produce a lot of kitchen waste – so much so that l have a much bigger scraps box now – the one above is 2 litres and l now have a 7 litre box which is better considering our kitchen waste tub alone is 5 litres! I also bought myself a slightly larger food chopper 2.2 litre and Suze is now going to be using the recently bought 1.2 litre chopper.
It works well, as we were throwing out our much older food chopper which is zonks old!
I calculated that we were emptying our 5 litre kitchen waste tub 4 times a week prior to it being chopped – wow, that’s 20 litres of kitchen waste! Did you know that Kitchen waste and garden waste make up for a third of our total waste per week? [Not ‘us’ – but the universal ‘us’.]
Shredding allows for a much smoother distribution across the compost piles.
W.A.P’s Spell Jobs Done!
Season 3 – Autumn/Winter 2019/20
Oh how l wish my parents when they were in their mid fifties had told me how much l was going to ache at that age! Except they couldn’t, principally because l had left home at an earlier age and they were going through divorce and were not out in the garden that much. I therefore wish, someone, anyone had told me how achy l would feel mid 50’s! But of course, would l have listened? I would have been in my mid twenties and younger and fitter anyway – why would l worry about twenty or thirty years later after four hours in the garden flat out digging, turning, shuffling and all manner of movements? Fact is … l would not have given two shakes of a rat’s willy!
WAP’s in case you haven’t guessed yet stands for Wintery Aches Pains! The bright side to that is the flipside to a job not achieved and that is? That’s right, a job totally well done! I finally managed to clear the niggles that have been bothering me this week with regards the gardening and the composting.
Three quarters of a ton of compost mulch to be moved.
Of course that’s not it all done and dusted, NO of course not – that would be too easy! But it does mean that the small list of jobs l had written down mid October to achieve have all been ticked off. Now l just have the new Winter Jobs List to achieve between now and end January 2020 – that is sadly a much bulkier list!
My main task for today was to finalise the compost heap set up – and breaking down the old system, finish off the new 2020 composting station! In addition to that, l decided to spread the remaining compost over the ornamental beds to act as a compost mulch for the winter months.
This is a great way to empty off the old system’s content – the birds will flit through it, then the worms and then when it rains, it will be alluring to the huge monster worms that live up to 12″ below the surface of the soil – they will come up and drag the mulch down to the canals they create, enriching and adding valuable nutrients to the soil – but equally, another thing many people forget is that when worms carry on beneath the surface they help the plants in the soil. The roots of plants and especially new plants can creep down these worm channels which happen to be filled with worm poop [another nutrient] and find comfort and food from the linings – it’s a real win win.
In the main, what was left in the heap was about three quarters of a ton of mulch compost and l carted that out to the beds and shovelled it in and over – Suze then hoed the compost mulch into the soils.
A job well done and now done!
However, finally the old system was down and the grounds raked and graded – Suze took her position of chief Gaffer and set to creating the final section of the new compost bin…
… which is now done and added in and completes the trio!
The final section was laid up ready to be the first compost unit … see what happens is when you are turning the system over [first turn 1st Week December] – l will be shifting the content of unit 2 [middle box] into unit 1 [new section added today] and unit 3 [far right box] will have its content shifted into the middle unit . Any soil/compost sifting that needs to be done will be carried out and then that will be added into the black bins which you can see lined up.
Every time there is a turn in the units – 1-3 it will always be moving from left to right or right to left, and as gradually the sifted soils are sieved off you are left with your main compost heap which is constantly being turned over – l aim to turn the units over twice a month in winter to spring and then once a week spring to summer.
Unit 1 [new box section] had the current active content added today as this will be the prime compost heap to be created and turned into pure compost in 8 weeks, or end January 2020..
New heap – a mixture of all layers under no rules composting – so greens, browns, brackens, cardboard, shredded kitchenwastes, shredded paper, leaves and so on make for the new first ‘layer’ of Unit 1’s compost heap and then watered down.
Finally this beast of a task is finished which will not mean much to anyone really – and more so if you have no interest in gardening, composting or growing vegetables but plenty to those who do ‘do those’ things because this is where the 2020 growing season really will start to make sense and also to those who are just starting out composting for the first time. It means basically that the new ‘no composting’ strategy now is in action.
Other jobs that managed to be completed today were …
I decided to bring Ava the Avocado up into the conservatory from the greenhouse – the temperatures have been dropping badly, and our greenhouse simply isn’t warm enough – the conservatory is no heated palace but it’s still brick and mortar. I want her to survive not freeze her assets off!
All the remaining containers were emptied out and weeded off, all that is left to do this week is have cardboard plates cut to fit inside the pots to keep the weeds down.
Suze managed to get her winter pansies in… and l don’t know why l don’t have that photo, but they are looking very pretty.
But now we have a very clear idea of the jobs needing to be done between now and end January which is when the first seeds will be planted and technically’ the early Spring season will start for us. Spring doesn’t really start until March, but we are very determined this year to get a bit of a head start.
Clean up old shredder and sell, shred down fruit tree branches for summer mulch with new shredder.
Sort out new water butt system for front and back of back garden.
Repaint the twin seat near bug hotel. Dig out horseradish and make sauce, cut barrel in half for more efficient horseradish planting, weather paint front facing boards of shed.
Double the twin raised beds and move and create new herb garden area in location.
Bug hotel now in its third season. Replant new ornamental gardens and herbs for 2020. Currently we ‘do’ have bees wintered here in hibernation mode, make friendly to butterflies and ladybirds.
Clear out shed.
Clear and clean out greenhouse, repair as necessary.
Break down and saw up all old compost pallets and ship to tip.
Prepare ornamental flower beds for 2020 and buy in bushes for ground cover.
All in all, a lot was achieved today, and if l don’t ache like a good un in the morning l will be chuffed as l moved my shoulder 57 ways of different today – a real test, with digging, raking and hoeing never mind lifting and all sorts. Because l am seriously aching now!!
However before l go, check out this beauty!!
I have been telling Suze that the reason l am doing a lot of these jobs now is for the future  and that neither she or l can afford to become ill or injured again, so in order to NOT have that happen, it has meant introducing systems to make our lives easier. For me a new compost system was a must – as l cannot bugger my shoulder up again through over shoulder lifting – this meant that a lowered system was required. There are many things that are in action now, or that have been done, or are about to be done or will be done.
One of the other things is this little beauty here…. “Clarke Rotary Soil Sieve”
What you do is put this into a wheelbarrow and the compost to be sifted on top and then turn the handle – this is to replace the manual sifting l was doing, because apparently everytime l did that , l was ‘jarring’ my injury apart!!!
Can’t wait to test this out!!
Anyway … l am very pleased with the results of today – jobs well done!
l’ll take my leave of you now
Thanks for reading everyone, till the next time …