Quirky Garden Hacks!! – 3
Season 3 – Autumn/Winter 2019/20
|Quirky Garden Hacks!! – 3|
7 – A Mulching We Will Go
Not specifically a garden hack, just a heads up really. Mulching the top of your containers, garden beds, raised beds or even just plant pots is a great way of retaining moisture in the soils. It also works wonders to act as a weed preventer. I will be very shortly ordering a tonne or so in of organic wood chips for our ornamental beds for the winter. It will probably last for a good 18 months before it starts to break down into the soil.
Weeds compete for the moisture in your soils and usually win the day due to their adaptability and hardiness. So the role of any gardener is to try and ‘prevent’ that from happening. If there are no or very limited weeds in your garden, then your plants, fruits, flowers, vegetables or herbs are not losing much needed nourishments.
In addition to specific mulching agents you could also use rough compost as a mulcher and as this breaks down it will also leech out valuable nutrients to the soils, microbes and of course the plants themselves.
8 – Going Wild With Rhubarbarians!
Rhubarb oh how l love thee …………. actually l don’t, l used to, but l discovered a strange thing! Rhubarb makes me higher than a kite! I can not eat the stuff raw if l want to continue to be able to walk in a straight line and even when cooked, it makes me see pink elephants!! We have rhubarb growing here, a massive plant at the back – Suze loves it, and we have plans to attempt to move the plant to a more beneficial location as it sits precariously very close to the compost station and l occasionally walk on it and damage it.
There are however many additional benefits which l tend to take advantage of ….
1] You can use the leaves as a mulching agent – they grow to a considerable size. They do a relatively good job of weed blocking and when they eventually die off and need replacing, the old leaves can be composted nicely!
2] You can compost them – the poison in the leaves is not transferrable to other compost content, so it’ll not effect the microbial activity.
3] The leaves can be used to make a valuable and viable organic pesticide which can be used to combat against leaf eating pests – it works by causing the heart to stop and or suffocating them when sprayed upon them.
9 – Weedo Weedo Weed Off!
There is a rather antiquated train of thought that weeds cannot be composted in compost heaps or piles …. rubbish, there is no simpler way of answering this than other with the blatant. I have been composting weeds for a few years now, with no problems, however l do run both hot and cold composting methods. In order for weeds to be effectively killed off – there are two things that will help.
1] Cut off the root and dump that seperately [perhaps like l have in a bin specifically for awkward plant types, roots and fronds] or alternatively in a bag ready for disposal. You could try shredding the root and or jumping up and down on it or hammering it out and then adding this to your heap broken and seriously damaged.
I still advise taking the root off anyway and either throwing away or breaking it down before adding to the compost heap.
2] Heat – if you run a hot compost pile, you will destroy 97% of the weeds if not 100% with just the heat alone.
If however you don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to creating and sustaining a hot compost pile, then my advice is to take them down to the tip or alternatively turn them into a Weed Tea.
Anyway, there we go, another three garden hacks for your quirky pleasure!
l’ll take my leave of you now
Thanks for reading everyone, till the next time …