Allotment, Grow Your Own, Recycling, Storage

HORT – Allotment Ecology!

Composting;

When starting your Allotment there are a few things you need to think about when it comes to green waste and recycling, the fact is allot of the waste created on preparing the land for planting. The first Compost Bin was placed in the centre of the plot, the idea being whatever area was being worked would have a relatively short distance to transport the waste.

As we arrived on the first day, pallets at the ready we found a mound of waste and rubble on the opposite plot. After collecting up the old pop bottles, felt and other waste which would have been easily accessible to our children we returned to our plot to put together the compost bin.

The simplest way is to set three pallets, two either side and one at the back securing them on either side with screws. This allows them to withstand the weather, additionally using an old decking board we secured the fronts of the side panels to ensure its stability. Using a ton bag and some cup hooks, the bag was secured into the centre of the Compost bin attaching the handles to the hooks to open it up.

In the first preparations we shifted the top layer of soil for the beds and filled the ton bag in under a week, it is not waste however as it has been sat now for over a year and hopefully will be ready to put back into the borders.

Grass Cuttings;

Another Compost bin was a hexagon, hard plastic and solid which I decided to fill with grass cuttings. After a typical year of average temperatures and wet weather the bin was full and left to over winter. The reality was in early summer the compost was ready and used as a base for one of the raised beds. Again. assigning a sealed plastic bin for cuttings ensures a quick turnaround for compost, with no activators or layer additions such as cardboard.

Weeds;

Weeds are the worst of all by products and should be kept out of the general compost bins, unless you have assigned one for bagged waste. If you are lucky enough to be on a site that allows you to burn waste products that is one option. Another is to bag them up and take them to the local skip, As the council compost heaps are generally larger and produce the heat needed to break down and sterilise the waste.

Nettles;

You would not think that nettles have a use, however if set in a place out of the main growing area they can be a valuable resource. If left to allow the butterflies to utilise until they can be harvested to produce a feed as discussed previously. This brew unfortunately smells intensely, however it can be used neat and dilute and will make a great nitrogen feed for tomatoes and brassica’s alike.

Happy Horticulture!

Cheryl

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