Archive for June, 2011

Garden ‘Beehive’ Composter.

One of the things that’s sadly lacking in my garden is a composter to take advantage of that nutritious garden & kitchen waste which gets thrown in the (green)bin instead of being recycled for use outside in the garden.

I started looking at large plastic barrel type composters you see in most garden centres but I really didn’t like the plastic look to them and found that they looked a bit flimsy – especially around the connection joints.

I did think about making my own using the tried and tested method of stacked wooden shipping pallet but I really didn’t like the look of some of the examples i’d seen (looks o.k. in a very large garden where it be tucked away somewhere but in my little plot it might look a bit too rustic!)

I was watching a gardening program and saw that they were using composters that had been fabricated to look like traditional wooden Beehives. Perfect for what I wanted, practical & looks great.

A quick look online shows that there’s plenty of mail order companies that who can supply these, ready built or flat packed as well as painted in a range of modern and traditional colors.

The downside is that all of the examples I looked at were very expensive and i really didn’t want to be paying these kinds of prices (especially as i was thinking about having two). So…another research session online and I came across a few examples where folk had made their own and thought it would be great to try myself.

Here’s a link t o the one I used as reference –

http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/soil/msg0423230919694.html

I decided to make each of the five stackable section using four 24″ x 6″ wall sections with the lid acting as a sixth section. Each wall section was cut at an angle on both ends so that the top was 1″ shorter than the bottom. I 1″ thick battons using a scrap wood out of the garage and cut each one, one inch smaller than the 6″ wall section. This would allow for a 1″ gap so that each wall section could stack on top of each other and be secure without falling over.

You’d think in June, we’d be spoilt for dry days but had to wait a few before i could set up shop out in the yard.

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Lid setup, treated and ready for painting.

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Two coats of ‘Weatherseal’wood preserve – ‘cream tea’

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Ready for use and waiting to be fed!

 

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Veggie plot update 13/06/2011

Sadly, the following picture pretty sums up the weekend weather 😦

 

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I shouldn’t complain really. O.k, so i wouldn’t be RetroBriting my Commodore 128 this weekend, but at least the garden received a much needed soak.

With all the rain it was way to wet to do anything practical in the garden but itching to get out there I was able to at least spend an hour or so in the dry greenhouse simply potting about and making sure everything was fed and watered and cared for.

From the looks of things, this years crop of Cucumber’s are going to be my best to date with many healthy fruit growing en mass. Here’s where my iPhone really comes in handy as i’m able watch handy Youtube vids or chat with fellow gardeners live from the greenhouse. High Tech gardening and it’s best!

I love how theseside shoot things seek out something to wrap around amd support the cucumber plant. Some, like this one below needed a helping hand though.

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Out in the beds the peas have started to flower (and I also noticed the first pod this evening) and the potatoes are also in flower. I’m guessing this is a good sign for both?

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Elsewhere in the garden, tiny alpine strawberries are running riot amongst the pots and tubs providing a green carpet and a splash of color to otherwise drab areas. Rather than keep them compact last year we decided to let the runner shoots run wild. Being rather small, the increased amount of strawberries is a bonus. They’re rather strong in flavour and are great tossed with green salad and a splash of  Balsamic vinegar.

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Sadly, the heavy rain had knocked quite a few of the tall plants and flowers to the ground. Some of my Alliums in particular have been flattened but with so many of them, taking a few out hasn’t spoilt the show and they look great in a vase in the kitchen.

One of the many that survived the downpour.

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Here’s hoping the weather will be better next weekend!

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Cloud watching

This weekend we’ve seen such a mixed bag of weather conditions creating all manner of sky art! From cloudless deep blue skies filled with towering cumulus clouds to cooler breezes with wisps of high cirrus and darkening angry skies.

Whilst working under these rapidly changing skies this weekend, I’ve found myself often pausing and simply looking up in awe.

Now that I have my iPhone, which more often than not, permanently lives in one trouser pocket or another, I’ve always got a camera to hand to whip off a few shots. It may be low res and lacking in features (although the third party ‘camera +’ app really helps) but it comes in handy for those spontaneous shots….and the fact that I can shoot, edit, tag and post on the go!

Here’s a few taken so far.

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All I need now is an app that can help identify them.

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Generous Gardeners

On the commute in to work this morning I happen to spot this outside someone’s house!

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What a great idea this is and it’s always nice to see such kind of generosity. I hung about for a while but sadly noone seemed to appear so I left them a little note to say thanks.

In the end I chose the Roma ‘plum’ variety and having repotted it this evening I’ll return the original pot on my journey in to work tomorrow.

This really made my day!

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