Gardening�Bits 'n Bobs!
There are many sites already out there in the wide wide world of the web and I have no intention of repeating what's currently out there. What I'd like to cover is the lesser known areas, like Asparagas growing, a hobby of Gary Lewis, or links to other sites, like Dave Bates's Dahlia site, a bit on Fuchsias, and maybe get input from the amateurs out there who do it for the love of it and maybe would like to share the joys and fruits of their labours.
Are you into Composting? Then read on ....
And we have Hints & Tips from Gardeners - for Gardeners!
Composting - An interesting area for the gardener.
Home composting is the most environmentally friendly way to recycle. You reap the benefits with an excellent soil conditioner to enrich your garden soil and hence improve your plants.
By using a home composter you are helping to save the environment and saving yourself money too as you are getting compost free of charge.
For successful home composting you need the right mix of brown and greens:
Browns are the high carbon ingredients eg autumn leaves, twigs, paper,
card, toilet roll insides, tissues.
Greens are the high nitrogen ingredients eg grass clippings, uncooked vegetable scraps, manures, old fruit.
Other things you can add to your compost, or need to be aware of include;-
- Autumn leaves: Tree leaves are best composted by themselves, usually in black bin bags kept moist and will produce leaf mould in a couple of years.
- Peelings and Veg Scraps: Potato peelings are best avoided since they will have a tendency to sprout and instead of having a compost heap you will produce a potato mound, (useful if you like potatoes!)
- The "Greens" are usually easy to come by, suggest purchasing a bale of straw of your friendly farmer, shouldn't cost more than a couple of quid and will produce a large amount of "Brown" material for the heap!
- The bottom of the Rabbit / Guinea pig cage can also be put onto the
(These above bulleted items provided by Gary Lewis)
The other things you might need are:
- Air - mix air into the pile weekly when you add fresh ingredients.
- Water - add water to the pile if the compost is dry.
Place your bin on soil to encourage microbes to work on the compost & mix or layer your ingredients.
- Soggy, smelly compost? - add browns and fork over to get more air into the pile. Cover the pile to keep rainwater out.
- Too slow to rot down? - add more greens and diluted urine (a great activator!) and mix well into the pile.
- Too dry? - add water and mix into the pile
- Flies around compost? - put on a layer of soil, bury fruit and vegetables in the middle of the pile.
- Vermin? - ony use raw vegetable material for your compost. Do not put meat and cooked food into your compost bin.
Tamworth Borough Council is no longer selling compost bins direct to local residents - and have passed it to WRAP (www.wrap.org.uk), but the best bet is to phone on 0845 730 0123 (local call). They take your order and then the local council are supposed to deliver it. I'll let you know and keep you up to date as I have ordered one!
If your council is participating in the scheme that WRAP are running, then a 330litre bin costs £5 including delivery! Very good price! They also do a 700+litre version but I can't remember the price, sorry.
Interested in Fuchsias?
Click « here » to read this article and for the links to the society. There are many varieties of Fuchsia as you'll see if you do a Google search.
Then why visit the site of a renowned expert, Dave Bates, and his wonderful world of Dahlias, known as the Growing World of Dahlias. This site is regarded as the reference site for Dahlia lovers across the world. Dave says he needs to do more work on it, but that major work is reserved for winter months when he can't get out to work on the allotment, etc. We look forward to seeing the site progress Dave!
Do you Enjoy eating Asparagus? What about growing it?
Then to read more on Asparagus, click « here » ! This is one of Gary's gardening passions and I've no doubt we'll hear more as time goes by!
Propagation of Cuttings
Cuttings can be fairly easy to propogate in the correct potting compost etc., but another solution worth thinking about is a gel as produced for the propagation of cuttings like fuchsias, dahlias, pelargoniums, etc. Click this «link» for more details.
Information provided by Gary Lewis.
Gardening Hints & Tips
- Before venturing out into the garden, take a tablet of soap and scratch at it to get soap behind your nails. Makes it much easier to clean your nails when you've finished.
- To clean your hands after gardening use washing up liquid and sugar and then rinse them in water.
- To protect both skin and clothes when pruning prickly/thorny plants/shrubs take a 2 litre drinks bottle with top and bottom removed and thread it on to your arms.
- Old large plastic sweet jars, bought for a few pence from your local confectioner make useful plant propagators. Replace the lid to keep the moisture in and provide an ideal climate for the plants to germinate.
- When planting new shrubs in the garden, put a pot of gravel in at the same time and then when you water it the roots will receive the water far more quickly, hence enabling the plant to become established more quickly.
- To protect your perennials from frost fill a hanging basket with straw and then invert it and place over the plant. Instant protection!
- When resting ladders on a hedge or tree in order to trim it, then attach some suitable sized tubing across the plank of wood at the same centres as the ladders are wide, slip the tubes over the ladders and tie securely to the plank to the ladders and you have a set of ladders that are more stable and shouldn’t just “fall” through the hedge or tree, etc.