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Compost Bins and Rusty Bedsprings

August 9, 2018

Sunflower ‘Velvet Queen’ with various dahlias.


I am pleased to find that two of the four compost bins are ready to re-distribute with the intense heat over the summer helping to break down the contents fast. And since the wheelbarrow went AWOL I plan to rethink the positions of the bins in order to make spreading the contents a little easier.  One of the four is already situated at the end of a large bed and another will be re-positioned in the bed next to it.

This is the style bin I use on the allotment. You simply lift the whole drum off and fork the contents into a carrier or wheelbarrow editing out any material that hasn’t fully broken down.

Whilst I like the look of these wooden composters they are a bit more fiddly to use and aesthetics don’t matter that much when allotment gardening do they? And talking of beauty and composting the marigolds and nasturtiums which have looked stunning in beds for the last eight weeks will not be composted. I love the joyous colour they add to the rows of vegetables but many came through uninvited and in places left little room for produce. As soon as these go to seed the plant will be brought home to the council garden waste collection.

After a week away with no watering other than a friend looking after the greenhouse tomatoes there was a good haul to be had. The large yellow courgette came from a neighbour but I’ve had a good and steady supply from my own three ‘Defender’ plants.

My new favourite recipe is griddled courgettes with chopped mint and grated lemon rind and a dressing of olive oil and lemon juice poured over after cooking.

It’s a relief to be at this mid-summer stage in allotment gardening with less watering and relatively less weeds to eradicate. Another time saver that is new to me is dotting four buckets around the plot (left over from house renovation). They save time and energy when weeding and can be left to accumulate water on rainy days. But there’s still plenty to do and a need to keep ahead with seed sowing at this time of year with the large papery seeds of Lunaria (Honesty) ready to be sown now.

Some are in deep root trainers in a mix of old compost and seed sowing compost whilst other seeds were pushed straight into the soil both here and on the allotment for a Spring display. The pea pod seeds (above) are from the everlasting sweet pea Lathyrus latifolia and this perennial has been simply lovely growing up a grey stone wall and in flower for weeks. The aim is to have a row along the narrow bed since the plant seems happy to be contained provided it’s watered and fed regularly. As cut flowers they last no more than two days in a vase and unlike annual sweet peas they’ve no scent. But in flower since June, with lots of new buds appearing regularly, they should flower till September so well worth finding room for more.

The support is a small group of rusty bedsprings found in a skip. If I achieve a row of plants I might look for a larger support like this double bedful spotted pinned on the front of a house locally last April!  I must go back to see what climbers if any were planted.


4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 9, 2018 12:58 pm

    Lovely use of rusty bedsprings! A friend grows everlasting sweet peas, the colour is gorgeous – and perfect for the low maintenance gardener! I’ve just made a list of all the seeds I should be sowing; it’s quite long but will be worth it to have salad leaves, cabbage and kales in the winter. Ditto with flowers, I’m hoping it’s not too late for Lunaria, Hesperis, etc.

    • August 9, 2018 9:30 pm

      Perhaps it was the combination of rusty bedsprings and sweet peas that put your comment into spam- had to laugh. Not too late for sowing those seeds just a question of where to keep them as they grow into sturdy plants.

  2. August 13, 2018 7:11 pm

    You can never have too much compost can you?

    • August 14, 2018 10:53 am

      It is so satisfying getting the lid off and finding crumbly soil all made from otherwise waste material.

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