We’ve been doing a little bit of early gardening. In the pots pictured above are: red chilli seeds bought for 10p last autumn from Asda, coriander seeds from a Thompson and Morgan sale (their special offers are always worth checking out though we also saved the seeds from last year’s coriander and will be doing later plantings with them), rosemary that we grew from cuttings (so easy, just snip healthy looking bits and stick them in pots or the ground), and some thyme that was reduced to 30p in Tesco last year. These herbs have survived the winter well.
As the world opens up again
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In case you missed it last time:
Use code FREE10 for £10 off at Flava Buy Now Pay Later Supermarket. Not a discount store but they do always have some offers for pennies and there’s no credit checks or interest.
Making compost is a great way to reduce waste and nourish the soil. It also saves money if you are in the habit of buying ready made compost. And it’s easy.
Making Compost in Triple Bins
Above are our triple compost bins made from old pallets. They are the perfect size for hot composting (faster composting) as you want your pile to be 3 feet wide x 3 feet high to make sure it heats up in the middle. You can, of course, just make it in a pile or heap. The idea behind having three bins is to have one that you’re adding material to, one that’s being left to rot down (usually for 6 or 7 months) and one that’s finished and being used in the garden or pots.
What to Put in the Compost
kitchen scraps of raw vegetable origin (cooked food will moulder)
used tea bags
leaves and twigs
weeds that have not gone to seed
garden waste such as dead or finished plants
hair and nail trimmings
the contents of your hoover bag/bin
ripped up cardboard, the lower quality the better
You’re looking to get a good variety of layers in there to balance the nitrogen from green things and the carbon from brown things.
Doing It Wrong Can Be Right!
When we first started composting we did it all wrong in this container:
We used exclusively kitchen scraps which went a bit smelly and gooey. However, after about a year the goo did return to being basically soil and proved to be an exceedingly rich food for the plants. The ones that had a layer of this fertiliser in their pots or beds grew significantly larger than the ones that didn’t. So it can be done like that, even if you don’t want to use it for growing; it still reduces waste and returns veg scraps to the soil. The ground around compost bins always becomes beautifully rich, as you can see with the nettles above. And we don’t mean to knock the plastic bins – they can be very handy for smaller spaces.
We intend using the wee boxes at the base of our pallet bins above to grow squash in next year.
No Dig Potatoes
Another use for cardboard in the garden is to lay it down on the ground to prepare the soil to be used in a “no dig” manner. The grass will rot away and you’ll be left with bare soil. We’re doing it over winter for next spring’s growing. We’ll then lay the seed potatoes on the ground without digging and cover them in a thick layer of grass cuttings which we will replenish throughout the summer. Potatoes should grow well in that – we will report back!
Cheap Plants alert! The Secret Gardening Club is a free to join club for seasoned and beginner gardeners alike. They supply a huge range of high-quality plants at up to 70% discount. Subscribers can sign up and subsequently receive notification as soon as new stock is available.
The prices are so low due to their close working relationship with a number of reputable plant nurseries across the UK. They take any over-supply and pass the considerable discounts on to customers.
Olio is an app that you can download to your phone to share food in your local area. People share things that they can’t use up in time, while farmers and gardeners sometimes offer produce that they have too much of. We’ve added this information to our free food section but you can just search for the app.
These are cheap seeds from Thompson and Morgan, who have been selling plants and seeds since 1855. The quality is high, no dud seeds like occasionally happens with discount varieties. Go here for the seed selection which contains over 300 types of fruit and vegetables which should all be good for next year too.
Get packets of seeds for £1 each when you buy ten. Offer ends midnight 25th of August 2021 or until stock lasts.
Use code TM_TAW61W at checkout to make sure you get the offer price for the seeds. We did!