Tag Archives: compost

These Springlike Winter days.

25 Nov

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Just a month to Christmas and the Winter Solstice and the weather is just amazing. The misty mornings open out to nice mild days…ideal for working out of doors. It gets cold and dark early but then it is meant to be Winter!

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Periwinkle is still blooming in sheltered spots.

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We have been busy with various outdoor jobs. Mulching to clear the beds for planting anew next Spring is ongoing.

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Lots of cardboard covered with ample amounts of mushroom compost should clear the ground nicely.

 

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This might seem like a very thick mulch but the compost settles a lot. By Spring this will be ideal for planting into…nice black heat retaining compost…hopefully weed excluding too!

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Andy has been busy coppicing the boundary hedges. They had’nt been cut for years so were long and gangly and bare at the bottom. We will interplant with more plants to make a good thick hedge here. The lower height allows us to borrow from the landscape of the Ash forest behind.

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All the plants in the hedgerow are Ash and Hawthorn…both suitable for burning green. They both burn very hot too. Andy has been chopping it all into fire sized logs on his new log splitter. He insists on making those funny faces…beyond my control!!  In the shed behind you can see the new shredder.

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This will be used to turn this lot into mulch for beds and for making pathways.  There’s still about another hundred feet of hedging to be done so lots to keep us busy for some time.

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After a day’s work it’s nice to retreat to the cosiness of the kitchen where the stove is kept ticking over all day. The kettle is always full and on the point of boiling for cuppas for ourselves and anyone who may drop in. Visitors are always a good excuse to retreat into the warmth of the house.

Looking forward to many more of these Spring like Winter days…they may make for a very short Winter. Fingers crossed!

 

Hugelkultur.

21 May

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This area at the bottom of the garden was going to be a greenhouse built by the previous owners of our house.  However the greenhouse never happened…it would cost a pretty penny to built a greenhouse this size.017

We decided to clear the area and make veg beds there. Hugelkultur is something I have been reading about for some time. It is a permaculture technique where rotting wood is buried then covered with soil to make a rounded top bed. Lots of old wood lying about so we decided to give it a go. I have seen videos of people building the beds very wide and high too but as we intend making 4 beds in this area we kept them to 4 feet wide. The outside edges of the foundation will serve as sides for the beds. For the internal divisions we used old scaffolding sleepers which we bought for 3 euros each.

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We then put any old wood lying about in the bottom of the bed.  After reading up about the technique the consensus is that it’s better to use wood that has already started to rot as it doesn’t use up as much nitrogen to break down. The rotting wood also emits some heat so that could extend the growing season a little.

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Compost is then piled on and worked down between any spaces.

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More compost on top and there you have it. A nice bed ready for planting.

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There was really heavy rain after we’d made the bed so that helped it to settle. Before planting another barrow of compost was piled on top and raked in.

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Onion sets were planted in our first hugelkultur bed.

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I like to plant them fairly close so that I can use every second one as spring onions or scallions as we Irish call them. Only 3 more beds to go and our first section of vegetable garden is done.

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