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Short life of a home baked Strawberry & Vanilla cupcake…

…needs no words except, delicious !!

A Composting Recipe

The most asked about question I read or hear is, “How do you make compost?” Well, from my experience there’s only 3 elements that need to be right, right from the beginning. These are air, heat and moisture.

Its not the grass, twigs, leaves or veg peelings that are solely responsible for making compost, although they are a very important. Its the micro-organisms that really do the hard work and they are the ones you need to keep happy. Microbes work best when there is plenty of air, heat and moisture so they can break down organic matter in a effective way. By not providing these microbes with the right environment, with the right food in the right way, may, result with a substance that resembles a slimy gooey mess. Not ideal !!

1. Compost holders, ideally should be made from wood with narrows gaps between the panels to let in air.
2. Covering the top of your compost holder with black pastic and a piece of carpet helps to keep it warm.
3. Control the moisture, don’t be afraid to water your compost when it starts to dry out. The mixture should be kept moist at all times !!!

Very important this – you also need to add the same amount of BROWN waste as green. ‘Browns’ provide microbes with a food source, without it, they will die or not work to their full potential.

BROWN ITEMS – things like

•leaves
•Pine needles
•Twigs, chipped tree branches/bark
•Straw or hay
•Sawdust
•Corn stalks
•Paper (newspaper, writing/printing paper, paper plates and napkins, coffee filters)
•Dryer lint
•Cotton fabric

Also needed is green waste these help microbes grow and multiply.

GREEN ITEMS – things like

•Grass clippings
•Coffee grounds/tea bags
•Vegetable and fruit scraps
•Trimmings from annual plants
•Annual weeds that haven’t set seed
•Eggshells
•Animal manures (cow, horse, sheep, chicken, rabbit, etc. No dog or cat manure.)
•Seaweed

Ideally, when putting green and brown waste into bin/holder they should be alternatively layered, although this is not always possible.

My composting bins

Every 3 months or so, turn the contents over because a compost bin/holder is aerobic – it needs plenty of air. If its of the plastic kind, every 2-3  weeks because a plastic bin provides a more anaerobic (without air) environment, not really ideal for providing all 3 elements which are, air, heat, moisture.   By missing just one of those 3 elements, composting will not be as successful and take longer to produce.

If you choose to make your own holders yourself, like I have here. Build them to a design that will give you easy access to its contents.

                                         Happy composting !!!

Petunia’s – don’t stop me, now !

Took a stroll up to the garden today, I say a stroll, it was more like a gallop. The garden has accelerated into life with all this rain of late, everything needs my attention like yesterday. With so many jobs still left to do I am starting to struggle with my time management or lack of. My intention this afternoon was to do some heavy graft, with still half the garden left to turn over and rake, I really need to crack on and finish this back-breaking task – my least favourite of all the garden jobs.

However, it didn’t take long before I was thrown off course when I noticed the petunia’s in the greenhouse looking sad and lustreless. Eliminating several possibilities like drought, pests and draft. I quickly concluded after popping one from its cell, that in fact, the problem lay in their outgrown cells. Which, if they’d stayed in a day longer would have stopped their ability to take up vital nutrients and restrict growth. And since I am a month behind already as I didn’t start sowing until February, I really need to keep the relay running smoothly so they have a chance to catch up.

So, the afternoon was spent potting on and on….

Petunia, Rapid Trailing

Petunia, Rapid Cascade looking a lot happier.

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