Compost bins installed.


Colin

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Hi,

Installing compost bins is so very easy when they are bought brand new and delivered to the door?

Well not exactly whilst living here; I ordered and paid for four 330L bins from our local Kirklees council at buy one get one half price. Allow up to 28 days delivery is old fashioned and snail pace these days but I sat back and waited. On the order there was a box for special comments; I added "Please inform me of delivery day; morning or afternoon and I'll be here to receive the bins". Fast forward a couple of weeks to yesterday when I was seated at the computer; someone came quickly to the front door thrusting a note through the letterbox and disappearing just as quickly; the note was to inform me the bins had been delivered?

I shot out of the rear door and passed the four neatly stacked bins on the pathway outside the extension; two guys were about to set off in a big van and as I approached them I thanked them for the delivery but questioned why I hadn't received the requested delivery day? They couldn't answer and we parted on good terms. How strange; no email; and the guys didn't make their presence known by knocking on the door or ringing our bell whilst the Yeti was on the driveway indicating someone was home? You can't get the staff these days. I added these notes on another thread but worth repeating here.

With 3C forecast for last night I expected it to be perishingly cold with frost this morning but I got up to see Blackie my constant companion was here again soaking everything so how wonderful; I can wear my wellies and grow taller as I traipse around the wet garden receiving another soaking.

After breakfast I donned my deep sea diving coat and hat and wandered up the mountain taking along a spade and rake; I set about cutting wedges out of the steep slope one for each bin alongside the ugly wall our previous neighbours built when they had a four bedroomed detached house built at the top of their rear garden. I soon warmed up with the digging and raking which was very hard going it being difficult to keep my balance whilst I worked under the trees. I managed to level and place three of the bins thinking I've been pretty quick but the fourth was my undoing; I hit a huge boulder that was absolutely solid I dug around it and used my 5' long heavy duty crowbar but the boulder just laughed at me and it was bang in the way. I was fed up with the weather; I was fed up trying to retain my balance and now I was fed up being presented with this boulder; I put the crowbar away and attacked the boulder for all I was worth with a big sledge hammer; enough was enough and time I took control so my stubborn streak kicked in and this fourth bin was going were intended whatever it took to do it. I pounded the boulder breaking off enough to allow the site to be levelled; with the fourth bin now sorted and me feeling quite ill due to hip pain I quit for dinnertime; just walking up our rear garden gives a good workout and any work at all in the garden stresses both my hips because it's so difficult to remain standing.

In spite of the difficulties I ensured each bin was level; no excuses for poor workmanship even if it's unlikely to be closely inspected; either do a job right or leave the job alone?

The bins now require filling and the big pile of garden debris is at the top of the garden; what deep joy I'll have in moving this pile down to the bins but it won't do itself; I've been working on our bungalow and in the gardens for the last 30 years and have yet to do a single job which is easy but I won't give up. So for anyone wishing to install composting bins this isn't the way to do it.

Kind regards, Colin.


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alp

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I hope they are not going to slide down.. You could put a warm bottle inside the bin in the winter to help the action.. You could also keep one butt just for dry leaves of which you must have quite a bit. Good to make leaf mould.
 

Colin

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Hi,

Many thanks alp for your reply. I too hope they don't slide down or I'll have to retrieve them from the valley bottom. :) The only minor concern I have though is soil erosion but I can always lay stones to prevent this at least the bins are dead level and tucked under trees away from the severest weather so they should be OK. Ideally I wanted them closer together but this would have meant building retaining walls to hold the soil back causing a lot more work.

It hurts my hips a great deal working on the steep slope because I'm unable to stand up comfortably which stresses everything; a neighbour a couple of doors along the street did an excellent job of terracing his rear garden but now he is ill with back troubles and when I looked at his garden from the bottom all I could see was nicely built walls? Terracing would work if these gardens were looked down on but it's totally different looking up the garden.

Once the bins are loaded then I can move on to planting at last which I'm looking forward to; the bushes I ordered should arrive this month and I'll also buy lots more once I form a plan of action; I'm not a gardener so I'm making it up as I go along but I'm finding it interesting and I'm learning all the time.

I've got lavender seedlings making steady progress in the shed which I'll prick out shortly into bigger individual pots and winter these in the new cold frame; the Ajuga seeds I planted I must have sown upside down because so far they are very shy indeed but I haven't given up hope; I also took a few cuttings some of which died peacefully but I think a few others are surviving at least so far. I've taken Pachysandra cuttings and placed these in clean jam jars filled with plain water and I think these are now showing signs of putting on new roots; I hope so because small successes can be built upon. When the weather really closes in I'll be busy doing what I do best working with my head and hands in the workshop; I've a few projects planned to play around with so I'll never be bored.

Kind regards, Colin.
 

alp

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or I'll have to retrieve them from the valley bottom. :)
LOL! Which way do the prevailing winds blow?

Colin, you must work too hard or you will hurt yourself. If you can, try to go for French lavender or lavender ballerina

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I have this one and also the lilac ballerina.. They are much more elegant. Sometimes, they are reduced in diy gcs.. Go around with Bron and enjoy feasting your eyes .. It's nice to see what you can buy when they are reduced. I have two of mine this way. The English lavender seems to be a bit straggly to me, just like the upright rosemary.
 

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Hi,

Thanks alp. (y):)

The wind (Gale) usually comes up the valley; on a rare nice day it's just a breeze; I seldom do any paint spraying; I used to spray machines and components just inside the garage with both doors wide open but even on a glorious summer's day I've seen tiny whirlwinds dancing at the bottom of the door frames; when it's not wind I think it must be air currents; we seldom enjoy a dead calm day.

Just walking up or standing in our gardens alp is hard work; the slope throws the body balance completely out and is most tiring; working in the gardens compounds this and quickly tires me out but then the jobs I keep doing are simply hard graft but I'm now getting on top at last; I'm about to go to the top of the garden and hopefully transfer the huge pile of garden debris into the new composting bins; this will be fun because the pile is soaking wet after Blackie kindly paid us a visit during the night; wellies on again and traipse mud around; I'll win in the end.

Thanks for your lavender tip; yes it's French lavender I'm growing from seed and I also bought four potted French lavender plants these now settling into the garden having been pruned.

Thanks for adding the lovely picture; much appreciated. Time now for you to look after yourself for a change and dump your nasty cold. ;)

Kind regards, Colin.
 

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Hi,

An update. I've now filled all four compost bins. The big pile of garden debris was over 7' tall but settled down a bit. I was amazed to find the pile bone dry inside in spite of the amount of rain we suffer here on the valley side. Mostly it was made up of snowberry stumps; ivy; leaves and sticks etc with well rotted horse manure thrown in. I had also built a smaller pile.

Yesterday looking at the new bins I wondered if I had gone over the top in buying four; this morning though I find I still have half the pile remaining? I've added 8 bags of shredded material into the bins and have just added about 6L of water to each bin before putting the lids on.

As the material in the bins settles down I can top up using the remaining pile but am resigned to this taking quite a while.

In order to move the material down to the bins I used my well tried method using a small tarpaulin as a sled as seen in the pictures below; this is about the only time I can use gravity in the garden to my favour and it works a treat; just four trips with the tarpaulin which I loaded with a fork. Shredding the lot would have greatly reduced the bulk but I'm fed up of working on the steep slope whilst Blackie soaks me and Gale blows me around; I must be getting soft; I'll never join a gym.

Loading the bins was easy enough but the springy nature of the material tended to lift the bin from the ground as I rammed the material in; no doubt the bins will settle.

For the last 30 years I've been running this kind of garden material to our local tip but I've now started doing lots of shredding and am trying to compost; the pile of stones is just one of the piles I dug up whilst removing the snowberry stumps; I'm sure in a previous life I must have been a labourer building the pyramids? :(

The last picture shows what remains and what the material is like; I've never dug as many stumps up previously and never want to do it again.

Kind regards, Colin.

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alp

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Well done, Colin!

Now my nasty cold has developed into a nasty cough .. Very itchy and annoying.. I have also burnt a deep hole in my pocket.
 

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Hi,

Thanks alp. I don't envy you a nasty cough and envy you even less for a deep hole in your pocket which can be most painful. ;)(y)

I can't believe after months of hard graft I'm finally getting on top. I've just had a most enjoyable hour up the mountain moving the remainder of the big pile of garden debris; I've dragged most of it down to the compost bins the rest which are the larger stumps will be run to the local tip in the next couple of days. I'm not happy about dumping so much material under the trees but hopefully I'll be able to compost it once the composting bins start working.

The pile is out of sight but I dislike anything looking untidy just knowing it's there. I'm pleased the top of the garden is now almost clear of debris; a bit more ivy to remove and then more digging and raking to do then I can start planting.

Kind regards, Colin.

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alp

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You can artfully put some twigs, fallen logs so that wildlife can call them their homes.. Don't have to be tidy throughout the garden. Wildlife would love you for that! Think about your jay - Thank you for that lovely photo .. also the stripey fellow.
 
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You can artfully put some twigs, fallen logs so that wildlife can call them their homes.. Don't have to be tidy throughout the garden. Wildlife would love you for that! Think about your jay - Thank you for that lovely photo .. also the stripey fellow.
I have a large 96-gallon city-issued trash can that serves as a house for frogs and lizards, especially in the winter time. So now I have to put a bag on the street on trash days, because I no longer have a trash can; it's wildlife motel:D
 

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Hi,

Thanks for your suggestion alp and it makes a lot of sense; Bron and I spend up to £20 per week on the local cats and wildlife; we also have lots of little places under bushes and laurels made up of small twigs to provide homes for the little friends.

This big pile of debris though is just too much and would only become even bigger by the time the compost bins got going; today I've made one trip to the local tip with a full load in the Yeti; this load though was mostly stumps and roots with one of the stumps so large I could only just lift it; this load definitely wasn't wanted so I'm pleased to see the back of it.

The remainder of the big pile I've started to shred and bag; this drastically reduces the bulk which is bone dry and I can use the shredded material either as mulch or for topping up the compost bins; the wildlife is taken care of and made most welcome so I don't feel too guilty about sorting this big pile out. :):):)

Well done roadrunner. beep beep. (y)

Kind regards, Colin.
 

alp

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When we saw the stoats in Yorkshire Fountain Abbey, they came through a network of big branches.

 

Colin

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Hi,

Thanks alp for posting the interesting video; perhaps the stoats are networking? :)

Last night's weather forecast was for a wet start this morning? It's strange how the forecasters can be ignored after all it must cost £millions to keep getting the forecast wrong? :( Here's todays forecast;

Yorkshire and Humber
Forecast Summary
  • Today
    Outbreaks of rain, locally heavy and accompanied by gusty winds, will gradually spread east. Later the wind will ease everywhere, and the rain will clear from western areas, while lingering across the east.

  • Tonight
    Rain, still locally heavy, initially across eastern parts will gradually move away eastwards this evening. Dry and clear conditions will follow across the region, allowing a widespread frost to develop.

Given the forecast for today I was quite safe to get cracking at 8:30 this morning knowing it wouldn't rain but Gale was certainly present as she usually is here on the valley trying to blow me over and make working on the steep slope even more frustrating.

I'm well pleased having now sorted the big pile of garden debris at last; just a few small stumps to dispose of then job done; I shredded the pile and bagged it as seen in the pictures below; loose the material was a big pile but now it's shredded its greatly reduced in volume and is much tidier. (y)

Filling the plastic bags was quite easy in spite of the wind due to using the bucket with the bottom cut out as mentioned previously.

Kind regards, Colin.

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alp

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perhaps the stoats are networking? :)

Quite right!
 

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