Horse manure.


Colin

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Hi,

I'm pleased to add an update alp which I hope you and others will find interesting.

I've been viewing lots of YouTube gardening videos and looking at composting and mulching etc;


I was surprised to come across a similar idea to mine regarding bag filling but the one in the video is even better. Please see the video at 3:12 minutes and watch how this guy fills his bag; all I need to do is to remove the bottom of my container and follow his lead; I love simple solutions. :)

I wonder if this will also work whilst filling bin bags with garden debris such as brambles and holly which always rip the bag? :unsure:

Kind regards, Colin.
 
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alp

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What a clever idea! Yes, you can just saw the bottom of any bucket rather than holding the side of the bag whilst fiddling with the spade and its content.

For brambles or any sticks, I now use the lawnmower to go over them so that they become so much smaller and they will biodegrade much faster. Well, actually my son does it now. This gives me an excuse to get him out of bed at 7.30 to catch the Economy 7. I used to use my shredder, but the blessed gadget was always stuck with whatnots. It was very costly and noisy to run as well. Now, when I trim some stringy plants like blackberry, loganberry or ivy, I would put them aside and when they build up to a sizeable amount, out comes the lawnmower... That way, I also free up room in my compost bins, talking of which I need to move them somewhere else so that they can stay on level ground ..
 

Colin

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Hi,

Thanks alp; strange isn't it how the simplest of ideas appear to work best? I like your style in getting your son out of bed to attack the debris with the lawnmower. :)

On another forum a guy who has lots of brash from tree felling etc says he piles it up then goes at it with his petrol hedge trimmer to break it up making it easier to handle.

I bought a Bosch AXT 25 D shredder and put this to good use; the heavier branches and logs go to neighbours for their wood-burners. Ideally the Bosch shredding head ought to be attached to a huge bin because its drawer fills quickly but it does the job although home garden shredding does take a lot of time unlike the industrial shredders where anything can be thrown in and it rapidly gets shredded. One of these would be useful but then I'd need a bulldozer to make good the churned up land; I love big machines.


I've managed this morning to spread some of the horse manure and I'll let it winter before digging in; I hope I'm doing this correctly; its amazing how much manure these two beds have accepted.

Kind regards, Colin.

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alp

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Hi, Colin, Can I call you chatterbox!?:eek::D

We sometimes call one another chatterbox, but we don't want people to think we are cliquey as we are not.

Well, I am no expert, but the general trend or ethos of no-dig is that we shouldn't disturb the microbes already in the soil. So it is recommended not to dig anything in. If you watch the Beechgrove garden on iplayer, you will see the presenters discussing the advantages of no-dig as digging disturbs beneficial habitants in the soil, including worms whose cast has untold benefits to the soil.

My soil is clay and also I found tons of rubbles and broken slabs underneath my garden patch. But as I get older, I love the ethos of no-dig as much as old Jim, the 81 year old presenter.

Now, people just put cardboards on top to suppress weeds and add top soil to the garden ..
 

Colin

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Hi,

Of course you can call me chatterbox alp and I think well suited to me. Cliquey no way just friendly and hopefully helpful.

Many thanks for your information and I'll take heed by not digging in so I'm pleased I asked; I have lots to learn about gardening but I have been watching many YouTube videos regarding no dig gardening; these as you rightly say show cardboard being laid with lots of mulch placed on top. I just wondered if I needed to dig in because I'm using the horse manure; I've not laid cardboard under the manure?

I've never heard of the Beechgrove Garden previously so you are light years ahead of me; iplayers and iphones etc plus most of the modern electronics like tablets and mobile phones are way over my head; I still struggle with our TV remotes but I think its mostly because I have zero interest in such things; I'm a true dinosaur having never been on a plane and I've only ever been abroad twice; once to Scotland and once to Wales. However I've owned a computer for over 18 years so there's hope? ;)

Working so hard in order to bag up this horse manure and get it home then hurt myself getting the bags over our garden wall then dragging it down the garden today in a tub and trying to spread it has finally convinced me it's not worth it; I've grafted for the last 55 years and enough is enough. I've been looking at our lawn which is more moss than grass and have decided this too is no longer acceptable so its got to go; a lot of the garden is shaded by big trees so I think whatever I do to the lawn I'm just going to be repeating it every year; today I've sown Ajuga seeds in plug trays and I've already got lavender coming up; I'm going to create a totally different garden.

I've placed an advert asking for free wood chips from any tree surgeon working in our area; every year we have lots of tree surgeons working locally and these even pester us to have our trees worked on; I'm now after loads of wood chips which I'll spread as a deep mulch over the lawn; wood chips are much lighter and certainly more friendly to handle than sticky wet horse manure. With wood chips I can get a load dumped in our driveway then wheelbarrow the load up into our side garden then do the mulching at my leisure; access to the top of our garden from the narrow lane is poor through the laurels and over the wall also we live on a steep valley side so any work I do in our gardens is hard graft.

Yes I'm definitely a chatterbox but I'm never bored; the horse manure is free but in reality it's just too much time and effort; talk about look a gift horse in the mouth?

Now at 70 I want to enjoy our gardens but I also have a well kitted workshop I want to play in; if I give up eating and sleeping I might have a bit more time each day; being retired sure keeps me fully occupied.

Kind regards, Colin.
 

alp

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Hahaha! 70 and starting to lug horse manure .. Nobody can beat you on passion. The reason I prefer flexitub is because I don't fill them to the beam, so I just got them out and my son at the other end of the garage and will take them to the back of the garden. Bags I will have to drag.

There will he worms in t he horse manure and you just leave it in open air for the worms to work its magic.

If you copy and paste

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b096s1v6/the-beechgrove-garden-2017-episode-24 into your laptop, it will bring the episode up.

Don't over-stretch yourself and pause to enjoy yourself. Grow something easy and something not so fussy .. you will find gardening not taxing at all. I think you have worked too much and too hard. Space yourself out and relax. When you get your woodchips and manure, just put down some cardboards if there is grass or weeds underneath. It's a long learning curve and I am still learning. I'm no gardener .. learn and share and that's it.
 

Colin

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Hi,

Many thanks alp for your continuing useful tips and suggestions which I do appreciate.

The main problems with our rear garden are the steep slope and poor access; If I put something down it wants to immediately disappear to the valley bottom; just standing and walking up the garden gives me a good workout. I'm going to go the wood chips mulch route though and am now listening for tree surgeons working locally.

I've spread a good layer of material I shredded all the way up the border where I removed the conifer hedge and this is working a treat; on the surface its turned a lovely rich brown colour blending into the garden well but if I look beneath the surface its black as nature gets to work on it. I am very wary of using cardboard before mulching because given the steepness of the garden it could prove dangerous and I might end up at the valley bottom on a cardboard/mulch sled? Simply adding mulch though gives plenty of grip and its nice to walk on too. Bron and I have watched a number of YouTube videos showing the cardboard method and this works well where it can be employed.

You know a great deal more than I do regarding gardening alp; I've only attacked our gardens on a need to do basis over the years just to stop everything growing out of control; I have a big petrol hedge trimmer and a 20" petrol chainsaw both get well used. Yes you are of course right in that it would be beneficial for me to ease back and take it a bit more leisurely and I wish I could because its such sound advice; in reality I have to crack on with all the big jobs as time permits and of course the dire weather causes no end of problems.

It beats me why scientists stare through giant telescopes looking at black holes this costing huge amounts of money when all they really need to do is to visit Yorkshire; it's a black hole again as I type with the usual rain. This weather is dire the year round.

Everlasting sunshine.JPG


The picture above isn't taken in the depths of winter; it's our front room receiving a comprehensive makeover in August (summer?) 2015 at around 1pm. I was installing the power sockets and paneling.

I'm indebted to you alp for suggesting Beechgrove Garden; both Bron and I had never previously heard of this excellent TV series; I hooked the computer up to our TV this morning and we watched an episode of Beechgrove Garden and we are both impressed; we particularly liked the question time which was most informative; on this YouTube link there are 96 videos so plenty more for us to watch; we've been watching Gardeners World which we like but the question time on Beechgrove Garden is a real bonus. (y)

I also now know what iPlayer is; its one of the apps on our TV; we never bother with normal TV unless its something we like such as a gardening program or Grand Designs so the apps are totally ignored; we lead a very simple and basic but happy life. :)

I'm still only five years old in my head; my toys are bigger but I'm still climbing our big trees to "top" them and heavy jobs I break down into smaller sections; bringing lots of brash down the garden to the shredder is much easier if I lay a tarpaulin on the ground then pile on the brash the tarpaulin then becomes a sledge using gravity in my favour. A ski lift would be useful?

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I'd love to find an easy job here but am still looking after 30 years; Before I could build my new garden hut I had to remove the rest of the hedge this being brambles; holly, conifer and berberis. The holly was big and mature being in the worst possible place meaning to remove the stump and roots involved taking down a section of garden wall; waging a terrific war on the stump; rebuild the wall; dig a wedge out of the mountain and lay big paving slabs then I could think about the hut after installing a new fence?

Kind regards, Colin.
 

alp

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Chatterbox!

Why not cut the garden in tiers.. ? Like Upton House garden





All in tiers. You mustn't use any cardboards or they end up in your neighbours' gardens!
 
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Colin

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Hi,

Thanks for your suggestion alp regarding tiering our mountain. One of our neighbours spent a great deal of money and so much time digging to tier his garden he now has back problems; he made a superb job of it but because our rear gardens slope upwards when I looked at his all I could see were walls; had I been looking downhill then yes it would very nice; I know the walls can be covered in time to hide them. Another neighbour used his JCB bucket to do the hard work but Bron and I like the look of our steeply sloping garden it being very natural. Our immediate neighbour also has her rear garden on a number of levels but with lots and lots of steps.

Thanks for adding the pictures; I'll not use cardboard for mulching or I might end up surfing? :)

I've now got a big pile of snowberry; holly and brambles etc to shred but I've no chance of shredding today given the gale force wind coming up the valley bringing some rain with it; the wind has a chill factor to it this morning.

At the moment alp I'm fighting my way to find the ground as seen in the pictures below; even our laurels were 30' tall; I'm making a lot of progress though and my chainsaw has seen lots of action; I bought a cheap shredder from Screwfix and gave this a lot of use but then I bought a much bigger garden shredder this being a Bosch and this too has shredded huge plies of brash.

I try to take things a bit easier but faced with this overgrown garden I've really got to get stuck in because if I did take it easy say a few hours a day the stuff I cut back is growing rapidly behind my back; I've also just spent the last 30 years doing big heavy work on the bungalow from replacing foul drains right up to replacing the entire roof and chimney stack above roof level; the jobs are never ending but no way am I complaining because I love to be busy.

Our rear garden is so natural it invites lots of wild life; we have two badgers visit each night on their rounds also a few years ago a pair of fox cubs were regular visitors one shown in the picture. We had a golden pheasant as a regular visitor but fortunately this has since been caught and is now safely in a sanctuary.

I get annoyed by the dire weather we suffer here on the valley side; today I'm unable to do any work in the garden due to high wind and rain; this is our normal pattern so once the weather eases up I'm out working like someone off his head.

We also suffer storm damage to our trees as seen in the picture; this was a beautiful 80' tall specimen conifer I ended up felling the lot and shredding it.

My plan is to cut back but to leave the big trees and conifers etc but to plant around them and also apply lots of mulch doing away with the lawn which would always be very poor given the shade from the big trees. If only this dire weather would quit but I can dream on.

Kind regards, Colin.

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