Posts Tagged ‘compost’

How to Make a Compost Bin from Pallets [video]

January 12th, 2017 | The flower garden, The vegetable garden | 0 Comments

Compost bin from old palletsInstead of buying a compost bin, why not get creative and make your own compost bin from pallets? This post and instructional video will teach you how to use old wooden pallets to make your own, to help you grow your own. 

If you’ve been left with lots of plant debris, then a compost heap can be the perfect solution. Turning your garden waste into composts will give you some great soil-nourishment for free.  By creating a compost bin from pallets you can make a contained area for your compost ensuring the garden still looks tidy and attractive.

What you need:

  • Four wooden pallets (ideally matching sizes)
  • Four corner brackets
  • Box of screws
  • Drill & screwdriver
  • Four hinges
  • Two pairs of hook-and-eye latches
  • Saw

What to do:

  1. Assemble the walls. Ensure all the pallets are the same size, if not use your saw to cut them down to the same width.
  2. Begin joining three of the pallets together to create the back and sides. Stand them up, lean them against each other and screw them together to hold them in place. The two side walls should be flush with the width of the rear wall.
  3. Now use the corner brackets. Simply screw two brackets to each corner, one at the top & one at the bottom. Use as many screws as you need to firmly attach the pallets into position.
  4. The fourth pallet is used to make the two doors. Cut the pallet into two about halfway up.
  5. Use two hinges per door, attaching the hinges on the outside. Set the bottom door slightly off the ground to stop it from catching.
  6. Leave a slight gap between the bottom and top doors.
  7. Finally, you must attach the hook and latches. Screw them into place towards the top of each door.
  8. You can include an outside wrap of chicken wire of netting. This stops contents escaping the bin. Attach wire with U-shaped nails or a staple gun.

There you have it! A new compost bin. If you have any further composting tips then please share them with us. Be sure to watch the video below for further details on how to create this great compost bin.

How to fix compost problems

February 10th, 2015 | The flower garden, The vegetable garden | 0 Comments

wooden composterIn this video we give you tips on how to fix compost problems.  If you have smelly, slimy or slow composting bins then watch the video and learn how to turn your compost into something sweet smelling and nutritional for your garden.

Perfect compost has a fine texture and a sweet, earthy smell, a little like a forest floor.  Home-made mature compost is a valuable and free way of added vital nutrients back into your garden and so getting compost making right is a skill to learn!

Excess moisture in your compost bin is a common problem that makes your bin smell and is commonly caused by excess of grass clippings or other ‘fresh’ materials added to the heap that blocks out air circulation.  Good greens (fresh materials) and browns (dry materials) mixed at the right quantities enable good air circulation and good decomposition so try to get the mix right, or take steps to turn the contents of your compost bins in order to introduce enough air gaps to aid the rotting process.

An excess of grass clippings added to your compost can also cause it to be covered in a slimy mat of clippings that won’t break down, so don’t add too much at once.  Use excess grass clippings instead as a weed suppressing mulch on your beds.  Slow decomposition is often due to too much acidity in the heap – adding alkalinity through materials such as wood ash or lime will help bring the balance back to your heap and start the materials breaking down again.

Watch the video to learn more about these tips and more and get your composting technique perfected.

Feeding your plants for free video tips

June 16th, 2014 | The flower garden, The vegetable garden | 0 Comments

First red strawberryThere are many commercial products available for feeding your plants with, but you can’t beat making your own organic fertilizer, at home and for free.

Plants require three main elements for good health:

  • Nitrogen – for green leafy growth
  • Phosphorus – for healthy root and shoot growth
  • Potassium – for flowering, fruiting and general hardiness

Balanced fertilisers will have equal ratios of the above elements, whereas specialist fertilisers for fruits and veg will have more potassium.  But you don’t have to buy fertilisers for feeding your plants through the growing season when you can make them for free.

  • Make comfrey liquid feed with the leaves from Comfrey plants, ensure to dilute the feed 15 to 1 with water before applying to your plants.  (or you can use nettles to the same effect)
  • Use grass clippings, high in nitrogen and potassium, as a mulch on your vegetable plot.
  • Wood ash is high in potassium and can be used on the soil in the autumn or in the compost heap, but due to its alkalinity should be used with caution in some parts of the garden.

In this video we explain the basics of plant nutrition, how this differs from plant to plant and what to look for when buying commercial feed. We demonstrate how to make your own fertilizer, and show how to use wood ash and grass cuttings to boost soil health.