About my garden

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Autumn Composting

I spent my weekend in the garden, which is the first time I have done that for many weeks. It was lovely.
I could discern the difference I had made by the end and my garden looks cared for again, if a little overblown. I filled up my green waste wheelie bin but also put plenty of waste in my own compost. 
I found very many seeding weeds around so, of course, they can't go into the compost heap, unless you want to proliferate the weeds next year and they do well enough on their own.The rest of what went in there was big twiggy prunings, perennial weeds and general waste when I wasn't organised enough to separate it.

This is my comfrey which is looking a little sad now. It has some mildew and the leaves are starting to die off. I cut a few leaves to go in my comfrey tower, for a bit more liquid  feed,and cut the rest to the ground to add to the compost. Mildews are particular to each kind of plant and only live on live plants so are safe to add to compost.
There is quite a lot of dry material at this time of year. If you add plant material from the garden which you are cutting down, it's a good idea to mix it up with grass clipping, veg waste, comfrey or similar green waste so you get a good mix of green and brown. The composting will slow down from now on but a good mix will help it on.
The other plant I added, which I have never been able to do before, was tomato plants. I cut some of them down but NONE of them have blight yet. I get blight every year but not usually until September ( they are grown in a greenhouse). This year, not yet! I put it down to the very dry weather. So I was confident enough to add the plants to my heap, which will add a good bit of green.
The problem I did have with them was whitefly. I always grow tagetes in the greenhouse as it is reputed to repel whitefly by smell. This year all my tagetes plants were eaten by slugs. In and out of the greenhouse! Strangely one end of the greenhouse was badly affected by whitefly and the other end not much at all. The Green Grape tomatoes are still producing madly and the plants are healthy so I have left them.

They are more plum size than grape and are ripe when they are a yellowy green. They started late but now I have had baskets and baskets of them.
I have tried to spread matured compost on spare bits of ground but haven't found many yet. I pulled up some courgette and squash plants which had gone over but I am still getting a few beans so don't want to take them out yet. It's a case of waiting and hoping the you have time and reasonable weather to tidy up later. I still have another wooden heap to dig out so perhaps that will be a good Autumn job when I have some spare ground.

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