Along Came Polly

Plot 17 – The Earthly Comforts Garden

Recovering Plot 17
Along Came Polly

Diary 15th September – 03rd October

Polly Plot

15th September 2022

As a subplot, Polly was easy to complete over a minimal period of a single morning. As long as the preparatory work was performed before, then the truth is all the jobs for a given period could be easily achieved.

The most challenging task from all of the grounds in plot 17 has been the de-pebbling and extracting rubbish from poorly sifted compost.

I get it that many composters don’t wish to burden themselves with hot composting. Still, many composters do not want the task of sifting either, so much of the time, a completed compost that is good enough to use on and in the soil is shovelled out of the pile and applied directly.

That’s fine; however, l have noticed that many composters prefer to use the sifted content that l produce but can’t abide by the length of time it takes to procure.

I have noticed, especially on the allotment, that whilst there are many compost bins and piles within pallets tucked away, nobody is practising any form of hot composting. Truth be known, not even cold composting, just having heaps of discarded green wastes lying around their plots, eventually breaking down.

I believe there is tons of cold compost broken down on many plots waiting to be used, yet all the gardeners want is the more straightforward approach found in horse manure. This content is dropped off in 5-ton quantities once a month from a local horse stable, and as soon as it arrives, the gardeners all hurry out with their wheelbarrows and fetch the required amount. They then store it in bags or Dalek bins for X period, ready to use the following year.

Horse manure is okay, l like hot composting it down and can have it ready to use in a shorter time, but l don’t like to rely on one form of compost only. Many do, however, use one type. There are problems to be had with only using horse manure, and where one can, gardeners should also adopt the practice of creating home-produced compost and utilising other styles.

I prefer to hot compost horse manure over simply allowing it to cold compost and sit for up to 9 months, as many gardeners do. One of my concerns with cold composting the waste is that any seeds still present can and will germinate, whilst heated compost practices eliminate this.

Moving along, Polly was ready after the initial clearing and hoeing. As l plan to place a polytunnel on this site, l will bark chip the area to a depth of 4 cm. It is a large area measuring 23 feet long and 8 feet wide in useable space. I say this because although there are currant bushes to one side in the Stripper, the entire row is to be removed, blueberry shrubs are to be sited here as replacements, and a walking pathway will be introduced from the side.

So the polytunnel looking to be purchased will probably be around eighteen feet long by six high by eight feet wide, although perhaps just six will be sufficient. I can’t tell until the currants are out and the area is cleaned up. Either way, it will be a good length to work in, and l may also choose to lay some slabs.

Inside the tunnel will be shelving for working on and having seedlings growing as well as some small raised beds for internal crops that need covering like peppers, cucumbers, spinaches and some herbs. Also, l plan to have a couple of scattering water harvest bins, so the water is always at a reasonable temperature and just some general storage space in addition to the shed and the tool caddy.

We had thought of attempting to site guttering along the tunnel. However, this can prove cumbersome, difficult to attach, and not always as rewarding as other systems’ harvesting results.

Anyway, that’s for another day. For the moment, Polly is now done.

Polly Plot

16th September 2022

Looking down the Polly Plot from the bottom towards the gate.

Polly Plot

23rd September 2022

The many changes of Polly over the course of the morning of Friday 23rd from messy to finally being pebble and rubbish free and weeded out.

Polly wasn’t a complex plot to work on, but she came with her obstacles anyway. There are always pebbles, stones, and broken bricks to take from the ground alongside invasive weeds like bindweed and horsetail. I am not worried about hot composting the likes of bindweed, but horsetail can be pretty determined even with high temperatures, so l tend to throw that out directly.

You can make a bug repellant with it, and l might do that sometime next year as l have the weed tucked away in a separate containment with water to drown it. So l will look at that again.

One of the biggest problems with this plot was only a tiny twelve feet long section was used to grow potatoes in whilst the remainder was left as waste space, and there was debris around the area both in and on top of the soil. Plastics, metals, ceramic earthenware fragments, and fabrics had to be removed.

From this to this!

I will see you again with another episode of Recovering Plot 17.

Thanks for reading.

Published by The Autistic Composter

Earthly Comforts is a wildlife journaling scrapbook focusing on the countryside, wildlife biodiversity and environmental conservation, flora and fauna volunteering projects, gardening, composting and vermiculture, inspiration, poetry and photography.

17 thoughts on “Along Came Polly

  1. For me, the biggest problem with horse manure is the medications given to horses (especially stabled horses) – it has to come out somewhere, and hot composting is the only way to be sure that what’s left is ‘green’ enough to be called ‘organic’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Cage and that is precisely it – is both the possibility of consumed herbicides and then the worm meds on top and others if as you say they are stabled horses. I have issues with that.

      Hot composting and hitting those desired higher temperatures work well on eliminating those problems.

      The gardeners over here are happy to simply dump the manure into a bin and say the cold compost process will eliminate and l don’t believe that is the case.

      The manure l have seen here has shavings present and straw, that tells me that at some point these horses are indeed stabled.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I so wish you could come do my enormous yard … the more I see the more I want lol

    I’m trying to figure out how to do myself with my chest… I am nervous 😟

    I am not green thumb and I can’t do heavy duty things ☹️

    If I threw some graves on my front yard right now – it would look like old ancient cemetery lol

    St. Patricia’s lol 👏 thank god is halloween time lol

    I have to get some graves lol

    Liked by 1 person

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