Garden – October – 1

Willow Garden is a series exclusive to the Earthly Comforts blog only.
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Main Image Willow Garden 24th October 2022

Saturday afternoon Suze and l and Belinda [car] and the packed bags attempting to take a selfie!
Belinda did well to get all of this inside her boot considering she is not much bigger than a bumblebee herself!

Once that is done then …
Saturday 22nd, Sunday 23rd and Monday 24th
Part 1
Compost sieving and pulling off dregs [larger bits of compost that go through another batch] and preparing bags to shift to allotment.

Saturday 22nd

One of the most significant issues with October in England can be the rains and the dampness. Last year in 2021, we had a very dry autumn leading to the winter period. For 2022 we have had the opposite, very wet autumn. However, it has been mild temperature-wise.

One of the reasons l wanted to get the bulk of the allotment done was so that we could beat the wettest of weather fronts. Technically, l did achieve that, but there are still tasks to be taken to hand and completed.

Currently, l am sitting at the crossroads of limbo land. There are four main projects to be looked at in the next few weeks here in Willow, these being;

1] Willow Garden
2] Plot 17
3] Worm Farming operations
4] Composting operations

All four of these reside within the garden at the house, making it challenging to address them in the proper order. Everything is about babystepping.

We have the needs of Willow Garden and Plot 17 both to sate in a small time window which isn’t getting any larger. The time window, especially for Willow, is by mid-November, whilst Plot 17 is at the end of November. We are fast approaching the end of October, and hindering chores is the weather. Continually raining makes tasks harder to complete.

Before we can progress to the needs of Winter Willow [as in the planting of the necessary to hold her over this time of the year and ready her for the very early Spring], she needs to be an emptier garden space wise which is more complicated as she is holding so much.

On top of that, she is a bit of a jungle foliage-wise at present due to her being placed on the back burner whilst the plot was sorted through. But she is such a busy garden and has so much going on. Only when you stop and look properly at what she was holding for you do you realise how much she did have in here that could and will be moved down to the allotment do you scratch your head in bafflement.

Ultimately, we need a small manageable, easily sustained garden for Willow. We need to ensure that she is not holding more than she needs.

What this means in practicality is Willow will have a spaced garden area with overall colourful prettiness found in easy-to-keep flowerings, ornamental beds with bush, and only a few potted plants, and until a building can be sourced the worm breeding business.

That is all this garden will have – the target is to have it completed by the end of December. That time will also include her being planted, trimmed, pruned, and laid out.

By itself, that is not a monumental task. However, it’s not just that. That’s why everything is a little taxing and, whilst not outright stressful, with the weather front as it is such a profound and significant change from as little as two months ago, it is now making things take longer to achieve.

In all, Willow Garden is the least of the problems, yet because she is at the base of it all, it becomes a little more complicated than you would like.

The composting operation had to be closed down and transferred to Plot 17. I was in the process of working on a batch of hot compost, which hit Day 80 late last week. That meant it could be sieved. Luckily one of the boxes was broken down yesterday by Suze and me after we finished the sieve off in between hard rain showers.

This makes things a lot easier, as this was one of the significant hurdles we had to jump to make progress. This week we will hopefully, weather permitting, be able to cart the necessary bags of compost and compost dregs down to Plot 17.

Ideally, the main task is to make Willow clear from as many of the allotment requirements as possible. She needs to have minimal allotment tasking here. Whilst plot 17 needs everything taken from the garden here not needed and sited correctly down there. Again sounds easy, writes and reads easy enough. Achieving it in poorer weather is not so easy.

The bulk of the main commodity to be moved to the allotment is bags of either dirt, green wastes or compost. We no longer have Betsy at our disposal, but Belinda, who, as cars go, is very accommodating but is a lot smaller. This makes the transfers slower. It also means tying Edward’s car next door to the operation, which means trying to find the right time available for all parties, and that is not easy.

However, we got a vital rubbish tip run completed last Saturday, which Belinda did us proud. But Suze doesn’t want her car getting too messy, which l understand. However, we are in winter, and it’s wet. If l could walk the damn bags down to the allotment myself, l would, but l can’t.

Plot 17, thankfully, is mainly done, but l do have to the soils to add to the raised beds, which are both here and there, and new bags of soil are to be purchased in as well as grounds there are to be raked off the bare earthen areas to be added to the beds as well making for a headache in itself. It cannot be straightforward. Oh no, that would be too easy.

Once that is done and dusted off, the raised beds can be covered with the mats again and pegged down for the winter. Once the entire composting operation is finally transferred, the new composting batches can start. Once Willow is empty of Plot 17 stuff, she can be worked on. Once that is done, the worm business can be reviewed again, and another harvest will start.

Yes, it’s all about once that is done. And Juggling too!

Compost completely sifted and one Compost Bin down. Slowly starting to regain garden space for Willow on the back area.

Sunday 23rd

Setting up the new six-unit compost operation in Plot 17, which currently contains four New Zealand box units, is waiting on the new smaller covers. This new system, once operational, will produce between six to eight tons of compost per twelve months. This will be used in both the allotment as well as for worm bedding.

Finely sieved compost and vermicast produce 19 bags and a combined weight of 700 KG. All lined up and waiting for transfer to the allotment on Tuesday morning.

Both New Zealand compost boxes now down – excellent!

Monday 24th

Thanks for Reading – See you next time.
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21 thoughts on “Garden – October – 1

  1. Wow! You are amazing, Rory! Few would even think of attempting all you have accomplished. Wishing you the best for the rest! Thank goodness you have Suze working with you. Please give her my regards.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s adorable – perfect selfies 👏 Is nice to have photos to remember!! Looks like you guys were enjoying life lol

    I do not know what I would name my car ?

    Blue? Probably Blue because my car makes me think of :

    Omg this year fly by so fast as you count down those months!!

    We could use some of that rain you have !! We seriously always drought conditions

    Do you like the mildness of the temps ?

    Someone told me their neighbor had fire in compost… fire dept say given right conditions that CAN happen – spontaneous combustion? Do you know of this? What do you know of this?

    I just googled 😮

    In regards to your wetness … lol… be thankful is not snow or fire

    You could still work on the willow when raining? What’s a little water ? Then, when done, come inside and have soup and hot chocolate lol

    It’s when it snows / then forget it – you won’t be able to do anything if snows – but rain is nothing

    Could be fun too?

    Can’t wait to see what you do with Willow 👏😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Trisha, we do work with light rain, heavy rain has been the major problem of late – really heavy rain squalls. That stops work. But light rain is easy unless working with compost which then turns to mud and loses effectiveness.

      Yes, running hot composts can cause spontaneous combustion but it also comes down to how to manage the compost itself and how you keep it and if you keep it damp or run the pile dry.

      I keep my heaps aerated and mosit – so the more you turn the pile, the less likelyhood there is of it catching fire 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If is cold rain then yes would suck… and I can see it being difficult in bad weather

        I had no idea on the spontaneous combustion thing 😮 did not know could burst into flames … Wow! Interesting 🧐

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh wow!!! 😮😮

        Do people generally know of this? That this can happen?

        But I suppose if are doing a compost people would do their homework – but as I say that I remember who people are so meh

        That is nuts 😮 those poor families – hope they doing ok 🙏

        So that’s a village… ok

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Sadly, not everyone does know the basics of composting. My neighbour next door was worried about my compost ‘bursting into flames’, l calmed him down when l said l water my pile down every two weeks and it is covered so not in direct sunlight 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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