Composting Wood Chippings

Composting wood chippings to add to soil humus and digging over for the winter. Liming as well

Finally it isn’t raining and I have some spare time. In fact it has been a really nice sunny day, if a little chilly. After a busy week tied to the computer, I really needed some fresh air and exercise.

As I arrived the allotment rep was leaving and I had the whole site to myself all afternoon. Peaceful, although a gossip does give a good excuse for a break.

Composting Wood Chippings

Someone has tidied up the piles of wood chippings the council drop into a large pile – I think it was the chap from plot 1 who has a mini JCB. I finished the path to the compost heaps on plot 29 and then put about 6 barrow loads into the base of the empty compost bin.

The big pile was steaming and quite hot in the centre so I tried to get as much from there as I could. Added a good 2 litres of my home produced compost activator (best quality wee) to the chippings and a good load of sulphate of ammonia and then turned the full bin into this one. Added a few more barrow loads of chippings as I went along and more activator.

The now empty bin had 4 barrow loads of chippings and more sulphate of ammonia placed into the bottom and will have leaves for the winter.

I’m pretty organic but the wood chippings need a hefty dose of nitrogen to break them down in reasonable time. Hence the Sulphate of Ammonia.

Digging Over & Lime

Next I finished digging over the patch in front of the heaps where the sweetcorn, squash and pumpkins grew. The soil here is pretty good but, like most of plot 29, acid. So I applied about 8oz of lime per square yard. Probably be good for brassicas next year.

By the time I had done this the sun was dropping below the trees in the west and I was completely cream crackered. Just time to take an inspection tour before trudging back home.

The deep bed where I sprayed the Mares Tail last week was looking different. It’s all brown, shrivelled and dead. Hopefully the ammonium sulphamate (Amcide) has been taken to the roots and my Mares Tail problem is over.

Next to the patch where the runner and french beans were earlier. The autumn planted onions and garlic are popping their heads up on half of it and the field beans (green manure ) have germinated on the other half.

The patch where I planted field beans in September is covered well although it looks like last nights frost has caused some collapsing. Digging these in is not a priority, though.

So, one small patch of super-solid clay left to turn over on Plot 29 and I can leave it for the winter. A quick survey of plot 5.. oh there’s lots to do here. Weeds have gone mad.

Forecast is good for tomorrow so I hope to get a fair bit done.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary

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