Category Archives: Gardening

Horse manure as fertiliser

We finally got our allotment after what must have been a 2 years queue. This is how the allotment area looks like (not how our plot of land looks like though 🙁 at least not yet). We would certainly like our plot to look somewhat like that, but it will almost certainly requre a lot of work. Now that the little one is coming out quite soon, I really wonder if we can keep the land at a respectable state!Anyway I went to a stable where my colleague keeps his pony and horse to collect some horse manure as fertiliser for our allotment yesterday. Apparently the horse manure is cleared out together with the horse bedding everyday. My colleague is currently changing the bedding twice everyday! Because his horse has strained one of her muscles or tendons. Really high maintenance to keep a horse is it not? Which in a way makes me a little more committed to do well on the allotment. As surely I can afford to spare some time for the allotment as well?Fortunately the bedding my colleague use for his animals is made up of straws and hays. Because if sawdust or wood shavings are used instead, the manure and bedding mixture is not going to be suitable for use as fertiliser directly. Whilst the horse manure is good to use as fertiliser, the sawdust or wood shavings are not crop friendly. Apparently when wood breaks down in the soil a nitrogen deficiency occurs, which stunts the growth of crops. There are ways to combat this, like adding nitrogen fertiliser. But we obviously are not interested in such extra activities :)Bags of “black gold” that look almost like soil were dug from the bottom of the manure and hay “mountain” yesterday. Very satisfied. Will work on the allotment in anger from next week once we get our car this coming Tuesday!

Growing sunflowers

It’s been quite a hectic month. Travelled with my family, in a group of 7, to Scandinavia and Poland. Travelling up and down London for work, and meeting up with friends as well…So am really looking forward to this weekend, to indulge myself a bit of “relaxation” 🙂 It’s spring time and I’ve just planted some sunflower seeds my colleague gave me last year to four small pots this evening. I’m determined to grow some strong, healthy sunflowers this year as last year all the sunflowers I planted all died, except one. And that sunflower wasn’t flowering that well either. Just the one flower to show for. Very disappointing.

I’m all excited this year as well as I’m finally using compost from our compost bin, for the first time, to grow stuff. Not using a lot though as a lot of the stuff I put into our compost bin have not fully composted yet. A mistake on my part for not having read up on how to start a compost bin. I was too naive to think that I can just throw in organic stuff and they will decompose quickly. I mean they will still decompose, but not at the rate I was hoping for (like a wormery). I hope I have not killed some of the native earthworms, which I put in whenever I found them in my garden :p Well because the organic stuff, mostly left over vegetables and fruits, I put into the compost bin may be a bit too acidic for the earthworms.Anyway, my sunflower seeds should be germinating as we speak now. Need to make some rooms in my little backyard to accommodate the sunflowers soon 🙂