Water and compost

It’s a busy time again in the London Road Station Partnership garden. We’re back to the challenge of water. Brighton has had a warm late summer, and there’s been no rain for the past 10 days or so. Our two (and a half) water butts have run dry. We’ve focused our watering on the vegetables and fruit in the gated plot, but yesterday, we tackled the shady triangle.

This area is under a tree canopy and we’ve not watered regularly. Despite several generous mulchings autumn and spring, and our very wet early summer, the soil was rock hard. Yes, it really has been the dryest wettest year on record!

Yesterday, we had to take drastic action and string a long hose from Madeleine’s house to fill up both water butts and give both gardens a thorough soaking. Yes, we need to install at least two more water butts before next spring/summer.

To try to break up the soil and keep it moist, we decided to ‘unpack’ our mature plastic compost bin . We’ve spread some of it on the shady triangle.

The stuff is wonderful – everything that compost should be: moist, friable and bearing no resemblance to the component waste which went into it November to March (see blog 22 March 2012). It’s so lovely it deserved a special photo shoot all of its own.

Our second wooden bin is now full, and can be left to mature until the spring. The black plastic bin is now the ‘active’ one. Given the interest in composting from people living around here, we’ll probably introduce a third bin shortly.

So far, our composting scheme has worked very well, and now we’re seeing the results. We should have enough to spread on the raised beds of the gated plots, once we clear the vegetable plants.

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