More fun with wood chips

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More fun with wood chips

I noticed that the pile at the end of the garden under a shrub was rotting down nicely and going black and a little crumbly, so I decided to mulch some of the garden with it. I didn’t want the mulch to interfere with any seedlings in the spring so I used it to mulch my overwintering broad beans. Earlier this year I emptied my compost heap and spread all 0.71 cubic metres of it as mulch on my backyard. So now with the wood chips I have made 0.87 cubic metres of hopefully nutrient rich mulch solely from resources within my garden or waste from the house. The wood chips came from a tree at the end of the garden which is getting in the way of my light so I pollard its (small) branches every year and I still have more chips to go, a pile I had under a rhubarb forcer that failed to rot down even though I added buckets of urine to it.

So a valuable lesson was learned: wood chips rot down quicker in a two inch layer on the ground with no amendments than piled up in a column with litres of urine added to it. I think it is the contact with the soil and through that contact fungi that makes it rot down quicker. I found some white strands just under the surface and I am told this is what rots wood down in nature. I would add though that I covered the rhubarb forcer with its lid which may have prevented it rotting down. It may be worth trying again, this time letting the elements get to the stuff.

This damn winter is everlasting, but its end is not very many months away. It is time therefore to get the electric propagator out and start sowing seeds indoors. I have of course splurged out on many, many seeds that I will never, ever sow; but this is my kind of retail therapy and what is a couple of quid between friends?. I have gone chilli and pepper crazy including two new rocoto peppers, one of which is described as “mild”: remember a rocoto is as hot as a habanero. So why not just grow a mild chilli, I hear you ask? Well, the rocoto can take -5 celsius which could possibly make it a perennial in this south of England garden, with the help of a little fleece and a protective wall. Anyway hope springs eternal.

I have also bought some sea beet from Magic Garden Seeds in Germany, which is basically perpetual spinach but actually perpetual (a perennial variety). I am very excited about this one. It is the plant you will see all around Britain’s coastline. I have resorted to sending to Germany for seed because it is illegal for me to dig one up.

Tata for now…

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