Sunday, 1 April 2012

Recycling in the veg garden

I've had a bit of a head banging day today, my brain feels as though it has gone to mush. At last I have more or less made my mind up about which route to take on the BIG walk, but knowing me, it won't be finalised untill I actually do it. I have a habit of changing my mind at the last minute. But for now, the proposed route is Morecambe, Carnforth, Kirkby Lonsdale, Ribblehead, Horton, Pen-y-Ghent, Settle, Malham, Grassington, Pateley Bridge, Ripon, Boroughbridge, York, Pocklington, Beverley, Humber Bridge.  This is roughly 150 miles. All the maps are printed, not long now.
I have a baby.....courgette plant. Some of my seeds are growing. I haven't sown many up to now because I have only one window sill to put them on, the cats go on all the others. I will pot a few more up in the next few days, plastic vending cups used.
I bought a new bag of compost, it's a growing bag, cost £1.29 from Aldi. It's organic so it should be good....wrong.
It's crap, mostly wood chippings, looks like it is mainly shredded pallets. Serves me right for buying cheap. Don't buy it.  
It's time for a few running repairs in the garden. I managed to scrounge this shelving unit from B & Q when I worked there, that was over three years ago so it's lasting well. I have been covering it with plastic to make a sort of mini greenhouse type of affair.
This is what I have been using to cover it, a sort of gigantic roll of cling film, it's called shrink wrap and is used to wrap goods onto a pallet in a warehouse. I found some at a car boot sale, the man wanted five pounds, but I knocked him down to £3.50. It's brilliant stuff, stands up to the weather really well. It's two years since I last covered it.
First I put a back on the shelves. I could use the shrink wrap, but to make the job easy, and it's going to be against the side of the garage anyway, I used some white gazebo fabric. Remember when I made ten shopping bags out of the blue stuff I recovered from a skip, this white was from the same piece, but it was too dirty to make into bags. Now it's coming in handy for this job. Tack it on and fix with battens, nail them down.
Then I laid it on it's back, and went round and round several times with the shrink wrap. There is still loads left, I have the home made greenhouse to do next.
Stand it upright, and fill with whatever. I clip a piece of plastic to the front at night to protect plants and seedlings from bad weather.
Not bad at all for saying the shelves were free. In fact everything in my veg garden is made from free reclaimed pallets and timber. I have a garage full of wood of various sizes and lengths. Our Wicks diy store leaves pallets outside their back door, free for anyone who wants to take them away. If you want something for the garden don't buy it, look around and you might find it dumped somewhere. It seems a bit daft to me if you want to grow veg to save money, then spend loads of dosh on greenhouses, raised beds, fancy pots, and suchlike. Defeats the object really, you might as well have not bothered and just gone out and bought the veg. Happy growing.


  1. Great way to make your own greenhouse! I don't buy compost. Am making my own but this year I bought some compost accelerator because I left the composting until now...too late.

  2. It might be worth putting your Aldi compost on your vegetable patch to recycle it. I've recycled all my potting compost from last year in this way - at least it gets used up.

  3. Wow thats some distance. The route you are taking is beautiful though so the miles will fly by. You've got some bottle girl.
    What a great way to make weather proof shelving for the garden.

  4. I recognise Boroughbridge and Ripon, because my Mum was born in B and christened in the cathedral at R.
    We have the same cat problem with window ledges...if there are seedling on THEIR ledges, they sit on the pots and go to sleep.
    Jane x
    PS That is a great greenhouse!

  5. Who will look after the baby courgettes while you are on the long walk?

  6. The shelving from pallets is brilliant!

    I am collecting glass storm doors. Those are glass doors that are on houses that also have a wood door. I don't know what you call those in UK. When you run out of plastic, you could use glass doors for the sides. Okay, some of the doors I collected may be polycarbonate, a better deal because they don't break into a gillion pieces.

  7. I am so glad that you mentioned the aldi grow bags, I was going to buy one or two! You just saved me wasting my money.

  8. It's amazing what you can scrounge together for your garden, isn't it?
    Just thought I'd pop in to say hello and let you know I have started a new blog.
    Shh....don't telll anyone....but Petal got the truck bogged...again! This time it was with a trailer attached and we had to get the tractor to pull it out! Hehe!
    Sue (Maa)

  9. Great shelving unit - it's frustrating here, I regularly walk past the back of B&Q and Homebase and see loads of useable stuff, but you can't touch it ! can't even take a cardboard box - the staff come out and slap your wrists if you do, they must have someone sitting at a desk watching a cctv of the loading area ! same with the recycling centres here - you can't take a thing !
    I had some lightweight plastic greenhouses but the wind finished them off last year, no good recovering them, they will just take off like a balloon, ev en when they're tied down, so I just use them as shelves now.
    Same problem here with 6 cats ! nowhere is safe to put anything without it being sat on !
    I got some bags of chicken manure this week from freecycle -

  10. the shelving unit looks good, is this the longest walk so far, looking forward to seeing the photos x

  11. Hi Becky, Yep, the longest walk. Will take the net book so hopefully posting as I go, when the signal allows.

    Wean, yes it's annoying when things are thrown which could be used. I hate going to my council dump because I want to bring away more stuff than I take. Have to catch the drivers while they still have it in their car.

    Hi Sue, Nice pictures on your blog. Thanks for popping in to tell us.

    FL UK. Probably best to spend a bit more money on decent compost. I only wanted it to start my seeds off. I have used some, we shall see if anything will grow in it. The rest I will spread out on the beds.

    Hi D U Y H. My cat sitter will hopefully water the baby plants, I'll leave them close to the house, with a watering can, so she doesn't have to traipse down the garden.

    Hi Joyfull, I have a compost heap in the corner of the garden behind the garage, which has been rotting away since last year. The bag was to pot up some seeds and hopefully give them a good start. Maybe I would be better off using my home made.

    Sorry, I have to reply in a block. My customised template does not allow me to reply to each individual comment. You can reply to each other, if you like :o)

  12. I hope that your walk doesn't coincide with the forecast bad weather.

  13. Hi, de-lurking to say thank you very much for the advice about the Growbags - I was going there tomorrow to get some but I'll go to B&Q to get some now!!

  14. I've been thinking a lot about what you said on Thursday about losing weight. I really need to lose weight myself, and was wondering about joining weightwatchers online, although it is expensive. Anyway, more and more I am trawling through your 'concoctions' and getting ideas for simple, cheap healthy meals, which is very helpful.
    I would love to know, how did you lose weight, and what do you think is the best way to go about it?
    I am also walking more, inspired by your walks, but I suffer with metatarsalgia in my feet, so they become very painful and achey quickly, probably due to the excess weight.
    Anyway, any advice would be very welcome, thanks a lot Ilona.

  15. Hello Jayne. I can't really comment about Weight Watchers, but I think it works for some people because of the support you get from others in the same situation. I'm not sure how it could work online though, plenty of opportunity to cheat if no one can see you in the flesh. I tend to think they have added this extra service as a way to make extra money for themselves. Perhaps the very over weight people who are too shy to attend a meeting might be more inclined to sign up. But at the end of the day, you don't lose weight by spending money, you lose it by eating less of the wong food, more of the right food, and exercising more.

    I was always a skinny kid and didn't notice the pounds piling on untill I was in my thirties. I was stuffing my face with loads of junk, sweets, cakes, crisps and biscuits. Every single day I would treat myself, eat till I was feeling sick, bordering on binge eating.

    My clothes became very tight, I had to buy bigger sizes. I tried proper diets but couldn't stick to them. I felt deprived, and felt sorry for myself, so I had some chocolate to cheer myself up.

    I was only about two stone overweight, but I felt horrible. I had a fat arse and couldn't fasten my jeans up. Losing it came gradually. I started to slow down with the junk food, to eat less. Started to think about why I was eating, it was usually to cheer myself up because I was having a bad time at work, or going through difficult times with a relationship. Comfort eating if you like.

    I eventually realised that I could take control of my weight if I wanted to. I could say no to chocolate, it was hard and I failed a few times, but over a period of a year or two I ate less and less junk. I also stopped eating meat. More sensible eating really.

    Now I see chocolate and cake and biscuits as poison. They do nothing to sustain my body, empty calories of fat, sugar, and salt, which clog up the arteries and pile on the pounds. Oh, I allow myself a little taste of chocolate, or the odd packet of biscuits, but I don't eat cake or pies any more. Now when I go shopping I think good grief, I couldn't eat that.

    I don't know what to suggest to you Jayne, but I wouldn't spend money on trying to lose weight. Forget the word diet, they don't work, but try and think about what you are putting in your mouth, and the reason why you are putting it in there.

    You body needs good food to keep it alive, it doesn't need junk because that will kill you. Good luck, let me know what you decide to do.

  16. Hi Ilona, got my first courgette seedlings this morning - its so exciting! Peas have been coming on a while now, salad leaves doing well too, I can't wait to be eating them. I've sown some spinach but still waiting. Tomatoes were a disaster last year so thinking shall I shan't I? I have been wanting a greenhouse for years but can't afford one and have been looking out on freecycle with no luck. But guess what! When we moved into this house the garden had some old pallets that I kept hold of because they looked useful I wonder if I could make some kind of cold frame with them... you've given me an idea. Thanks for the tipoff re aldi growbags. I bought some from B&Q and thought they were pretty good for £1 not too many woody bits. Debs x


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