Tuesday 31 March 2020

The Kindness Of Friends & Neighbours.

A big thank you to my neighbour Anthea Schmid-Walters and her husband who live in the flats three properties down from my home, and also happen to be friends that are also Allotment Site Reps for an allotment site in the London Borough of Sutton. 

Their allotment site is much larger than mine and happens to have a Trading Hut. They saw my post the other day about making compost and not having enough and offered to pick me up some.

This afternoon they dropped me off three sacks of Super Organic Multi-Purpose Compost on my drive, on their way home from their visit to their allotment plot. Hopefully that will keep me going and there is an offer to pick me up more should I need it. Only a gardener/ allotment holder can know how good this made me feel. 

The neighbours who live behind us as I live on the junction of two roads also left a note in our letter box with a picture of a rainbow done by their children with an offer from them to help, should we need it.  

Who says the old British spirit of pulling together and helping neighbours in times of crisis went after the second world war!   

I many just be able to keep some form of mental stability if I can grow in the back garden during these times of Isolation and Shielding my wife and I from the outside world and this Virus.    

Mr Fothergill's Customer Update

Service Update 31.03.20

Dear valued customers, families and friends,

Don’t worry we haven’t forgotten you.

We’re sorry it’s taking so long to send your order; over the last 14 days we have seen a 10-fold increase in demand.

Many of our brilliant and experienced warehouse team have had to temporarily leave us to look after their children or because their age made them more vulnerable. In other safeguarding measures, we have had to close our call centre and stop taking phone calls and have adopted distance working rules.

What are we doing about it? To create more space, we have had to completely clear an existing warehouse. We have ordered and installed extra racking, packing benches, computer equipment, scanners, and electrics and have had to move lots of stock!

From tomorrow we will be moving to 24hr despatch. We have had to recruit new people to help on these extra shifts, who need training and support. Our depleted warehouse team have been split accordingly and will take a bit of time to get up to speed. And with important distance working and hygiene measures, everything takes longer too.

We are doing our best under very challenging circumstances; we know how important gardening is especially now in these difficult times. We desperately want to get your order to you as quickly as possible, but we’re sorry that you may have to wait longer still.

We send oldest orders first and are currently despatching ones placed up to 21st March. Even in these unprecedented times, some customers will find this unacceptable and for that we apologise. If you do wish to cancel your order, please click here and get in touch.

If you can wait a bit longer, it’ll be worthwhile. We will get to your order and we think the measures we’ve introduced will start to speed things up soon.

We thank you for your patience and understanding and wish you all the best and good health.

Please stay safe and well.

John and Dave

Sunday 29 March 2020

Making 100 Hour Candles

I'm not quite ready to trial my BioGreen Firefly and their candles, but if you don't have any here is an alternative you can make and trial with terracotta pots to keep your greenhouse frost free. 

Saturday 28 March 2020

Composting at Home Under Lockdown

Here is the garden on the 21st July 2013

Here is the garden in 2013 after the storm in December 

Over the last couple of days I have been clearing up the back garden having a tidy and removing the broken fence that went along the retaining wall to the grassed area that was broken when the settee and the glass covered table decided they were kites and took the fence down during the storms in February.

#isolatedGardeners So I'm stuck in doors with not enough new compost to grow in containers in the back garden but I have cut the grass for the first time and have a sack load that would normally go down to an allotment Dalek and it got me thinking.....

I have salad bits in my compost caddy in the kitchen and shredded paper and tea bags and spent compost from plants from last year and lumpy bits from sieved compost from this year. No Dalek but I have the flower buckets I grow my 22 Tomatoes in. So I decided to mini compost in the Flower Buckets. Brown layer water, green later water, some soil/ spent compost that has the necessary bacteria in it to help things a long and I end up with a Flower Bucket Composting system 3 high.
  Add Grass and water
Add Shredded paper and water 
Add lumpy bits from sieved Multi Purpose Compost (MPC)
Add Tea from teabags  
And water... 
Repeat process until at the top of the bucket..... 

Add some leaf's and worm castings, water and start on the next flower bucket....
Stack of three flower buckets mini composting bins. I will use the fresh compost in the these flower buckets and add a little to the bottom of each bucket to add nutrients to the compost I grew in last year. The Space Saver Greenhouse gets up to 35 - 40C this week in the sun so the heat on the flower buckets will no doubt assist the composting process. I may have to add a little liquid gold as an activator, I will wait and see if it's needed. I had started to take the old compost down to the plot as soil conditioner for the new beds, I'm glad I had only emptied six flower buckets worth and still have 14 buckets of spent compost that I can freshen up and use whilst in lock down.