Thursday, 26 February 2015

Spring is in the air!

Spring is definitely in the air!

How can I tell?

Well, it's not just that it's lighter until later in the afternoon - and light enough that when we go out into the garden at 6.30 am I don't need to take a torch with me any more in order to see to pick up the poop ... or that the snowdrops have finally deigned to put in an appearance ... or that the crocuses are in full bloom ... or that the daffodils buds are about to burst forth ... or even that I can watch the birds sitting happily sunning themselves in the tree at the end of the garden in the early morning rays ...

No, I can tell because for the first time in months Archie has finally decided that it is warm enough to shed his winter jumpers and frolic around in the garden naked!

Look! No jumper!
Posing in the garden for a book photo shoot last week.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Spend spend spend!

It might not be ideal weather for gardening: the ground is either frozen or boglike at the moment - but it is perfect for sitting indoors in the warm with a cuppa and going through gardening catalogues, sorting old seed packets - or if you really feel the need to get out, going to the local garden centre and spending any vouchers you may have been given for Christmas. Which is exactly what I did a couple of weeks ago - adding to my range of Wolf snap-on tools. You can never have too many tools ... and as there is a pet shop just opposite, Archie and Angel ended up with new toys too ...  they aren't too bothered about gardening tools, but are of the opinion that you can never have too many toys. So despite the weather, everyone was happy!

Find out more HERE!

Saturday, 14 February 2015

A new look!

The bird table in better days ...

Since then, it has received a bit of a battering and had been retired to the side of the garden shed until I had time to repair it. The basic structure is fine - it is mainly the roof that is in need of a little TLC. With the snow back yesterday, I decided that it could come out of retirement briefly so I could get more food out for the birds, who were already competing fiercely for the hanging feeders. I checked out it's roof and found that it had already started on a DIY repair job of its own ... thrilled to find it is well on the way to creating its own green roof. That's one less job for me to do!

Find out more HERE

Thursday, 5 February 2015

All about Dog poo wormeries!

You may be familiar with wormeries - but did you know that you can also get dog poo wormeries? It sounds like a brilliant idea - better for the environment and your garden will benefit too. Jill from Earth Essentials has kindly provided today's blog with a bit more info ...

Dog lovers know that possibly the biggest problem with owning a dog is how to get rid of the mess they make in the garden!
We are all aware of the every growing necessity for management of waste generally but the disposal of dog faeces has, up till now, been a very difficult and delicate matter. You are not supposed to throw dog faeces into the general household waste bin collected by the council, it is not nice to have an ever growing pile in the corner of the garden and we have to be very careful that children do not come into contact with it.
The Dog Poo Wormery is the answer to all these problems: Charles Darwin described the earthworm as the intestines of the Earth. This specially designed wormery allows you to safely, easily and effectively dispose of all dog faeces in the confines of your own garden without the usual problems.
The ideal is for a system of waste disposal that is environmentally friendly and offers a carbon footprint of ZERO!! By having a general domestic wormery in every home in the country, the savings on landfill will be considerable. 
The Dog Poo Wormery is easy to use, is where you need it when you need it, does not require much work and should not cause offence or problems to anyone - and best of all it does not smell! Really!!!!! When used properly you should not have any nasty smells or unpleasantness, just an excellent method of safely and easily disposing of this difficult problem.

The  Dog Poo Wormery is designed for ease of use as well as longevity, and comes with a voucher to supply the live worms to start your wormery. It is specially designed to maximize both the life of the worms and their capabilities to devour dog faeces and green waste; used properly this unit should last for many, many years.
Worms need a well-ventilated, secure, damp/moist (not wet) and spacious environment to thrive and your Earth-Essentials Dog Poo Wormery has been designed to maximize these specific requirements. The Earth-Essentials Dog Poo Wormery has been tried and tested to ensure that with proper feeding and management your worms will digest and convert your dog faeces into highly nutritious garden compost.

The wormeries come in 3 different sizes and you need to be sure you are getting the right size for the amount of 'food' you wish to feed the worms! The chart here will help, but if you prefer to speak to someone who knows all about the wormeries please do call 01794 513951.

Which Wormery is right for me?
                            120L                       240L                       1000L

Small Dog            3                              4                               15

Medium Dog       2                              3                               12

Large Dog            1                               2                                 8

Worms do not have teeth so food needs to have begun to decompose before they can ingest it. You may find that the worms take a while to start on fresh poo as they are not used to this food source.
The worms may seem slow eaters at first, this is because they will need time to settle, they will happily eat the feed, paper and bedding that you provided on their first day. Once this has all gone and they are happily settled you will find that they adapt to their new environment well and will devour most, if not all, that you give them.
The worms will be breeding all the while. As breeding produces more worms more poo will be eaten. The worms will gradually begin eating and you will begin to know the food levels that they can consume. Do not rush them - the slower the better! Worms will eat their bodyweight in 1-4 days so the quantity/weight of worms will directly relate to the amount that they will eat.

I had a few specific queries which Jill kindly answered ...

Q: Can I put other things in the wormery, or only dog poo?

A: You can put other biodegradable items into the wormery, just don't over feed the worms as this could kill them: just like looking after any other 'pet' they can only eat a certain amount and over feeding can disturb the natural ph balance which could cause problems.

Q: Can the end product be used anywhere? 

A: The Vermicast can be used on any areas where plants grow, but for safety reasons we always advise not to use where children are playing or where you grow food for human consumption - this is because you cannot guarantee that all the pathogens have been destroyed.
I do know dog owners who use a wormery and put the resulting castings on their garden for herbs and high growing food such as beans etc, however I personally would not like it around my lettuces which are eaten raw!

Q: Should I avoid putting dog poo in the wormery after worming my dog?

A: YES, definitely, you should allow about 48 - 72 hours after worming your dog before putting the faeces in the wormery, this is to allow the dog wormer to work its way through the dog. Dog wormer can kill the worms!

Q: Will the worms be affected by temperature extremes?

A:  Yes, the worms are like all creatures and do not survive being frozen or boiled! So keep them from freezing in the winter or getting too hot in the summer. When the wormery is well established the worms tend to find their own depths to keep away from inclement weather conditions but in the first year extra care might need to be taken. Usually just keeping the wormery in a sheltered position or in the back of a garage or shed if extreme conditions prevail usually will suffice.

Anything else please do ask ...

To order please call 01794 513951 

Find out more HERE