Monday, 28 September 2009


If you have height in your garden, such as some steps or a sharp gradient, then take advantage of it. Build yourself some self-watering planters (SWP) and link them all up. Connect the overflow of one to the input of the next and so on. This way, you can water your plants all at once. The last overflow can go to your rainbarrel.

Make sure your overflows are at least the same diameter as your inputs, a point that's often overlooked in SWP diagrams. You can chain these up as above, or like Pascal's triangle, or as a spiral. Any way you like.

Sunday, 20 September 2009


Hey guys,

Today I got wooden pallets! I've been trying to find them for almost a YEAR. No transport you see.

Today I found some pallets and took them home one at a time on my BICYCLE! Was as easy as I hoped it would be. I rested the pallet on the pedal and hooked the top corner over the handlebar.

My two compost heaps have been brewing for around a year now. I took the goodness out of them and dumped it into my raised bed. I took the unfinished stuff out of them and put that into my new pallet compost pile! AAAAGH it's awesome. :)

The compost in my raised bed is like devil's food cake. It's so damn rich and perfect and awesome. Best soil in the city I bet.

The compost heap is crooked here on the left, it was fixed after the picture was taken. You can't see in the picture, but on the left side of the bed, I've filled a gap out with cuttings off of bushes and trees. The main reason is that it looks cool and filling out spaces with woody trimmings is a great use for them, but I'm hoping a hedgehog thinks so too and moves in.

I moved my new rainbarrel under the shed, made a base of bricks for it and made a filter for it out of an old duvet cover, tied on with rope. I had to take the rainwater that was in it and decant it into buckets I made out of large plant pots and bin liners, so I could carry the barrel into place. There should be roughly 70 litres caught so far. Still need to fit a spout into the barrel but I can't find one, other than the cheap plastic ones from B&Q. I would like to find a copper one somewhere.

I have things left to do. I have to modify my Evian bottle guttering, so as to direct water to the new rainbarrel. I have to fit a spout to the rainbarrel. I have to bring home as much straw as possible for two reasons: for the new compost pile and to mulch the raised bed. There's no use making all that new soil and leaving it exposed like that. Needs a good layer of something or other.


This guy slithered out of the freshly-emptied compost bin, like a drunk at closing hours. Obviously he'd been having an awesome time eating for the last 9 months. I picked him up with a leaf and put him in the new pile. I figure if I was all fat like that, I'd much rather be picked up and put somewhere to be left to keep eating. Slugs don't bother me at all. People around here kill them as readily as they used to burn witches. I'm sure I'll change my stance when I have succulent crops. Hopefully get my hedgepig before then.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

The best kind of kraut is sauerkraut

Three weeks ago, I made sauerkraut. This is my first batch.

Sauerkraut is essential for reuben sandwiches. It's a great side for lots of dishes, contains a lot of vitamin C, keeps for a long time and it's easy to make.

Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage. You submerge slightly salted shredded cabbage underwater and leave it to ferment. You can taste it a few days to a few weeks later to see how it is. You can include other vegetables such as garlic, onion or carrot.