Archive for the ‘garden’ Category

Are coffee grounds good for the garden?

July 4, 2018

One of the waste products from coffee shops are the spent coffee grounds.

What to do with the coffee grounds?

A few coffee shops, Surrey Hills Coffee is a good example, put outside the shop for passers by to collect for the garden. A pity more do not follow this example.

But what to do with in the garden?

Claimed to be a slug repellent, use as a mulch around plants, add to the compost heap.

Only one way to find out, pick up a bag.

I was quite surprised and not happy, to find in a zip lock plastic bag.

I assume because wet. Only not wet, a little moist maybe.

Cakes rather than loose grounds.

I have spread around a couple of tomato plants.

I will have to obtain more, as omitted runner beans.

To spread organic matter around plants not a good idea, best to compost.

But what impact on the compost heap? Will it kill it dead, act as an accelerant, or merely act as organic matter?

Half way down the garden I can now smell coffee.

The compost heap is now the site of two experiments, compostable coffee cups and coffee grounds.

As a slug repellent a nonstarter. This evening a slug was on the coffee grounds by the tomato plants. Though it did not live to tell the tale.

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Do compostable coffee cups compost?

June 25, 2018

Compostable coffee cups are a step in the right direction, but addressing symptoms not the underlying problems of takeaway grab it and go throw away culture, which is part of a larger problem of pointless consumption.

Compostable coffee cups raise two questions:

  • what to do with the coffee cups
  • do they actually compost

If I pick up a coffee cup then wander down the street what to do with the cup? If thrown in a bin it will join the general waste stream.

Do the cups compost, do they compost on a compost heap? Some cups claim to be biodegradable, a few compostable, some make no claim at all. For example a coffee cup from Morrisons, the outer is card, can be recycled, but what of the inner core, a composite structure forming an integral whole?

Only one way to find out, conduct a little experiment, deposit takeaway coffee cups on a compost heap.

A little collection of cups, including what I believe to be a plant-based cellulose straw. It clams to be biodegradable.

These added to a compost heap a little after midday today. End of June temperatures 27C and forecast higher over the next few days.

Always need a control. Added a cup from Starbucks which helpful staff did not believe to be biodegradeable.

Starbucks have on sale at £1 ugly reusable cups. Bring own reusable coffee cup a small discount of 25p.

As always it is indie coffee shops leading the way. One small chain Boston Tea Party has banned takeaway cups. More need to follow their excellent example, encourage relax in an indie coffee shop with speciality coffee served in glass or plastic.

Daffodils

March 26, 2017

Unusual daffodils, very pale, growing at the roadside.

Garden flowers

March 25, 2017

For about a week, spring flowers have been out in the garden.

Frost at six in the morning, a lovely warm sunny spring day, sat in the garden reading Standart issue 6.

Hard frost in the morning

December 29, 2016

Third day of hard frost in the morning.

Cold frosty day

December 29, 2016

Tuesday, frost all day, it never cleared.

Tuesday night, inky black sky, stars shining bright.

Wednesday morning a hard frost.

The sun was shining in the morning.

Fading light, since early afternoon fog rolling in, visibility dropping by the minute.

And yet only three days before, on Christmas Day, temperature was 15 C in Aberdeen, 14 C in Hull in Yorkshire.

Fallen leaves

December 11, 2016

Yesterday and today, raking up fallen leaves.

Last night it rained, making the leaves wet and heavy and much harder work.

But best time to rake up, as leaves are wet and sodden and rot down.

If dry, they blow all over in the wind.

Passion flower

September 13, 2016
passion flower

passion flower

passion flower

passion flower

On Sunday in Brighton, walking down from Brighton Station to Grocer and Grain on my way to the seafront, I came across passion flowers growing on a garden wall.

I only noticed them because a man was photographing them.

I asked was it his garden? He said no. He was passing by and they caught his eye.

He did not know what they were. I said passion flower. I used to see them growing in Neal’s yard in Covent Garden.

I said I was on my way to the seafront, but first Grocer and Grain. I recommended he too visited Grocer and Grain.

Relaxing in the shade

July 19, 2016
Bob the Cat relaxing in the shade

Bob the Cat relaxing in the shade

A very hot day, so far at 33.5C the hottest day of the year.

Bob the Cat wisely deiced to spend the day in the shade in the garden.

Bluebells in flower

March 29, 2016
bluebells

bluebells

Bluebells in the garden started to come into flower last week.

Daffodils still in flower.