A couple of days ago I demolished my old wooden compost bin (itself made of re-purposed timber!), and pruned the shrubs that surrounded it, making way for a new cucumber 'bed'. Today I tackled the resulting big pile of prunings.
My aim was to salvage anything useable from the prunings, and chop the remainder into small pieces that would be easier to dispose of. With the aid of a pair of sturdy loppers and a pruning saw I was able to get myself quite a few decent-sized sticks that I will use to construct my cucumber frame in a couple of months' time, along with plenty of smaller sticks that will come in handy for supporting young plants, and protecting them from cats (and foxes?). Using the wood in this way rather than just chucking it away seems sensible to me, and it salves my conscience a bit too, because I won't need to buy bamboo canes shipped-in from the other side of the world.
After extracting the useable sticks, I was left with a number of big branches and a pile of small twigs. I separated these and will take them to the tip. Our local Council maintains a "Household Re-Cycling Centre" (aka Tip) which includes bins for the collection of compostable materials, and the twigs are destined for these, while the bigger branches (anything over 25mm in diameter), which I have sawn up for easier disposal, will probably be incinerated (It's a shame about that.)
In order to transport the trimmings to the tip I shall use old compost bags, which are very sturdy and will not get ripped by the sharp twigs like purpose-made garden waste bags would! I use commercial compost for my pots and tubs (e.g. for the tomatoes), so I end up with several compost bags each season. I re-use them in a number of ways.
|Old timber from the bin awaiting disposal, alongside the prunings|
Those old compost bags often have other attractions -- a while ago our local garden centre ("Redfields") got together with Levington's and produced a special offer on their compost - for a limited period each bag had a money-off voucher on it. I used several!
Now I just wish I had a few hazel trees that I could coppice, and make bean-poles from...