Saturday, 10 October 2015

Worst job of the year?

Gardening is not all fun, you know. As well as all the pleasurable tasks like sowing, planting and harvesting, there are some horrible, dirty, unpleasant tasks - the ones that only really dedicated gardeners understand, and the ones that put off the new gardeners who sometimes think everything is easy.

Here's an example:

This year I grew my tomato plants in big plastic containers (as I always do) using a growing medium with a high proportion of composted stable manure. As regular readers will know, I have been plagued with problems stemming from weedkiller contamination in commercial compost, and I decided that instead of recycling the used compost as I would normally do by distributing it around my garden, this time I would dispose of it completely by taking it to the Council tip. Easier said than done!

I spread my trusty old groundsheet on the shingle, and then tipped out each pot of compost onto it. As you can see, it made a pretty big pile:

That compost was really squashy and smelly!

The empty pots got a thorough wash with the hosepipe before being stored away in the garage. That was the easy part.

The hard part (and the most unpleasant part) was to put the compost into old plastic sacks, in which it will be transported to the tip. fortunately, whenever I buy compost I always keep the bags in which it comes, for occasions like this.

I will evidently need to make several trips to the tip! Fortunately it is only about four miles away. I'll have to be careful to avoid soggy compost leaking out and contaminating the car though.

Let's just hope this is a one-off job. Next year I will be trying to source some better (safer!) compost for my tomatoes, so hopefully I'll be able to revert to my normal procedure.


  1. Yes ,I have heard about this . It is such a shame , but I think you are doing the right thing .I expect you will be replacing the tomato plants with spring bulbs ?

  2. It's a shame but I suppose it's best to err on the side of caution. Hope you find something better next year.

  3. How come the compost become like that..?

  4. It's a heavy, messy job - thank goodness you've had dry weather to get on with this task. I hope you have better luck with your compost next year. I used to read Which? gardening to get their annual low down on the best composts but now I plant my tomatoes straight into the ground, although I do have to disperse my potato growing compost around the garden.

  5. Ugh - what a job. I have to get all my pots and cell packs cleaned this week. I had issues with damping off a couple of years ago and ever since then make an extra effort to sanitize all of my seeding pots/trays with a water bleach solution. It's a pain - especially with the dozens of cell packs that I use - but worth it. It's so disheartening to see a bunch of perfectly healthy seedlings simply keel over from one day to the next.

  6. One of my worst jobs is pruning the really prickly tayberry - a job that needs carrying out soon.

  7. So what happens when it is recycled again!
    Not criticising Mark,I might do the same myself, but just being slightly ironic


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