Composting Events and news

10. Sep, 2019

 Horsetail or mare’s tail is an invasive, deep-rooted (2m or 7ft) perennial weed that will spreads usually by rhizomes from adjacent gardens/plots and by  stem fragments in composts or manures.  The deep roots make it difficult to remove by digging. Although  Plants growing near the surface can be dug out, but occasional weeding will not be effective as it will regrow from any small pieces left in the soil. Continually removing the shoots as soon as they appear may  reduce infestation after several years.

I have recommended soaking these shoots to drown the plants in earlier blogs and now update the blog with more photos. For the set  follow the link Plant Liquid Feeds

To recap the plants, need to be fully submerged under the water so  are best put in a sack or an old vegetable net  pinned down with a large stone or to suspend the bag it in a submerged weighted bag .  Regular stirring is recommended. The fermentation process can range from  10 days to 3 weeks, depending on the ambient temperature but our photos show a longer period as I soak for months rather than weeks. During fermentation the mixture will produce gas which will  bubble on the surface. Once the bubbling has stopped the  it has finished bubbling the liquid can be strained and used.

9. Sep, 2019

My  next Home Composting Talk is at Buckingham Garden Centre this Wednesday (11th September) at 4pm. This is an introduction on how to produce your own wonderful compost from your garden and kitchen waste and there will be plenty of hints and tips too. Spaces are available. The cost is just £3, or FREE if you are a Garden Card Holder. If you require any further details, please call 01280 822133.

5. Sep, 2019

The first 25l of Aerated Compost  Tea  (ACT) offered from the demonstration site was quickly taken on Wednesday. Another batch will be ready for the Horticultural Show this Sunday 

I am using a  Symbio Compost Tea Brewer to make a balanced tea brewed for 18-24 hours. This is suitable for vegetables and perennial garden plants  with a good mix of fungi and bacteria  brewing the tea for 18-24 hours. Ideally it is best used  immediately i.e. within 4-6 hours. After this time the aerobic organisms in solution will start to die as they  not have enough free oxygen to survive. Dilution. The tea is normally bottled in  1  or 2L  bottles  it can be diluted 1:10  with rain water  in the watering can or used undiluted.

Hope to see you at Horticultural Show this Sunday at Stokes Wood Allotments, 2B Stokes Drive, Leicester.

3. Sep, 2019

We are about to make Aerated Compost Tea liquid plant feed available to plot-holders at Stokes Wood Allotment. The tea will normally be put out for plot-holders to take from the Composting Demonstration Plot on Wednesday mornings . As the feed contains living organisms it should be used immediately although it can be kept for a short time if necessary.

Aerated Compost Tea is a compost extract brewed with an added  microbial food source such molasses. Good mature aerobic compost, preferably the result of hot composting,  full of beneficial microorganisms is used as an inoculant together with a means of  constant aeration during the brewing process to  create  an aerobic environment throughout the brewing process.  Aerated Compost tea (ACT) offers advantages over that made without aeration in that it contains more  micro-organisms, as the aerobic brewing process aids the extraction of microbes from the compost and provides favourable conditions for them to multiply during the 24- to 36-hour brew period. It can be used as:

1) Foliar spray adding beneficial organisms to plant so disease-causing organisms cannot find infection sites or food resources and to provide nutrients as a foliar feed.

2) Soil application to help develop the biological barrier around roots, to provide nutrients for roots to improve plant growth, to improve life in the soil in general, with effects on soil structure, water holding, root depth and improve nutrient cycling, nutrient retention and disease suppression. (The Compost Tea Brewing Manual Elaine R. Ingham, PhD.  Soil  Foodweb Incorporated) 

27. Aug, 2019

Community groups, local authorities, Environmental and  Food Groups, Allotment Societies, Schools, Scouts, Guides  and food fanatics can all help reduce waste at Halloween by taking part in our Leicester and Leicestershire Pumpkin Rescue events.

It is estimated that in the UK up to four million pumpkins are brought to carve and display over Halloween with the edible flesh of these pumpkins being discarded as waste and ending up with most of the lanterns in landfill. This produces an additional 18,000 tons of landfill waste directly attributable to the Halloween festivities. This, according to the environmental charity Hubbub, is equivalent to 360 million portions of pumpkin pie.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture states that 1.91 billion pounds of pumpkins where grown in the USA in 2014 most of which, as in the UK, where used for carving and then thrown away,

 Much of this waste is due to people being unaware of the versatility of pumpkin flesh as a food or not realising that the fresh discarded when carving the pumpkin can be eaten. It is calculated that in the UK only 33% cook the fresh of the pumpkins they carve out. On this basis, farmers are growing acres of food just for it to be thrown away

Carve it,  Cook it, Eat it , Compost it

 Join us in reducing pumpkin waste while celebrating halloween

  1. Provide pumpkin recipes and cooking advice
  2. Organise a carved pumpkin event and photograph  the pumpkins and carvers in your Community Centre or school before sending the pumpkins to them to Stokes Wood Allotment  for display. Encourage carvers to cook the flesh from the pumpkins
  3. Book a place on the Pumpkin Lunch at Stokes wood and bring a pumpkin dish to share
  4. Best Carved pumpkin judging at Stokes Wood Allotment
  5. Pumpkin Smash at Stokes Wood Allotment Compost Demonstration site  Take part in the smashing of the carved pumpkins and start composting them


If you are interested in supporting one or more of these events please contact