24th May 2014 : Page 1

Amateur Gardening May 27, 2014 00:00

In this issue of Amateur Gardening : WHEN I started gardening forty years ago, I tried to follow reliable expert advice to the letter. That’s still generally a good policy. But the older I get, the more I think that some experts’ gardening advice can be off-putting, or even positively intimidating. What prompted this thought was Marc Rosenberg’s news story last week (AG May 17). A survey suggested that only 3 per cent of the UK population recycles green waste – the rest prefer to chuck it in the landfill bin. Many respondents to the survey said they lacked the ‘gardening skills’ to compost. I blame experts, who would have us believe there are more things we shouldn’t compost than those we should: No diseased material, no perennial weeds, no cooked food, no meat, no large amounts of one thing…. Blah, blah, blah. Nonsense! I have two plastic Dalek bins. Into them goes anything that will rot. I would leave out the roots of tough perennial weeds like ground elder or couch grass if I had them, but I don’t. I spray such weeds with glyphosate, and they rot in the soil. Everything else is chopped up and chucked in, no mucking about. When one Dalek is full (after 4-6 months) I move on to the other. When the second is full I empty the first of its contents of rich, crumbly compost and spread it around the flower beds. No skill required. Have a great gardening week.

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