Gardening

Birstall United Juniors football club garden

The BUJFC invited me to take on a bare patch of land near the entrance to the football ground which I am pleased to say I have now completed.

Some of the plants were kindly donated by the Birstall garden centre and the Wyevale garden centre.

With an emphasis on food and wildlife, the area was split into two. One was improved with leaf mulch and planted with a mix of edibles, such as strawberries, chilli’s and tomatoes, and finished off with a slate stepping stone path.

The other section has a cox’s orange pippin apple tree, and was landscaped with gravel.

There was also a habitat pile for small animals and a bug hotel for bees, butterflies and other insects.

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Habitat Piles

Habitat piles are great for small animals such as hedgehogs and mice, they can be important spaces for shelter, breeding and overwintering.

They’re easy to make and can be made out of waste materials. They can be all shapes and sizes.

The important considerations is that there are at least two entrances and that there is sufficient space inside.

Every garden should have a habitat pile tucked away somewhere.

This is one that I recently made. It has larger sticks for the walls, straw for bedding, smaller sticks for the roof and twigs for insulation.

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Leaf mulch for squashes

The squashes were sown in april in a greenhouse and planted out in mid may.

In spite of the challenging weather this year these squashes grown in leaf mulch have done very well.

The leaves were collected last autumn and piled about 3′ high.

Before the squashes were planted I prepared small planting areas with compost, grass cuttings, comfrey leaves and wormery compost.

Making plant food

Fill a used compost bag with comfrey and nettle leaves. Tie it up and pierce it repeatedly with a garden fork. Put it in a water butt and fill with water. Leave for a month. Take out the bag of leaves and discard. Dilute to roughly one part feed to 10 parts water.

Later in the season when nettle is no longer available then comfrey and borage is a good alternative.

Use a measuring jug to fill used 500ml bottles which can then be added to a watering can as and when needed.

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