Best Compost Recipe

Lately I’ve been slack and have not been composting at home. Not because of the lack of material to compost, but due to the lack of a composting vessel.

After cleaning out my shed I found a 65 litre black polly garbage bin (trash can), which had a crack in the bottom. Instead of throwing it out I cut the bottom out (and the crack) and tipped it upside down in the vegetable garden, which is looking very sad but that’s another story.

To kick start my bin, I took a 2o litre bucket, half filled it with water and mixed in:

  • A handful of blood and bone
  • A handful of dolomite
  • A sachet of bakers yeast

I then filled the bucket up with old horse manure, that was bagged in the shed, and some old lawn clippings at a ratio of 50:50. I left this soak for a couple of hours to let the material get nice and wet.

While you wait, clear the area where the bin is to go from any weed matter, then place the bin upside down over the clear area. Pour in some lawn clippings and some left over horse manure and any kitchen scraps except for Onion peel and any citrus. Fill the bin about 1/4 full. Mix these together to get a lot of air through it all.

Onion and citrus will compost, but it takes a long time.

When the mix in the bucket has soaked, pour a little over the ingredients in the bin, and mix by hand or with a garden fork. add some more lawn clippings and repeat until the bin is 3/4 full.

Make sure all the material is moist, add the lid with a brick on top to stop it falling off, and wait a few days.

Come back and check the mix. It should have a nice mouldy smell (if a mouldy smell can be nice!). Mix the material with the garden fork (or your hands if your keen). The compost should be nice and warm, this is because the bacteria and fungi that are eating the organic matter are breathing the oxygen that you put in when you mixed it.

You should stir the compost every couple of days, otherwise the compost may take up a rancid rotten smell. A rotten smell is caused by a lack of oxygen, which breeds a different type of fungi and bacteria that thrive without oxygen. It will still compost, but will take a number of months longer and smell awful.

Give the compost at least four weeks of mixing, after that time the heat should have subsided, and the compost should be a nice dark brown colour and smell like sweet soil. Now it’s time to use on your favorite plants!

Best Window Cleaner Ever!

It’s come time to give our new house the big once over clean, and that according to the other half includes the windows!

I’ve used packaged window cleaners in the past, but nothing beats my grandmothers recipe and you will have all the ingredients in your cupboards.

Take 5 litres of water (1 gallon for the imperialists) add 1 cup of white vinegar and half a teaspoon of dish-washing liquid. That simple!

Mix the ingredients and apply to the window with a toweling cloth, making sure to rub well. Use a squeegee for window cleaning and wipe all the mixture off. You will need a spare towel at the bottom to catch the drips.

Happy window cleaning.

Instructables.com

A couple of months ago while browsing the web, the discovery of instructables.com was made. This site is Do It Yourself heaven!

With instructions from building weaponry to solar power, cooking to bottle rockets, there is a limitless supply of instructions to keep you busy while you are not at work.

A couple of my favorites are:
Ten Green Modular Shelving
Tetris DVD/Book shelf
Grey Water Recycler
Beer Holder for the shower (Who would think such an invention would exist!)

You can also publish you own instructable if you think that the world needs to know about it!

http://www.instructables.com

reLeaf Rain Collector

We all know that water is becoming a precious resource and that our gardens take up a significant amount of water.flower

When it rains I like to put all of my potted plants out in the rain to get some free water. Introducing the reLEAF Rain Collector!

The boys at Fulguro have come out with the goods and have created a folded thermo lacquered aluminium plant leaf which directs rainwater into the pot that would otherwise fall on the ground.

Check them out! I bet you could come up with your own version.

PestXit Duo

Living in the tropics we have all sorts of creepy crawlies around our house, ranging from cockroaches to mice. I was getting fed up with trying to catch the mice in traps, they would eat the bait and run off before the trap went off. My cats are as good as useless, on the off chance they catch a mouse they will play with it and let it go again…

After browsing at the shops I found the PestXit Duo on sale.

The packet says:
“Repels pests and rodents using the latest ultrasonic technology in a small, compact unit. Ideal for homes, offices, warehouses and restaurants, it effectively covers up to approximately 140 square metres and is easy to install- simply plug into a power-point.”

It has two frequencies, one for cockroaches and one for mice. Switching it to Mouse Mode (the biggest problem) and letting it run for a month or so, the presence of mice have declined significantly. Cockroaches come and go, but the cat is a bit better at catching them.

My dogs (two German Shepherds and a Daschund) have no problem with either of the sound frequencies.

This is not an endorsed review, it is just to let you know that there are non-chemical control methods for pests in the home.

Yellowing Lawn

Over the past months I’ve noticed my lawn has been ‘yellowing off’ in patches. It is coming into summer up here, but the nice green tinge has been spoiled by my 8Dog Spots month old German Shepherd Dog urinating in around the same spot day and night for a couple of months.
Not to be deterred I started watering the area fairly heavily to dilute the urine and bring my grass back, but to no avail.

After some research it was found that the high nitrogen content in dog urine causes grass to die off, just like applying too much fertiliser in one place.
Nice to know, but it still doesn’t solve the problem of ‘dog spots’.

My vet told me on her last checkup that a reduction in dry food, the bagged stuff like Pal Pedigree, Chum, Eukanuba etc, will reduce the nitrogen concentration thus reducing the damage to the lawn.
Two months later so far so good, I have noticed a reduction in the dead grass but there is a reluctance for new grass to grow where the yellow spots were.

Intro

Firstly lets start by saying thanks for dropping by to check out the site.
Now we all know that a blog should be tightly focused in on a niche to be successful, this site will be loosely based around a theme of what I’ve found interesting in the world of new home ownership, tips and tricks for your home and garden, cooking and various other subjects. So it’s going to be a successful non focused blog… trust me!

It’s going to be all over the shop for a while, but you’ll see over the months that it will fit together nicely for you.

I’ve decided to write a blog that I would want to read. I don’t get the time to read many blogs (I only keep up with two or three) so don’t expect a heap of rehashed content.