The Wonders of Washing Machine Tubs

After the last three years of drought, you wouldn’t think I’d be eagerly anticipating my garden drying out. I won’t say wishing for it because I still bear a few scars from the last three summers – I will never wish for dry weather again. We have had a La Niña summer and how welcome it has been. So my garden is soggy and the weeds are waist high. There are some advantages to this:

  • The ground is full of water and the weather is cooling – perfect weather for planting anything
  • The enormous amount of weeding that needs to be done will generate a healthy quantity of green matter for compost
  • All the rain has had the effect of breaking down the woodchip paths more quickly so they are just about ready to scoop up into freshly cleared beds when they are ready.

The last few days I have been getting into the weeding and cleared a few patches. The two compost bins are full, so I am trying something new – I have five old washing machine tubs given to me by a good friend and I plan to use these as mini raised beds for annual cops. All the tubs have rusted holes in the bottom for drainage and I have added some broken up sticks that have been laying around the garden growing fungus, à la Hügelkultur, to mix my languages. I heaped up the pulled weeds – mainly grass, sweet potato gone wild, farmers friends and oxalis. The tubs are sitting in a sunny spot close to the back door, so they should heat up  reasonably well and cook any weed seeds and grass roots, and I can quickly cull any that pop up. Once they start really breaking down I will add some leftover garden soil I had delivered a year ago – unfortunately it was of a poor quality but serves to bulk up compost. It will probably take at least 3-4 months to break down adequately so will be ready for mid-winter planting.

And six months later… garlic 🙂

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