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A Natural Fruit Tree Fertiliser You Can Make Yourself

In Britain 54% of people grow their own produce in their gardens or allotments. Keeping fruit trees will give you a delicious crop in the summer, and they are easy to keep - however, they do need feeding. Fruit trees prefer organic and natural fertilisers. If you feed them at the right time, they will produce far more fruit, that will be delicious to taste.  Bearing in mind that trees take their nutrients from the soil, it makes no sense giving them a chemical fertiliser as it can affect the taste of the fruit. Instead here is a great, natural tree fertiliser that you can make at home, costs nothing, and works brilliantly.

What do fruit trees need?

Fruit trees need the right nutrients in order to flower and produce a good crop. They prefer a fertiliser that is very rich in nitrogen. For every year that they age, they need 0.10 pounds of nitrogen. If they have all the nutrients that they need, then they will grow better. It also helps to use a good, organic compost.

When should I fertilise?

There is a right and wrong time to fertilise your fruit trees. If you want an abundant harvest, the perfect time is just before bud break in spring, certainly before you prune your trees. At this time, the tree is starting it's growth cycle and consume the most nutrients from the soil. The window of opportunity for looking after your tree is there until June. You should never fertilise fruit trees in late summer and fall, because if the tree develops new growth in this time, it could be easily damaged by the frost. What you can do however is mulch them with a good compost to help protect them over the winter.

Making a natural fertiliser

A natural fertiliser is an easy process. Fill a bucket with as many comfrey leaves as you can. Comfrey is an abundant and quick-growing plant, that loves shade. It is often found down the end of people’s gardens, or growing under trees. You can also use stinging nettles, a weed that we normally try and get rid of. Top the bucket up with water and leave covered for a couple of weeks. You can always top this up with water if it evaporates too quickly in the hot weather. Use this fertiliser as a concentrate, feeding your tree every couple of weeks. You should mix it with water 1 part fertiliser to 5 parts water. 1 litre of fertiliser is plenty for each tree If you give your tree too much, you will notice it grows more leaves and shoots, but very little fruit.

Fruit trees will thrive with this natural fertiliser. There are no chemicals, so your fruit should taste even better.

Shop pest control products at Original Organics today

The Gutter Mate Diverter & Filter

The Gutter Mate Diverter & Filter

The Dangers of a blocked gutter

 

A historic issue with the operation of guttering on a house is and has been the build-up of debris, moss and leaves in their gutters. The main cause of this has been the standard practise of roofing contractors or DIY people of fitting what is called a bell or balloon type strainer in the top of the downpipe to prevent debris, leaves, moss from going down the downpipe. This may be done with good intensions; however, the leaves and moss collect around the strainer and block it. This means someone must climb a ladder to clean it, with the inherent danger of falling off the ladder.

Dirt getting into your tanks and barrels leads to complications as it blocks up the flow of water leading to an inefficient and ineffective water harvesting system. This is where the Gutter Mate Diverter & Filter provides you with a simple yet effective solution.  Find out more today...

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Prepare Yourself For Possible Water Restrictions During This Heatwave

The UK’s longest heatwave is to continue right through the summer and water companies are urging people to decrease their water usage.

Thames Water have had to pump an extra 450 Million litres of water into their network to cope with the high demand caused by the heatwave, and according to WHICH? Magazine.

Thames Water’s Efficiency Manager said that “we all need to think about how we use water and how we could save it.” He added that by doing this we could avoid water restrictions in the near future.

We are passionate about harvesting and recycling rainwater, and it’s the perfect way for you to do your bit to save water without have to compromise too much on using it around your household.

We all know that the rainwater you harvest in your water butt is great for keeping your garden going during the dryer summer months. However, you could be using this water for a variety of other purposes around your home.

Toilets and washing machines are among the largest consumers of water in the average household. By simply installing a pump and one of our filters you can make the water you’ve collected suitable for use in these home appliances.

guttermate duo

The Gutter Mate Rainmaster Duo is an affordable way to achieve a high level of water filtration so that you can use water from your water butt in your toilet and washing machine. Statistics from the Cambridge Water Company suggests that setting up one of these filters to supply water to your washing machine could save up to 100L of water per wash.

If you haven't collected any rainwater yet, don’t worry! We have the largest selection of water butts in the UK for you to pick from. We have 100’s of different capacities, styles and colours to choose from, so it’s not too late to start harvesting some rainwater to recycle around your home before some possible water restrictions in the near future.

Shop Water Butts Now

 

Jobs to do in the garden in November

Jobs to do in the garden in November

It's November already (!) which means we are well on our way to winter with leaves & temperatures falling and frost appearing.

Whilst that combination may provide a recipe for avoidance and procrastination with regards to gardening, it doesn't have to and we are here to help you!

We've put together a quick guide on how to embrace the elements and have your garden in tip top shape heading into December and towards the new year.

Let's get started!

 

Leaf collecting and composting


With the abundance of leaves infiltrating our gardens, it's important to keep on top of them by getting your rake out and tidying them up! Then, they can be used in your composter along with dead plants and other garden waste to create rich soil moisturiser - perfect!

We have absolutely all of your composting needs covered, whether you're after a plastic composter, a wooden one or accessories.

We are currently offering a great deal to our loyal customers - you can get 20% off our Rotol Compost Converters in both 220L and 300L to help you out this month and beyond! Click below for more!

20% off Rotol Compost Converter Get 20% off 220L & 300L Rotol Compost Converter[/caption]

Lawn maintenance


When it comes to your lawn, you still have time in hand to sort it out before winter dawns. As previously mentioned, the rake is required to get the leaves out of the way to keep your lawn tidy as well as allowing it to breathe. Once you've done that (one time, because we all know it's a recurring activity) edging your lawn is the next job. One way that we've found that makes the process easier is by using the Smartedge Lawn Edging tool.

Check out the videos below for more information on the Smartedge!

Plant protection


With the increase of frost and cold weather it's vital that plants a protected so that they can continue to grow, and using tools such as the Sunny Growing Tunnel and Sunny Forcing Cloche will do the trick as they cover your plants and accelerate growth thanks to features such as having their own humid microclimates under the covers.

Water Butts


You may be reading this section and wondering why water butts have been included in this list, but now is a great time to clean out your water butt or install a new one ready in preparation for the upcoming rain. We are experts in providing rainwater solutions so if you require a small capacity water butt, a large tank or just some extras like stands or other accessories we have whatever you need.

Take advantage of our limited time offer of 20% off both our 240L & 310L Green Water Butt with Stand!

20% Off 240L & 310L Green Water Butt with Stand 20% Off 240L & 310L Green Water Butt with Stand[/caption]

Helping our feathered friends


The dip in temperature has consequences for our gardens, but also for the birds that frequent them. Shorter days mean they have less of an opportunity to feed themselves and they also need more energy to stay warm. That's where we can help them out, even if it means giving them leftovers such as dried fruit or even mince pies (if you're starting on them early!).  Ideally though, they need nourishment in the way of high energy feed, suet and nuts. Shelter can also be provided by boxes and nesters.

As a helping hand from us, until January we're offering 20% off on our wildlife gardening products so be sure to have a look at how you can help our feathery friends in the coming months.

20% OFF WILDLIFE GARDENING

20% OFF WILDLIFE GARDENING[/caption]




Thank you for taking the time to read our tips and suggestions for gardening jobs to be getting on with in November. We will be back at the beginning of December for some more that'll help you get set for 2018!

Our Extended Wormery FAQ - Wormery Help & Advice

What is a Wormery?


A Wormery is a very simple but highly effective (and environmentally friendly) method of turning dead organic matter (such as cooked and uncooked food and kitchen waste) into a superbly high quality worm cast compost (Vermicompost) and a nutritious liquid feed (leachate), which you can use in your garden and around your home.

Worm compost, like that produced by our Wormeries, is often referred to by the experts as ‘black gold’ as it really is the best and most nutrient rich you can get. A Wormery is an expertly acclaimed method of obtaining this ‘black gold’ worm compost as well as reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill at the same time!

The Blue Tiger Wormery



What are the different types of Wormery available and which is better?


There are two main types of Wormery available and choosing between them is not much more than personal preference. All of our Wormeries work well from a technical perspective. They all do the same job and do it very well, but you may find one is more suitable for your needs than the other.

The two types we offer are our Classic range of “all-in-one wormeries” (The Original, Junior & The Midi Wormery) and “the multi-tray system” (The Worm Works).

The Original Wormery is the first ever commercially available domestic Wormery and has remained our best seller for a very long time (although it has gone through considerable development, improvement and refinement over the years). With its “all-in-one” design, the waste and liquid is all self-contained inside the bin, with an internal drainage platform separating the solids from the liquid and allowing you to catch and tap-off the leachate liquid feed.

It works well because the worms are ‘surface-feeders’. That means that even as the top section of the bin (where the solids are) fills, the worms tend to remain close to the surface – turning the waste into compost which they leave lower down. That means that emptying it is relatively straightforward when full. You simply trowel off the top few inches and put this to the side. Empty the worm compost out from underneath. Then pop the top few inches which you have put to the side back in the bin at the bottom.

Our “multi-tray system” removes this element of initial separation by using multiple trays to house the compost and waste. Each tray has a perforated base which allows the worms to move freely between them. You start off feeding your food waste into the bottom tray and as each tray fills, the worms move to the waste in the next tray upwards, leaving behind compost as they work their way up through the trays. So, by the time the worms have moved up to the top tray, the bottom tray should be ready to harvest and can simply be removed and emptied (before being placed back on top). It’s a bit like a game of ‘hands on top’!

So, you can see that each Wormery works in exactly the same way, but the method of harvesting the compost is different. Whichever Wormery you think will be easier for you to use is the one to go for and if you’re still not sure then you might be reassured by the fact The Original Wormery has been our bestseller for nearly 20 years!

How much of my food waste will my Wormery cope with?


It varies by the size and capacity of the Wormery, but all of ours are designed to take the majority of the average daily waste produced by its user. The Junior Wormery, for example, is designed for single person use and it will cope with the average food output of a single person. The Original Wormery or The Worm Works are both designed for family usage of, say, 4 people.

Why should I buy my Wormery from Original Organics?


We invented the first commercially available Wormery 20 years ago and we even devised (and trade-marked) the very word ‘Wormery’ as it relates to composting. With this pedigree we proudly continue to offer simply the best range of great value, but high-quality Wormeries on the market today.

Our products have received independent acclaim over the last 20 years and we hold thick files of unsolicited customer testimonials which we are very flattered to receive and our customer service team are very highly experienced in resolving any issues or answering any questions you might have before or after you buy from us.

Apart from being the inventors, and thus to some extent the experts, and apart from offering an unrivalled range of Wormeries, we also offer the best value in the country and, remember we supply Tiger Worms!

What are the main benefits of a Wormery?


A Wormery will divert your cooked and uncooked food waste, along with things like shredded newspaper, cardboard tubes, tea bags, egg cartons etc... Etc... away from landfill. In the UK, about a third of what we throw away is food waste which could otherwise be composted in a Wormery. In fact, we throw away nearly 7 million tonnes of food waste and peelings every year. (WRAP)

Not only that, a Wormery is also giving you something useful back. The highest quality compost you can get and a liquid feed which you can use to feed indoor / outdoor plants.

Where is the best place to keep my Wormery?


The best place to keep your Wormery is anywhere with a relatively stable temperature that is out of direct sunlight and preferably frost free. Most people keep their Wormery in their garage or next to the back door. A shed is also a popular location for a Wormery – you can also keep it indoors if you feel confident enough – and have space under a worktop or similar.

What is the best temperature for the Wormery to operate at?


Worms operate year round, but they work best within the temperature range we humans tend to feel comfortable in.

What foodstuffs should I avoid putting into the Wormery?


Whilst worms will eat fish, we generally advise against it as it can get smelly quickly – where a Wormery is usually not smelly at all. Small quantities of cooked meat however are fine.

Try to avoid using acidic foods in quantity as the worms find acidic conditions uncomfortable. We do, however, provide all our Wormeries with an ‘anti-acid’ lime mix which helps.

Other than that, pretty much all of your cooked and uncooked food waste can be added straight into a Wormery, although cutting up thick fibrous waste such as broccoli and cauliflower stalks can be helpful.

What is the anti-acid lime mix and what does it do?


Essentially it is a gentle form of calcium which reduces the acidity. Most food waste is mildly acidic and worms thrive best at a broadly neutral pH (7). A small handful sprinkled over the surface every 4 to 5 weeks will keep the conditions sweet. Crushed up eggshells (which are essentially calcium oxide) have the same effect.

What type of worm is best in my Wormery?


There are 28 species of earthworm native to the UK and of these 3 are particularly suitable for composting. We strongly believe that Eisenia Fetida (or the Tiger Worm) is the best at the job. Essentially it survives in a wider variety of conditions and has a better appetite so deals with more food waste.

Other suppliers of worm bins use Dendrobaena, which is more widely available (and significantly cheaper) they are widely used by anglers as bait.

Can I put worms from the compost bin into my Wormery?


If they are the small red wriggly worms rather than the mineral soil dwelling earthworm (lob worm = lumbricus terrestris) the simple answer is yes. That said there should be no need to as we provide plenty to start with and they breed well in a Wormery.

How long do the worms live?


Tiger Worms typically live for between 6 months up to 2 years.

If I cut a worm in half, do two worms really survive?

No! This is a myth. It is possible one half of the worm may survive (but not definite), but you definitely won’t end up with two worms.

Will I need to keep buying more worms for my Wormery?


No. The great thing about worms is that they breed rapidly. In a Wormery operating as it should be the worms will renew themselves so you shouldn’t need to reintroduce new worms. However should you have a disaster and need more worms we can of course supply them at a very reasonable cost.

Will I end up with too many worms in my Wormery?


Nope. Worms are ‘clever’ with their breeding in that they will never overpopulate. They regulate their reproduction based on their environmental conditions, the space they have available and the food supply. Pity mankind hasn’t learnt this trick yet!

Will the worms escape?


It depends on the type of Wormery you have. From a home-made or poorly made Wormery escapees are likely. Our Original Wormery has been designed to keep worms in as it is a fully sealed unit, but it is possible you might have some ‘escapees’ if you opt for The Worm Works in the early days.

As the worms settle, they explore. This is perfectly normal. Losing a few worms is nothing to be particularly worried about, however, as there are plenty enough supplied to continue breeding.

Once the Wormery has been established and the worms have settled it provides them with their ideal environment and conditions. The worms are in an excellent and near ideal environment inside the dark, cool, Wormery so won’t want to get away even if they could.

What are the most common issues people might have with a Wormery?


The most likely reasons for the failure of a Wormery are the following :-

1) Overfeeding in the early stages :-
The worms need a little while to settle in and the food waste you add needs to partly decompose naturally before the worms are able to eat it. The first few weeks are the slowest and you should generally only feed a couple of handfuls a week when you first set it up. Once the worms are established and the food is in the correct state for the worms, you can increase the throughput.

2) Conditions get too wet
If the Wormery gets very soggy and wet, then this can cause problems for the worms. You might find they try to get away from the food waste. It is an easy problem to solve, however. If the waste is looking wet (not moist – moist is good!) then simply shred up some extra newspaper or cardboard and mix this thoroughly into the Wormery right down to the base plate or bottom of the tray. This will soak up the excess moisture, help aerate the compost, and return the Wormery to the normal operation.

3) Conditions get too acidic
This can be a problem if you add a large amount of acidic food waste such as citrus peel and / or conditions get waterlogged. Pot worms (enchytraeids) are tiny thread like worms that resemble a piece of white sewing thread a few millimetres long. They occur quite naturally and are harmless – in fact they do the same job as the Tiger worms. However they thrive at a lower, more acidic pH than is ideal for the tiger worms. The proliferation of these pot worms is a sign of acidity – so if this occurs add a handful of the lime mix.

What about flies?


Flies should find it rather difficult to get into your Wormery, however Wormeries can sometimes provide a good breeding environment for them if they are inadvertently introduced with some waste.

If you do end up having a problem with flies you can use an organic flyspray to kill their lifecycle. Instructions on how to deal with this are provided in the instruction booklet.

Do the Wormeries come with instructions?


All of our Wormeries are provided with very comprehensive, easy to follow, instructions which contain hints and tips on successfully operating your Wormery.

What if it all goes wrong?


If the instructions are followed, this is unlikely. But if you do feel your Wormery is not working properly – don’t panic! We are only at the end of a freephone telephone call and it would be our pleasure (and determination) to troubleshoot, advise and to help make the Wormery a success for you.

How long will it be before I get some worm compost?


A handful of waste takes just a few weeks to compost. However you need to build up a good amount of compost to make harvesting it easy and worthwhile. Typically it takes around a year to fill the Wormery with compost (with The Worm Works you obviously harvest each tray more frequently). This is because the majority of food waste is liquid content which is released from the food and comes out the tap as the liquid feed.

How long does it take for the liquid feed to start coming through?


This is typically within around 10 – 12 weeks. Though it could be quicker, or longer, depending on the amount and type of food you’re putting in and the time of year (or rather prevailing weather and temperature). Once the liquid starts to come through you generally tap it off every 3-4 weeks.

Do I need to dilute the liquid feed?


Yes, the feed should be diluted with 10 parts water prior to being used.

What can I use the liquid feed on?


The liquid feed is multi-purpose and can be used on indoor / outdoor plants, flowerbeds, vegetable patches or on your lawn.

Do Wormeries smell?


A Wormery is almost an odourless process because the food is consumed by the worms rather than left to decompose. Therefore any strong odour is eliminated by the worms before it has a chance to occur. If you stick your head inside a Wormery – you may notice a ‘composty’ sweet smell or even an earthy chrysanthemum or tomato plant smell.

What happens if I go away on holiday?


No problem at all. A well established Wormery should be fine left for around a month. Simply add some food waste before you go and leave the tap open with a container underneath (just to stop the build up of liquid feed) and enjoy your holiday! The worms will look after themselves.

Can I put compostable nappies into my Wormery?


This is a common question after compostable nappies have received increasing press over the last few years. Technically, the worms can indeed turn nappies into compost, but the problem comes with size and quantity. If you were to compost all your nappies, the Wormery would very quickly become full and the worms would unfortunately not be able to cope. One or more of our excellent Garden Composters might be better for this job.

Can Wormeries compost pet poo?


The simple answer is yes – but be careful. Waste and bedding from most herbivores e.g. rabbits, hamsters, gerbils etc. is fine.

However we do not advise adding waste from meat eaters such as cats and dogs which is more unpleasant and carries a risk of the toxocara virus. We offer a purpose-made “Pet Poo Convertor” Wormery which is designed to deal with that sort of waste.

Which is the correct spelling? Wormeries or Wormerys?


The correct plural of the word Wormery is Wormeries, though some people do use the term Wormerys.

Can I build my own Wormery?


If this is what you wish to do, we wish you good luck! Designing a Wormery is notoriously difficult to ‘get-right’ and we’ve unfortunately seen lots of examples of poorly made Wormeries going wrong and ending up as a big mess.

It is unfortunate but we are increasingly seeing ‘experts’ advising people on how to build Wormeries at home but putting no thought into drainage / airflow / etc... Because they want to jump on the ‘go green’ bandwagon.

If you wish to give it a go, we do supply a DIY Wormery kit which will provide you with the worms, bedding and anti-acid lime mix you need.

Is it best to mix and ‘turn’ wormeries like you do with compost heaps?


This is not necessary or a routine operation as it is for a garden composter. However you do need to dig into it occasionally to check all is well. Also if it gets very wet and waterlogged you will need to thoroughly mix in dry cardboard and shredded newspaper.

Where can I get the best and the best value Wormeries from?


Right here of course! From the Wormery inventors and experts - Original Organics Ltd.

How To Grow Potatoes In A Potato Barrel, Bag Or Container

Growing potatoes in a potato barrel or bag is so easy because they are contained. When you grow them in the open ground there is little control over where they send their roots, and the constant need to earth up the new growth can be awkward, especially if your space is in the midst of other crops. Growing them in containers means you can simply add in new compost and easily place them away from your other plants.

Usually mid-March is about the best time to plant your earlies and you plant the maincrop a few weeks later.

You will need:-



    • A potato bag, pot or container - like ours here

 

    • Some seed potatoes - which you can buy with a planter or separately

 

 

    • Some good purpose compost- which you can buy with a planter or separately

 



Getting Started:-



    1.  Make sure there are drainage holes in your chosen container

 

    1. Line the bottom of the bag or container with some drainage material such as small stones, broken pots or even roughly broken pieces of expanded polystyrene.

 

    1. Put about 6 inches (15cm) of compost on top of your chosen drainage material.

 

    1. Sprinkle on some good general purpose organic vegetable fertiliser (as per product instructions).

 

    1. Depending on the size of your container place two or three seed potatoes, spaced out equally and about 6 inches (15cm) in from the edge of the container.

 

    1. Cover the potatoes with about 4 inches (10 cm) of good compost.

 

    1. Put another two or three potatoes on top of this layer and cover with another 4 inches of compost and water well.

 

    1. Place in a sheltered sunny location.



A bunch of potatoes covered in dirt


As the shoots sprout and poke up through the compost add a couple more inches of compost. Continue this process until your container is nearly full (always leave an inch (2.5cm) at the top to allow for watering). Remember potatoes are thirsty plants and the most common problem with container grown potatoes is to let the compost dry out by lack of watering.

Over the next few weeks and months the potato plants will grow and mature and it is often helpful to stake up the plants to give them a bit of support.

When the flowers have faded and the plant died back is the time to harvest. Although excellent if smaller potatoes can, of course, be harvested earlier if you prefer. Similarly if you want larger potatoes just leave them in for a couple more weeks.

Once you have harvested your potatoes use the compost to as an excellent top dressing for your vegetable patch or flower beds. It is not good to use the same compost for another crop of potatoes as this can lead to problems with potato diseases.

If you plant up several different bags in succession, moving them into a cool greenhouse before the first frost, you can harvest your potatoes for most of the year. In fact you can even have your own Christmas potatoes.

If you enjoy growing your own vegetables and making the most out of your garden, visit our Grow Your Own category, which has everything you require to get started!

Composting guide for beginners

Composting is widely considered an environmentally friendly way of helping our gardens thrive, and the great thing is that it’s far easier than you’d might think to get started!

What is compost and how does it help your garden?

Compost is essentially a mix of decomposed plants and manure that uses its natural ingredients to make plants grow.

Another advantage of using compost is that it will provide a healthier environment for your soil on a continual basis which in turn will then enable it to retain and drain water better.

Using your compost as fertiliser will benefit your plants inside as well as your lawn, trees, flowers and vegetables and any new planting areas that you may have.

What can be used to create compost and what shouldn’t be used?

Effectively anything that is organic can be turned into compost – anything from food waste (which is a great way of recycling), to weeds and leaves.

The kind of things to avoid using include certain plants that are diseased, some types of manure and meat and dairy products (pests love these).

Carbon and Nitrogen

Anything going into your compost will be either carbon or nitrogen based in essence. To create quality, healthy compost you will need to make sure that you keep the correct balance. The ideal ratio is that you should have double the amount of nitrogen based items in your pile.

Nitrogen based items have sappy / wet attributes: food scraps, green waste such as grass clippings & weeds and manure that has rotted.

Carbon based items have more woody / dry attributes: wood chips, sawdust, cardboard, newspapers, leaves.

Why use a composter?

A composter or compost bin serves as an organised, functional place to store your compost at the same time as being a constant reminder to keep composting!

There are different features to consider when looking at buying a composter or bin:

Size – It tends to be the case that a larger composter is the better bet, but there is a dependence on how much compost you can produce from leaves and lawn clippings and from food waste.

Shape – Cone shaped composters are beneficial as they provide better drainage and air circulation.

Colour – Darker colour composters work well as they absorb and keep heat.

More information needed?

If you would like to know more about composting or any of our products get in touch.
©Copyright 2021 - Original Organics is a trading name of GM8 Group Ltd. A company registered in England & Wales (company number 04414980)