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Offshoots-grow greener with Anne Green-Armytage's inspiring and practical tips.

PUBLISHED: 12:40 05 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:08 20 February 2013

Offshoots-grow greener with Anne Green-Armytage's inspiring and practical tips.

Offshoots-grow greener with Anne Green-Armytage's inspiring and practical tips.

More great, green tips from Anne.

Offshoots



Grow greener with Anne Green-Armytage's inspiring and practical tips.



Countryside activity composting



Not the most glamorous activity in the world, composting nevertheless has all-round benefits: your garden will thrive from the added fertility and soil improvement, and recycling your garden and kitchen waste will reduce landfill, thereby scoring points for the environment. Composting can seem a bit of a dark art, but given the right conditions and the right materials, nature will do the rest.




You can make a simple heap or build slatted bins to keep the process more contained. Experience in our garden suggests that a sunny spot is better as the heat accelerates the process. Build big: the greater the mass, the faster it works and the easier it is to balance its constituents. You need dry, fibrous material like old bedding plants and dead stems, mixed thoroughly with wet material such as grass clippings and kitchen waste. If the heap is too wet it will turn slimy and smelly. If its too dry, it wont rot down.




To speed up the process chop and mash bulky items. Turn the heap if it seems to have stalled. Monty Don advises watering when you first build it; Bob Flowerdew recommends peeing on it periodically. This accelerates the activation process as well as saving water in flushing. Even the National Trust has now adopted this idea, so that must make it socially acceptable mustnt it?




WHY NOT... PUT YOUR NAME DOWN FOR AN ALLOTMENT?



Its really good value 37.50 a year for a 250 square metre plot in Norwich and many allotments are now divided into smaller garden plots ( size of a normal allotment) for novices and busy people. Now you can start to grow all those vegetables you dont have room for, and make new friends into the bargain. Your local town or parish council has the details.




Eco-worrier: Home and dry



Now that spring is here it makes sense to save money and energy by drying your washing on an outside line. Youll be saving around 35p per hour, more if you have an older, inefficient dryer. Whats more, your clothes will smell really fresh.




If you do use a tumble dryer, use it wisely. Minimise the water content in your washing by using a high spin speed; dry the maximum size of load each time for optimum efficiency; and clean off the filter after each use to keep the warm air circulating freely.

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