Spent(ish) compost.... with 'residents'

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by Fat Controller, Mar 29, 2021.

  1. Fat Controller

    Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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    Year before last, I made the error of obtaining some strawberry plants - I love strawberries, but any time I have attempted to grow them (in our large barrels) over the years it has always ended the same way - vine weevils. This time appears to be no exception, with all of the strawberry plants turning their toes to the sky last autumn - in all honesty, I haven't even bothered actually checking to see the cause, because I just have that feeling that it is vine weevil.

    This week, our fences are finally being painted and the barrels shuffled around (all 14 of them), and we are going to refresh the compost (well, the top two thirds at the least) - at the back of the garden, we have our new 'raised bed' area which is looking for as much material as possible and whilst the compost in the barrels is used, it must still have some use as it is after all organic material?

    The question is, what of the vine weevils, if there are any? Would they cause havoc if moved to a new home?

    We also have a barrel with horseradish in it that we are no longer wanting - I know it is a bit of a thug, so will be careful about roots etc, but is there any risks from using the compost it has been in?
     
  2. shiney

    shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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    Used compost is still good on open gardens especially if mixed with normal garden compost.

    If the compost may have vine weevil it may be best to try and check through it first. This may be difficult but I would tend to spread it on a plastic sheet and in small amounts. It's easier if you have a table at which you can do it. Put the sheet on the table and have a bucket/tub/wheelbarrow under the edge of the table to slide the sorted compost into. Any weevils found can be dropped into a separate bucket/container full of water.

    Horseradish is certainly a thug but the plant usually comes out of a container with all its roots. If the roots are a solid mass I would be inclined to leave the soil in the barrel the season in order to see whether anything sprouts. Unless you need the barrel urgently it's easier than just trying to get rid of it and it may be useful soil for your garden. Otherwise you could empty it into just one area and see whether anything develops.

    We never throw any used compost away unless the roots of the plants are so solid that it's not worth trying to sort them out.

    Good luck :dbgrtmb:
     
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    • Upsydaisy

      Upsydaisy Total Gardener

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      We use a large piece of plastic sheeting and spread out the contents of old pots/ containers and leave in out all day in a relatively quiet part of the garden to allow the birds to be left undisturbed to enjoy any lurking tasty treats.... have to keep an eye on the weather though.:dbgrtmb:

      We use every last bit of spent compost too.:dbgrtmb:
       
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      • ricky101

        ricky101 Total Gardener

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        Think we would play safe and put it in the garden waste bin or take it to the council tip, it will be a big job spreading it out etc and you might still have grubs, eggs and even the adults in there which will only reinfect your garden.
         
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        • flounder

          flounder Gardener

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          I say chuck it in the raised bed. Spread it out, the birds will deal with any nasties. Any you see whilst doing the spreading make a satisfying phhtt noise when you squeeze them!
           
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          • shiney

            shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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            14 barrels of compost is a lot to move, transport and dump and I hate to waste anything :)
            Signed Shiney Scrooge :old:
             
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            • Fat Controller

              Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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              We do have a large local bird population, so hopefully spreading it out on the raised bed will see any nasties off. Our thoughts were not to completely empty all of the barrels, but take them down by around two thirds
               
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              • Scrungee

                Scrungee Well known for it

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                Wait until the coast is clear in the kitchen, then zap the compost in the microwave :thumbsup:

                [​IMG]
                 
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                • Fat Controller

                  Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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                  Crickey, I would need a production line for that @Scrungee - each barrel has to be 150 litres or more
                   
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                  • Scrungee

                    Scrungee Well known for it

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                    Would probably only be 2 weeks max of continous microwaving in between meal times.

                    14 x 150L = 84 x 25Kg bags @ £3 each at our tip, costing £252 + £25 in fuel and spending a couple of days in total queuing up to get in. Probably more to dispose of it than it cost to buy. The savings would easily pay for a cheapo 'Tesco Value' microwave many times over, just get replacements from different stores if they blow up part way through the job.
                     
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                    • Fat Controller

                      Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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                      It is nuts the cost of getting rid of stuff - we have a dozen or so large bricks that the barrels have been sat on for years. They will now likely get stacked behind the shed as they are £4.50 each to get rid of at the local tip. No wonder people fly tip in this country - over two grand in council tax and you still have to pay for each brick you dispose of at the tip
                       
                    • Scrungee

                      Scrungee Well known for it

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                      I think barrels cost £6 each at our local tip = another £84, and if they are 40 galls, not 150L, that would be another 18 bags @2.50 = £45.

                      There's probably some people who've aquired barrels, or similar for nothing/few quid each, filled them with reduced/spent compost, and must get a shock when they no longer need/want them and discover it'll cost them approaching £500 in charges at their local tip to dispose of them.

                      You have to be carefull what 'free' stuff you collect for allotments these days, because if you have to clear it all at the end of your tenancy it can now become a huge financial liability. Disposal of soil there however is an easy one :th scifD36:
                       
                    • Upsydaisy

                      Upsydaisy Total Gardener

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                      Sorry everyone my above post is in the wrong thread......sun was in my eyes!!:whistle:

                      @Fat Controller :wub2:another favour please, any chance you could dig it up and replant it the 'what are you doing in the garden' border for me :please:.
                       
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                      • Fat Controller

                        Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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                        I have tried, but for some reason the software is not letting me - I suspect because we have answered since. Can you just repost in the other thread please?
                         
                      • shiney

                        shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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                        @Upsydaisy just copy it, post it where you want it and then delete this post. :thumbsup:
                         
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