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Compost convoy


Decided to test my new flatbed trolley yesterday to fetch home some compost – at least, to fetch home more than one bag at a time!

Got the trolley from Lidl a while ago: thought, I can unbox it and use it to carry all the plants I intended to buy. However, when I unboxed it it wasn’t completely assembled: the castors had to be put on, which took four nuts and bolts each, so couldn’t be done in the shop; I had to put it in a bag and lug it home (weighed a bit!) so that I could get it assembled. Seems a bit daft to me, having to carry a trolley rather than be able to use it straight out of the box, but there ya go:

I’d only used it to fetch indoors the scrap wood that I’d salvaged from outside the block; hoped it’d be strong enough to be able to go up and down kerbs with a load – lol could just imagine the fun if a wheel came off halfway down the road, I’d have to carry the trolley back as well as whatever was on it!

Walked it to the hardware shop that’s my nearest compost supplier (too heavy to lift on and off a bus even empty) – it’s “only” three bus stops down the road. It didn’t half make a noise: proves the old saying about empty carts rattling the most!

Settled for six hags, though could have got another couple on, and got it home, though that was a tad harder than wheeling it out had been – why do trolleys not like being pushed? It turned out much easier to and pull it; at least it went in a fairly straight line then! And I could change hands now and then, and needed to.

Had a couple of probs; they’d stacked the bags on top of each other and I’d put bungee cords round, but the bags slipped once and some very nice people helped me to re-load it again. And a while later some other very nice person gave me a lift up a steep kerb. But other than that, I did it all myself.

Funny thing, it wasn’t my back or my arms that ached so much (they did, of course, but fairly mildly, considering) – what ached the most were my legs, just above the knee; the muscles there made their displeasure known very quickly. Mind you, I was leaning forward at about 40 degrees!

Other main prob was actually getting the trolley indoors: there’s a small step at the front door which the trolley wouldn’t get over and I’d had enough of lifting the front wheels one at a time up kerbs; I got a bit of wood from the scrap pile and laid it as a ramp, and the trolley went up eventually. Kitchen door not wide enough to get the thing through, had to carry the sacks out one at a time, once I’d found somewhere out of the way and dry to store ‘em.

Thought that that was enough exertion for one day – or for two days, as I woke up today aching all over and apart from putting away the last lot of pots I washed, and picking up a couple of small pots that had been toppled by wind or “enemy action”, am not going to do ANY work outside today – or even inside if I can help it.

Each sack is 35 litres (I still can’t get the hang of using a liquid measure to indicate weight or size – do we measure how heavy or how big a box is in gallons? Apart from cowboy hats, that is!).

I don’t know if a litre of compost weighs the same as a litre of water, so no use converting that to kilos and then to pounds. Suffice it to say that the load “weighed” 210 litres. Probably just as well I stuck at only six bags.

Still, that lot should last me a while, so needn’t “wagons roll” for re-supply for, oh, at least a couple of weeks!!

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Job done! Whew - sounds like hard work, though. Now you hav all this lovely compost, what are your plans for it?

31 Mar, 2012


Check all my plants and pot up those that look a bit cramped, repot the others - or at least refresh the top few inches.

Having said that, it'll probably me weeks before I even start: I've got to clear all the plants the work table back on to the planting table, and before I can do that I need to - and before I can do that ... and so on.

Still, at least the compost is there for when I need it, and I don't have to stint or mix with old compost to make it go further. Then the prob is what to do with the old compost that I take out!

31 Mar, 2012


My admiration. Quite an achievement.

31 Mar, 2012


Well done Fran, you did well there.

31 Mar, 2012


Fran you`re a naughty one and no mistake, I thought I was bad enough but you beat me hands down, you could have hurt yourself lugging that lot in one go, saying that I still applaud you and as you say its there now when you need it.
I`ll be looking out for all your freshly potted on plants, enjoy recreating your space, thats after taking time to get your breath back... Lecture over, lol...

31 Mar, 2012


Thanks Costas and Cinders and Lincs.

Well, if it had been the shopping trolley frame, no way I'd even have brought two bags home at one time (did it once, never again!() - with a two-wheel trolley, one has to tilt it and so take a lot of the weight as well as pulling it. With a 4-wheeler, it took all the weight and I just had to pull - apart from lifting the front wheels up kerbs, that is.

And now I can keep the supply topped up with two or three bags at a time, I (hope!) won't run out completely and have to restock from scratch.

lol good job I didn't try the 60-litre Lidl sacks! but at least then I'd have cabbed home and only had to get the trolley from car park to garden - and buying more would have meant sharing the cab fare out amongst more sacks, and so each would have been relatively cheaper. Still not cheaper than the local hardware shop, though - £3.50 for 35 litres as opposed to £1.98 for 60 litres but a £10 cab far on top of that.

31 Mar, 2012


Oh Fran what a journey! Brilliant idea, not sure what you are going to do with all that soil but you should have plenty to be going on with! I only buy one bag a year and then I have some left over. Lo.l I love you trolley very useful.

1 Apr, 2012


I've got at least thirty plants outside, GM, most of which have been in their present pots over a year, so it's about time that the soil was refreshed, if not replaced.

i had some soil from old pots; I sieved most of it and saved what went through to use as inert filler for the bases of pots (saves wasting new compost on parts that the roots won't reach) and someone suggested using it also as an inert mulch on top to suppress weeds and hopefully whatever's digging holes in the pots.

What didn't go through went into the composter till I filled it up - then dumped two sacks-ful in the communal bins. Then thought of using it as a weed-suppressant - next door's weeds are coming through, so I put a black sack in the gap between cimposter and greenouse and filled it with the rubbish soil; hope that'll deter the weeds - allso might help to insulate a bit of the composter, might add more sacks around the other side and the back as well.

Lol or I could dig a hole and bury it!!

oh, and the sieved soil might come in handy as substitute for peat moss if I ever get that far in my hypertura'ing ambitions

1 Apr, 2012


well done fran, isnt ther just one person with a car that can drop these off for you?? or maybe the shop wouldn't mind popping them by if they have a van?

1 Apr, 2012


not that I've been able to find, Stevie! And I have asked if they deliver, but apparently not - or at leas they said no when I was only buying one at a time; they might if I bought a stack, but no doubt for £££, and then I might as well get a cab.

1 Apr, 2012


I hadn't seen this blog of yours before today, Fran, but I had a right ol' laugh at what you get up to! At any moment I was sure you were going to say it had broken/bent under the weight of 6 bags of compost! I'm so glad you managed to get it home & onto your balcony! :-))

I can fully sympathize with the problem of what to do with old/spent compost because I have exactly the same problem as you - only my options for disposing of it are even more limited than yours! Before it occurred to me to take it down to the allotment, for the 1st time last year, I used to bag it up & stuff it in a corner of the balcony where it wouldn't be noticed! Then one year I dumped a lot of the bags I had a little way down the road where there is a hedgerow alongside a Primary school. Some Nasturtium seeds must have made their way into the soil as they grew during the summer making a brilliant splash of bright orange in the hedgerow!

Last year I took it all down to the allotment where I spread it on one of the beds. Don't remember any Nasturtiums growing there though!

Looking forward to reading other blogs of yours on what you have done with all that compost! You HAVE made a start, haven't you?

29 Apr, 2012


lol thanks Balcony. discreet dumping is one of the few otions. once i've filled bags all round the composter it won't need any more insulation.

Of course (I've just thought of this) I could use some in filling a frame on the ground to make a raised bed, the top bit with good compost in, the rest just to fill the gap. that'd save me having to buy more tables - though I've got three already, not much room for any more.

There must be a way of compressing it into sort of bricks or something to make it useable as a building material. hmm, that might be worth checking out, but it'd probably call for a lot of work and maybe buying a lot of other stuff to mix it with. still, if it can be re-re-recycled ...

29 Apr, 2012

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