What to do with a dead water butt

Haven’t done anything in the garden since October, which is why there haven’t been any posts here! It’s been either raining, snowing or just plain too cold to garden. Today though, it was dry and mild, with a real hint of spring in the air. So I did a lot of tidying up that was long overdue, and planted some baby spinach and spring onions. The old door that had been doing duty as an outdoor tabletop had finally started to rot away, so I donned a pair of builder’s gloves and ripped it up. Yes, ripped it up into pieces and filled up two black sacks. It wasn’t hard to do – the door was made from two outer layers of fibreboard separated by pieces of stiff cardboard; the fibreboard was so knackered that you could just tear it away in chunks and fold the chunks to make smaller pieces. (Unfortunately, this did mean that layers of paint peeled off and were evenly distributed all over the garden. So I had great fun sweeping all of that up.) gardenmarch2013-2
I then had a brainwave about what to do with that leaky, defunct water butt which had been lying in a corner. It’s now been pressed into service as a plinth for one of my containers – see pic. The great thing is that the container is now at chest height so I won’t have to bend down to pick those baby spinach leaves when they finally grow. (No backache!) To stop the water butt from toppling over, I’ve crowded some other things around it – namely, a heavy ceramic pot and an old aluminium dustbin, which is no longer needed as a dustbin ‘cos the council have given us wheelie bins.
The rectangular white thing on the ground is a polystyrene fish box, which I’ve planted with some of the strawberry runners that survived the winter. I adopt a “survival of the fittest” policy with strawberries – pot up the runners into small pots early in the autumn, then leave them outside for the whole winter. Then pot up into bigger containers – like the fish box – in the spring. Last year our strawberries were delicious; it’s just a shame there weren’t more of them! I’m hoping to remedy that this year.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by EmpressFelicity - March 3, 2013 at 4:57 pm

Categories: container type, equipment   Tags: ,

My new dustbin, er, rainwater overflow container

On Saturday I went into town and bought a black dustbin (price: £12.99). I cut a hole in the lid. After transferring about a foot of water from the water butt to the dustbin, I was able to cut another hole in the side of the water butt, about six inches below the top. Then I connected the water butt and the dustbin with a length of hose pipe. Hey presto – massive transfer of rainwater from the former to the latter. I realised that there was a bit of leakage at the water butt end of the hose pipe, so I plugged it with an old plastic bag. Being able to fill my watering can by scooping water from the dustbin rather than opening the tap of the water butt will be an enormous time saver. And the lid will stop bits and pieces of detritus from accumulating in there.

Our landlords (who left us our previous, now defunct water butt), had got as far as drilling a hole in the butt and attaching a hose pipe, but they hadn’t thought of using anything bigger than a bucket to catch the overflow of water. Speaking of detritus, the picture above right shows the high tech filtration device that I use for the water butt, aka a 50p tea strainer.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by EmpressFelicity - May 7, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Categories: equipment   Tags: , , , ,

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