Autumn Leaves and Archeological Digs

The wind swirled the autumn leaves but once again we dodged Manchester’s favourite weather; rain and we were able to have another productive session.

Bernard and Peter finished off the compost bays and started it off with our own homemade woodchip.

Paul did a good deed by clearing away the leaves that have gathered around the church. However we weren’t just interested in removing the leaves we were interested in cultivating leaf mould for our plot. Autumn leaves aren’t just for kicking you know – they can be a useful free resource for gardeners. Simply collect leaves, water if not damp already, store in bin bags with holes punched in them, a compost bay or a your own homemade cage made with chicken wire and leave for a year or two. Once mould has grown on the leaves you can use it as a mulch or soil improver. Leave it even longer and it breaks down into crumbly material that you can use as a potting compost. One of the tips I got from Debdale Eco Centre in Gorton is that putting a weight on the leaves helps to speed up this process so we will be placing some bricks on top of our bags and tucking them away for a year or two.

Meanwhile, Tony and I planned to dig over a patch of soil next to the patio. However it soon became more like an archeological dig when we uncovered the wall and foundations of an old scout hut long demolished. This gives us an interesting dillemma. Do we try to put our greenhouse over these foundations or do we create a raised bed over them? Whilst trying to uncover the extent of the remains we found such “ancient artifacts” as buttons and milk bottles. I say lets call Time Team and get some geophys surveying going!

Our Gardening Sessions are 10-12.30 every Friday. If you would like to find out more contact us on 0161-881-2925 or come along to our office at St Ninian’s Church, Egerton Road South and have a look for yourself. 
Carolyn O’Hanlon
Older Men Development Worker