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What's in your compost bin?

I took some kitchen scraps to the compost bin late this afternoon and got the surprise of my life when I lifted the lid – there was a rather large snake skin laying across the top of the compost!

Not just any snake, but the skin of a deadly brown snake has been shed inside my compost bin. Wondering where the snake is.

What surprises, if any, have you found?

Posted 7 months ago

A nest of baby mice, some years ago!
Hope we don’t get snakes after all the heat we’ve had.
At least you have had a warning.

Posted 7 months ago
Amarylis

Amarylis

Folia Helper

United Kingdom8a

How about a Wasp’s nest? When I took over an abandoned allotment? There was a compost heap on it & when I went to check it out I discovered their were a lot of wasps flying around it. After watching them for a while I discovered their entrance & the nest. But rather than tackle it there & then I got on with the rest of the plot & waited till the first frosts came along, then as I knew the wasps would be dead I got rid of the nest without a single wasp bothering me!

Posted 7 months ago

Gardening can have its hazards.

Jap, like you, I found a nest inside my compost bin one year, but of baby rats, not mice. You’ll hate what happened next. I shovelled them out of the compost, couldn’t bring myself to thumping them with the spade so just left them exposed on the ground, thinking some snake or other predator would come along, feast on them and cure the rat problem. I was horrified when I turned around to find one of my ducks gobbling them down. Now that was unexpected. Hard to think of my lovely little fluffy duck as a predator, but that was the harsh reality.

I hope you won’t need to worry too much about snakes. I have a pond and duck baths still in place for when I eventually start another flock. A water supply such as that will attract snakes, as will cane fields with which I am surounded, and it’s only a couple of kilometres to total wilderness from my doorstep. I’m actually in their habitat rather than the other way around. Make lots of noise, particularly thumping your feet when walking, as they sense vibration rather than hear, and they should stay out of your way if they know you are there. Stay safe.

Amarylis, I like your thinking. Stay out of their way and let nature deal with the wasps. Very sensible and very safe. I’ve heard reports of people trying to remove a nest and ending up in a swarm of angry wasps instead.

Posted 7 months ago
Amarylis

Amarylis

Folia Helper

United Kingdom8a

Thanks,Carol!

Posted 7 months ago
Amarylis

Amarylis

Folia Helper

United Kingdom8a

Hi Carol – I’m angry! I wrote quite an extensive reply beginning “Thanks Carol” but I see that that is all of it’s that’s been uploaded!

Posted 7 months ago
Amarylis

Amarylis

Folia Helper

United Kingdom8a

Hi Carol – I’m angry! I wrote quite an extensive reply beginning “Thanks Carol” but I see that that is all of it’s that’s been uploaded!

After clicking on the “Add reply” button I didn’t check the post again & now I see it’s all gone! Lost in the wild blue yonder – more like in the digital graveyard where all lost blogs end up!

Posted 7 months ago
Amarylis

Amarylis

Folia Helper

United Kingdom8a

The post above was supposed to have been the post above that but some trickery caused only half of it to be posted! I had added some emoticons at the end of the sentence in paragraph 1, when I checked to see if my post had been published correctly I found only the first paragraph had been uploaded! But when I removed the emoticons the 2 paragraphs uploaded!

I took the precaution of copying the text before submitting it – which turned out to be a good thing in the end!

Posted 7 months ago | Last edited 7 months ago
Amarylis

Amarylis

Folia Helper

United Kingdom8a

I was talking about my allotment plot when I first got it & how it was overgrown & covered in Bindweed. You can see it here in this blog I wrote way back in 2011! (Compost heap)

I asked you if you knew what Bindweed was & if you had problems with it where you live. In case you don’t here is a link to a Wikipedia page that explains what I’m talking about: (Bindweed)

Posted 7 months ago | Last edited 7 months ago

Hi Amarylis,

I looked up Bindweed from your link. Thank you, I was thinking it to be the plant we call Bindi-eye, but it turns out to be a completely different plant. Here in the tropics I have numerous rampant weeds. One weed that I have is Ipomoea alba, common name Moonflower. It was introduced as an ornamental and escaped – how many weeds can be attributed to that scenario? It is very much like your Bindweed with a white Morning Glory flower and all. It is related being in the Convolvulaceae. Apart from that and a strangler vine that will swamp anything in reach, and I dare say would strangle me if I stood in one spot for more than a day, I have the curious Sensitive Plant. It has a pretty pink, wispy, pompom flower and delicate leaves that fold and close up if touched. The downside is that it is covered in small but extremely sharp, piercing thorns, and it is stoloniferous and spreads along the ground at a rapid rate smothering anything in its path. It does, however, have some medicinal properties. I’m hesitant to use weed killer on any of them, as the dreaded “Roundup” (aka glyphosate) has a possible history of entering groundwater after binding with heavy metals that occur naturally in tropical soils. I’ve read a report by a Sri Lankan doctor who hypothesised that the molecular structure of glyphosate lets it bind with arsenic molecules in the soil, poisoning groundwater, or in his case, the well of a village from which his patients were mysteriously dying. It was the only possible explanation, and glyphosate was temporarily banned across Sri Lanka and India. The manufacturer – guess who – rebutted the suggestion that glyphosate was the cause as it could not be categorically proven. Consequently the ban was lifted. The disease was also reported in some Central American countries and tropical African countries. Young men were dying in droves from a kidney disease that showed similar symptoms to heavy metal poisoning. All areas where the disease was reported were tropical, and vast areas of ground had been cleared for crop production using large quantities of glyphosate. There were no medical/biological reasons that could explain the outbreak, so the conclusion was an environmental source. That was enough evidence for me, so I simply don’t use it. The weeds take over, especially in the wet season, but I’m using permaculture principles to over take the weeds in time by shading them out. I also use the garden rake to pull the stranglers down from fences, trees and shrubs when needed, and I watch the seasonality of many weeds which will die off when the heat arrives or when the weather cools a bit. I use those times to attack the dying weeds with the garden rake. As for the sensitive weed, I pull a little here and there when I’m tending a plant in its vicinity. It is, however, a never ending job.

I wonder what’s happening to the network connection. I’ve not experienced any problems at present, but yes, a long time back I lost a post I’d just finished writing. It can be quite frustrating. I’ve not had only half or a few lines posted and the rest missing, so that’s a new one. Let’s hope it all settles down.

I’m making a habit now of recording as much as I can of my gardening activities offline on my PC, as well as trying to develop either a printed or handwritten version, as we have lots of power interruptions and telecommumication outages with wildlife and the weather. Fruit bats land on the power lines throughout the summer then reach across with one wing and create a circuit, thereby frying themselves and causing a short but sudden power failure. Then there’s the rain that floods our telephone exchange taking out our landline, or cyclones that take out the mobile network towers and can leave us without electricity for weeks. No power, no computer, so yes, I’m going retro as a backup to my computer and Folia records. I guess I’m used to it, but I know how frustrating it is when a whole page of thoughts is suddenly lost, never to be seen again. I don’t know about you, but when I come to retyping a journal I find that my thoughts are not the same, I end up with a different version of what I previously wrote. The same in meaning, but different words.

Posted 7 months ago | Last edited 7 months ago

I have found lizards in my compost bin. Also when it warms enough crazy ants love to build their nest in there. I have also found small frogs.

Posted 6 months ago

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