By Alan J Hartley
Products With The
ring culture pots have traditionally been made from a roofing-felt like
material called “Whale-hide,” as did the deep “Sweet Pea Pots.”
When they were thrown away they would rot given enough time, but
nowadays many of these pots are made from plastic, although, the old
style are still available if you look hard enough for them. Many years
ago garden centres often sold fruit trees and the like with their roots
“Root Wrapped” in a ball of soil tied up in a piece of
Hessian sacking. The trees could then be planted in a hole and the
Hessian sacking just untied and opened out without disturbing the roots
too much. If the Hessian was left in the hole and left long enough, it
would rot over time. Then of course it became cheaper to use a plastic
wrap that doesn’t rot and now plastic is used for everything including
even the humble plant label.
there is a small move away from everything plastic and attempts are
being made to establish a range of Eco friendly plant pots made from 100
% biodegradable material as an alternative to plastic pots.
The pots are tough enough to be used repeatedly as long as they
are cleaned and dried immediately after emptying before they are stored.
Planted directly into the ground the pots will gradually decompose over
a period of a few months and of course this means that the roots of the
plants aren’t disturbed.
Small plants such
as Bedding Geraniums have often been sold in the past in an open mesh
type of plastic pot so that they could be transplanted without removing
the pots and disturbing the roots, but some bedding plants are now sold
in small pots made from a type of cardboard with a display label printed
on the side of the pot. You still have to discard the pot, but at least
it is made from waxed card and not plastic. Hanging basket liners can be
bought that are made out of what looks like brown pappier mache and
others from “Choir” or cocoa fibre. They might not look very
attractive when first planted up, but after the plants have grown you
won’t see them and they can be reused again and again, but if
discarded will eventually rot.
so many years ago there were only one or two fish pond pumps and lights
on the market that were Solar Powered, but as the technology has
improved there now seem to be a plethora of pumps and garden lights. Of
course electricity in the garden has always been a source of danger, but
with Solar Power there are no mains cables carrying high voltage, so
garden lighting and other electrical things can be installed almost 100
% risk free. Solar fish pond pumps might not interest many, but, lights
in the garden are always a good thing for those that like a midnight
stroll, or a smoke in the garden, and of course, for those who’s sight
might not be so good they are a very good safety idea to mark out the
edges of paths and fishponds. The batteries in the Solar lights charge
up in the day and most of them actually have daylight sensors that
automatically turn the lights on when the daylight disappears and off
again at dawn, so they are always on if you need them at night.
people have the annual problem of clearing up fallen leaves in the
Autumn and invest in some sort of leaf blower or vacuum, but the problem
still remains of how to dispose of the enormous pile of leaves that you
have collected. You can always fill up your wheelie bin as most people
do, but of course the “Green” alternative is to compost them and
leaves do make excellent compost, however they do need a long time to
compost properly unless they are shredded. Some leaf vacuums now come
with a built in shredder that chops the leaves up into a fine pulp that
is ideal to mix into your compost heap. If you don’t want to go the
expense of buying such a tool you probably already have one in the shape
of a lawnmower. You might have to empty the collection box a bit more
often when you run the mower over a lot of leaves, but it will do an
excellent job of picking them up and shredding them at the same time.
High tech gadgets often fascinate people and with a relatively cheap Nature Camera you can view your garden through your TV while you sit in your favourite armchair. With skilful positioning of the small camera in the garden, you can sit and watch any part of the garden that is of interest. If a youngster is daring enough the camera could even be installed in a tree and directed at a bird nesting box like they do on TV. Unfortunately the camera does need mains power, but it does transmit the picture inside the house, to a receiver, by radio.