Archive for July, 2011

Intermediate Bulk Carrier (Or an IBC Water Butt)

Recently our garage flooded.  We’re at the top of a hill, but we’re also in a bit of a dip there.  The hill is mainly all london clay which is excellent for pizza ovens but not necessarily great when your main surface water disposal is a soak away.  Soak aways are basically big gravel pits.  The water level of my garden is pretty low and I’m pretty sure I have a spring where the old pond was, so dealing with water can be a bit of a pain.

“Normal” water butts of the type available at the local garden center can be £30.  Reconditioned blue shipping containers can be £7-15 – both carry 220ltrs.

An IBC (intermediate bulk carrier) contains 1,000 ltrs and can be bought as cheaply as £35.  Ideally you should try and get one that contains a food rather than a powder or hazardous chemical – commonly you’ll get vegetable oils or fruit juices, both of which can be quite easily drained and dealt with.

For for £70 I’ve bought two such containers on eBay – just search for ‘water IBC’ and hopefully you’ll come up trumps with one nearby – they’re expensive to ship about so you’ll need a van or one very close by.

These two will be hitched up by my outbuildings and I’m going to redirect both drainpipes direct to them.  Next to them I’ll also be keeping the compost bins and I may look into using a seeper hose so I don’t need to do much watering!

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Adding Trees


After several hours of digging and hacking the hawthorn stumps have defeated me. I’ve decided to saw them off below ground level and use a brushwood killer on them.

I’m replacing them with several fruit trees. The lidl trees seem to on the whole have survived, except the cherry which died early on.

We’ve decided to change the layout to an easier to maintain and cheaper one with a bigger orchard! So we bought a Victoria plum and a greengage and as the place was closing down they gave us 25% off and a free cherry! Bargain!

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Whilst I’d escaped again to an all day first aid course, I came home to a fence painting session.

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After getting back from the lottie, there was plenty to do. Fortunately I’d been booked as an instructor on an air rifle range so I had to pop out. When I came back my wife and father in law had got all the goosebury bushes and rhubarb in the ground!

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Last of the plants


Today was the last day at the plot. Yes, technically we’ve “lost the plot” but not in a nasty way. We decided to give it up early – I’m proud to say it wasn’t a letter or calls from the committee that drive us to it, but due to or new house, my wife’s erratic shift work and the relocation of my job we couldn’t get down of a weekend.
We’re moving to the plot closer to home though, so the blog will continue all be it more of a gardeners blog. I still get the community as both neighbours are happy chatters and we swap tips and experience, so no loss there.
Today we moved the last of the plants, strawberries, gooseberries, rhubarb, blackcurrant, redcurrant, grape etc all were dug up and moved – along with a lot of junk.

The plot does look a bit empty and sad, especially since I strimmed it so there’s only a few overgrown raised beds left. It’s nice and ready now for a new owner to take it on, so hopefully it’ll get taken over quick!

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