Hello and welcome to The Compost Bin. I'm Compostwoman and I live with my family in rural Herefordshire. We have nearly four acres of garden and woodland, all managed organically and to Permaculture principles, which we share with Chickens, Cats and assorted wildlife. We also grow a lot of our own food, run courses in all sorts of things and make a lot of compost!

I am a Master Composter and have spent more than a decade as a volunteer Community Compost adviser with Garden Organic and my local Council.
I'm a self employed Environmental Educator so I run workshops and events where I talk about compost, veg growing, chicken keeping, cooking, preserving and sustainable living. I also run crafts workshops and Forest School/outdoor play sessions in our wood.

We try to live a more self sufficient lifestyle here, as best we can, while still having a comfortable life and lots of fun.

To learn more about us click on the About Compostwoman tab and remember to click on the photos to make them full size!

Thursday 12 February 2009

Request spot

A question for you.

Would any of you lovely people who visit my blog like a post about sowing seeds ?

I ask because of some of the comments and emails I have had about my last post. I will happily do a seedy post, if it will help people?

OR, is there anything else anyone really wants me to post about?

I am currently writing "how to" posts about Starting up and running an Eco club at school, Gardening at school with children and a Simple-Green-Frugal post about making Compost.

but is there anything else anyone would really like to know about?

Requests in the comments box, or email me!


  1. Yes please have been toying with the idea of doing my own veg for some time but worried about my soil. Heavy clay.
    I also have some flamelily flowers (Gloriosa supurba) seeds to sow which will take at least 3 years to grow on so need as much help as possible on all fronts please.

  2. A post about sowing seeds sounds good :)

  3. Yes please, as I am a very novice gardener & need all the help I can get.


  4. Yes, good idea. I'm going to go over to Ryton within the next few weeks for my seeds I think as it isn't far for me. I'm in a rented cottage and will have to grow things in tubs this year & next until I get my own place again. Want organic growbags if such things exist, and also need to know varieties that do well in tubs etc. You would be an excellent person to by an organic gardening agony auntie!

  5. Yes please!! It's so long since I've grown anything from seed, and I have got lots of gardening books, but I would be very grateful for a list of your "top tips" for successful seed growing - things you have found useful over the years etc. I'm unsure whether to start sewing some indoors on windowsills etc., or wait until my greenhouse is up and running - however, it's not heated as yet, so I'm guessing I'd have to wait a while before it will be warm enough.

    Willow x

  6. I'd be interested in hearing if you've ever tried making your own seed tape for planting tiny seeds like carrots.. I know you can buy them like that but their expensive. I've considered making my own but haven't figured out what kind of tape to use or if it would even work.

  7. I have a couple:

    Which plants besides peas have a straight tap root and do well starting in loo rolls?

    What doesn't transplant well and shouldn't be started early?

  8. yes please and if you go by the lunar calendar.

  9. OHHHH yes please!! CW!! That would be great. Would be very interesting and helpful. I do love my garden in a veggie/flower and herby way but often things turn out quite disastrously so would love to learn from an eggspurt!! (sorry could not resist the pun... lol!!)
    Would also like some of your aromatherapy recipes for creams etc if that is possible. Plus aromatherapy for pets....
    Will be looking out for your compost post as I love my composting although still have a lot to learn.... had a plague of little flies every time I opened my composter last year.Are they fruit flies and how can one get rid of the little blighters???
    Thanks... xx
    Take Care, Love Jane xxxx

  10. Well! :-)THAT was a heck of a response!

    I guess I am going to be doing a seed-y post some time soon....


    what though, exactly , is it you are all after,???

    is it HOW to sow (the mechanics of sowing ie how deep, how much water, light, warmth etc) , or what to sow where and when, or what?

    I have had a few pointers from some of your posts, but could do with knowing a bit more detail....

    I DO intend to address what can be sown in loo roll tubes or trays and transplanted or grown in the tray and what CAN'T be transplanted...

    but also is it general seed sowing advice you want, and if so, inside seeds or outside in the ground seeds?

    I AM sorry to ask this and I am really happy to help all of you and am delighted to do so..., but I could do with a bit of focus, otherwise my post will be ENORMOUS....This topic usually covers several chapters in gardening books!

    so comment ( again please!) away on what it is you are really stuck with...so I can focus on what you really want to know about...

    and many apologies on my part for asking such a vague question..I should have beeen a bit more specific!

    I hope no one minds me asking for a bit more detail, btw...and if anyone still doesn't get the answer they need they can always either email me or comment in the upcoming seed sowing post...

    and when I get my forum activated, we can all chat to our heart's content! ( assuming you all want to join, that is!)

  11. In my case CW... its when I should be planting seeds... It can be one big muddle to me.... and then how long should it be before I plant begin to plant them out in the garden.
    I ended up been really late with stuff last year.
    Also my greenhouse is unheated so that adds to my dilemma and I have no room in the house for starting off seeds.
    Also any useful tips to do with sowing seeds would be good along the way....
    Also recommending types of seeds for instance, tomato seeds for beginners, easy grow lettuce and that sort of thing.In other words, easy grow, intermediate, difficult, type of thing.... Does this make any sense??? Think I may be getting too tired for this.. so off to beddybyes... Thanks anyway CW.. anything you do decide to post about would make interesting reading!!
    Love Jane xxx

  12. Oh, yes, please do! I'd love to have info on "how" to sow, particularly starting seeds inside to give them the best start possible, and how to transplant.

  13. I can see your dilemma. I definitely need to know (1)Types of veg and varieties in your opinion that would be suitable & successful in tubs and grow bags to be grown from seed and how to go about it. Mainly salad veg and courgettes and aubergine and toms would be good. Peppers too may be. Not carrots, potatoes or parsnips though. I get a lot from a community farming project box scheme. (2)Any ideas about what you would do if forced into my situation but wanting to grow in organic soil, but with the limitations of living temporarily in a rented cottage with gorgeous gardens which I have to maintain but can't alter. I guess I'm muddled about it because I can't go out and dig and smell and feel the earth as I'm used to, and I have usually gone and bought organic seedlings in the past.

    That's me, but I'm quite okay if you are unable to address specifics. I learn loads from your blog. I wont be keeping chickens in the future though - I fancy a goat and a goose!

  14. I love reading your blog - so much so I nominated it for a small blog award.

  15. I love reading your blog - so much so I nominated it for a small blog award.

  16. Hmm, for me the two biggies I'm facing at the moment are: when to sow (emphasis on staggered sowing to avoid one enormous crop!) but most importantly, how to indoor sow without the benefit of a greenhouse or polytunnel but *with* three curious cats and limited indoor space...! At the moment, all the seeds I've bought are outdoor planting only but that has obviously restricted things somewhat!

    CW, you're a star.

    And I'm loving the thought of a forum... will there be a section for total beginners like me?!

  17. How to sow, when to transplant, easy seeds, mixed soil (mine is heavy clay) hints and tips. Oh and it would be unheated areas or indoors and move outside when need to.

  18. I would like info on starting early and the use of row covers. When and how you transplant seedlings.

    This is such a great idea.


    I haven't mentioned it before but I am in love with your compost bins :) I just like the looks of them


Hello! Thank you for reading my blog and for commenting. I try to reply as quickly as I can and I really appreciate your interest in my life and doings here in The Compost Bin.