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!

Monday 12 May 2014

Gardening and tea bags

#teabagplants   @BandQ   ‪#‎lotsdoneinthegardentoday‬

I spent the whole day doing lots of veg and flower garden stuff. We did loads of digging and weeding (the very heavy stuff done by lovely Compostman) and planting of plants and I planted up two new flower beds with perennials I have grown from cuttings and overwintered in the polytunnel.

I also took the opportunity to review a few of the items I have been sent recently.
First up were some bedding plants from B&Q, the DIY store.  I was sent a press release about this because B&Q have removed polystyrene packaging from a range of bedding plants, replacing it with a 100% recyclable alternative called easyGrow. 

 This is what the B&Q press release has to say...( I have quoted only some of it!)

From April 2014, B&Q will replace all polystyrene packaging across its range of bedding plants with an innovative new concept. Harnessing Teabag Technology™, easyGrow™ is 100% recyclable and up to 95% peat-free, removing peat from commercial plant production. The new concept will be incorporated into 20 varieties of bedding plants.
As the largest garden retailer in the UK, over 80 million bedding plants will be sold at B&Q stores across the UK between March and June. Historically, these plants would be packaged in non-recyclable polystyrene trays, resulting in 22,500 cubic metres of polystyrene, enough to fill over 87,200 wheelie bins, ending up as non-degradable waste in UK landfills. Placed end to end, the trays would stretch from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

The move by B&Q is supported by the RSPB, long time campaigners for peat-free gardening. With easyGrow™ with Teabag Technology™, each bedding plant is rooted in up to 95% peat free compost.
 easyGrow™ with Teabag Technology™, consists of a self-contained biodegradable ‘teabag’ made from corn starch, a renewable resource that is fully compostable. Each bag is filled with coir, a natural fibre extracted from coconut husks.
 As part of B&Q’s commitment to working with British suppliers, easyGrow™ with Teabag Technology™ has been developed in partnership with British growers, including Coletta & Tyson, a family business based in Hull.

That statistic about the polystyrene packaging caught my eye when I was first reading through the email they sent me - what a huge waste of resources! So when I was asked to try some plants grown in this way I jumped at the chance - I am always keen to promote a reduction in both packaging and peat!

The plants are grown in coir inside a "tea bag" so are very easy to plant - simply lift the plant out of the (recyclable!) tray, and then pop the whole thing into a pot and cover the tea bag with growing medium. The bags allow the roots to grow through and also will slowly biodegrade
The plants I chose were very healthy looking and strong and I now have a couple of colourful pots to add to the patio collection. You can buy these bedding plants now from your local B&Q store.

To find out more about this new packaging have a look here for a load more information.

I also spotted this in the poly tunnel :) Wonder if I will be eating tomatoes before June 12th this year? 

More from the garden, next post :) 

I was sent a voucher by B&Q to buy some plants to review. All opinions are my own.


  1. Sounds like a good idea is there much difference in price?

  2. I had these too. Thought they were fab!

    Paid in Chickens - the smaller ones are 4 for ten pounds. Thats 10 per pack too... so you do get quite a lot :)


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