How I wound up with a pond

My weekend went like this:

  1. buy a Green Cone composting system
  2. read instructions
  3. find out I had to dig a 3′ by 2′ deep hole
  4. spend all Saturday afternoon digging massive hole in the back garden, horny-handed son of toil style
  5. just as I finish, the skies open
  6. watch in horror as the hole rapidly becomes a pond
  7. since the green cone requires a dry hole, wait for it to drain…
  8. …and wait…
  9. …and wait…

I’m still waiting. :(

I just hope the flooded state of the pit is a side effect of the monsoon levels of rain over the last week, and will drain soon, rather than the normal situation for the garden. Otherwise, I’ll have to fill the hole and give up on the Green Cone entirely… argh. I should have gone for the wormery option, like lisey suggested!

Update: Enda left a good tip in the comments — dig deeper into the clay and fill in with more gravel. I did that and it looks like it’s working… Let’s see if the worms like it. I’ll keep yis posted ;)

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  1. Posted June 25, 2007 at 15:25 | Permalink

    Run away from wormeries.

    It’s like having 500 more children who don’t want too much food, or too little, or too wet, or too dry, or garlic.

    Seriously, we put ours in a skip recently after multiple failed attempts. Only works if you are a single stick insect vegan with an eating disorder who generates 3 grams of food waste per week.

    Keep us posted on the cone, I really would like to give that a try.

  2. Posted June 25, 2007 at 17:18 | Permalink

    Now buy a Diatomaceous Earth Filter and you got yourself a swimming pool! :)

  3. Enda
    Posted June 26, 2007 at 11:42 | Permalink

    The cones do work well, but if you’ve got a boggy garden dig the hole an extra foot or two down and fill with gravel for drainage.

  4. Posted June 26, 2007 at 12:24 | Permalink

    Enda — are you speaking from experience?

    I was thinking of filling it with more gravel, up to a level above the water level, then raising the ground level to the point where it should be. in other words, the cone would be embedded in a mound, with the edge of the black “compost basket” part slightly above ground level. ASCII art time:

                 /  \\
                /    \\
             __/      \\___
          __/ +--------+  \\__
    _____/    |        |      \\_______
              |        |   
              |        |

    Basically I’m worried that the water level will not reduce if I dig deeper; the hole will just fill up with more water to achieve the same level. (I don’t quite know how subterranean water tables work as you can tell…)

  5. Enda
    Posted June 26, 2007 at 13:14 | Permalink

    No, not really. Some of my relatives have them and they work great. We don’t have a boggy garden, but rather a gardeny bog, so I’ve never installed one myself. It could be you’ve got a layer of poor draning soil so that it takes ages for your pool to drain. Going down an extra foot or two might be enough to clear the problem.

    I’ve been waiting for someone with a bog to report success, so if it works for you I’ll get one myself. If not, well at least it wasn’t me wasting my time digging holes!

  6. Posted June 26, 2007 at 13:33 | Permalink

    hmm, well, it may work I suppose. I’ll talk it over with the missus and see what she thinks…

    I’d prefer to try to fix this hole if possible. it’s a real fucker to dig a 3′ x 2′ crater and then have to fill it in again!

  7. Posted June 27, 2007 at 20:31 | Permalink

    I have at home a very rustic composting system at the edge of the garden. The system is simply composed of “clark pallets” where air can flow. The system is hidden by some plants around (e.g. raspberry cane). We put everything organic inside (from grass to old food), this is separated in two parts : this year and last year part. After less than 1 year everything is like ground and can be used in the garden. We just to try to keep a “cake approach” when filling the current section with various layers. It works quite well (at least with the weather in the south of Belgium).

  8. Posted June 27, 2007 at 23:14 | Permalink

    Thanks for the tips guys — I dug deeper and it seems to have worked. here’s some pics!