Slopes in your garden can be a bit of a safety hazard at times so why not put down some steps and make life easier for yourself. Joyce Russell will show you how to do it.
Material & Tools
The materials will vary according to the size of your steps, but for these ones you need two posts per step and a board of the width that you want the steps to be. I used reclaimed oak for my steps: this is hard, slow to rot, and it has an aged look.
Durable timbers such as chestnut or larch are other options, as are pressure processed timber, old railway ties etc. You will need to survey the site in order to decide the number of steps to fit into the slope.
Top Grafting An Old Apple Tree
Let’s see an old variety of apple tree called ‘Bess Pool’ that originated in Nottinghamshire in the 1700s. It’s a healthy seven-year-old tree, but produces very little fruit because it blossoms late in the season when all the other trees have finished flowering. In order to get fruit, I need another variety that flowers at the same time to act as a pollinator. If you haven’t room for more trees so you can top graft different varieties on to the existing tree to create a family tree. The process of top grafting is fairly easy and is done in spring just as the trees are starting to show signs of growth.
The spectrum of manures used around the world ranges from bat guano to human waste. Some are ‘hot’ manures rich in nitrogen from urea such as chicken or goose. Those require a little care when applied to avoid ‘scorching’ tender roots. Others are ‘cooler’, such as cow, sheep and horse, especially as these are generally mixed with bedding material which is best composted first. Dog and cat manures may feed disease so should be got away. Manures are not a homogenous product.