I love to have a bonfire every now and then, they’re a great way to get rid of waste – however, they may not be everyone’s cup of tea..
Disclaimer (before going any further): Please do check the rules and regs of your allotment deeds before having a bonfire. Not allotment sites permit them – or they might do with some rules attached.
November the 5th has just passed us by and as everything starts winding down for the year, gardeners and allotmenteers across the land will no doubt be turning to a bonfire to get shot of garden waste and/or keep warm.
Generally I like to take a common sense approach when it comes to having a bonfire and stick to a few golden rules.
- Stick to burning dry material. Not everything is dry straight away, so you may need to find a place to store material to dry out prior to burning.
- Avoid bonfires on a windy day. A fire on a windy day can be harder to maintain, and if you do get any smoke, it’ll blow everywhere across the allotment site.
- Burn responsible materials. Burning plastic materials is something to be avoided, mainly because of the fumes that can be given off.
- Keep the fire manageable. I purchased a little incinerator to help with this and it’s amazing how much you can burn in a short space of time and how much heat it gives off.
- Avoid burning during summer months. This is because everything is that much dryer and you run the risky of inadvertently starting a fire elsewhere.
- Don’t leave a fire unattended. Safety first people and this does of course mean that when you leave you should put the fire out.
Starting a bonfire
I tend to fill the incinerator with paper and/or cardboard. I then build it up with some dry material and once there’s an established flame, I add wood and keep the fire going with wood for the rest of the day.
Once the bonfires finishes and out, you can keep and use the ash. Pot ash is an alkaline so it can be composted or spread onto beds where plants could benefit from more alkaline conditions (cabbages, Brussels Sprouts and cucumbers).
I’d love to know your opinions on bonfires and how you go about having one in the comments below 🙂