Burning Logs – The Logs Direct Blog

Logs Direct Blog about the company and firewood industry news

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Mushroom compost is great for any garden

Mushroom compost is great for any garden

To reap the most from your garden, you need to start from the bottom up. Good quality soil, rich in nutrients, is vital for growing strong, healthy plants. Mushroom compost is bursting with organic matter that is perfect for boosting buds and adding verve to veggies.

Mushroom compost is usually made from a mix of stable manure and composted straw, making it a great soil conditioner. Alkaline in terms of pH, mushroom compost often contains chalk. Large lumps of chalk can be removed if you don’t want your soil to be too alkaline.

What is mushroom compost for?

Mushroom compost is perfect for reducing acidity in soils that are lacking organic matter, or creating an alkaline soil while increasing soil fertility. It’s also great for mulching, and breaking up clay soil. It can be alternated with manure or garden compost that is only slightly alkaline or neutral to ensure a balance.

Where to use mushroom compost

Rose beds, trees and shrubs love alkaline soil so mushroom compost can really help them flourish. It’s also perfect for using on your vegetable patch, as most vegetables grow better where the soil is less acidic. Alkaline soil is great for brassicas, such as cauliflower, broccoli, turnips, swedes, cabbage and kale, as it reduces the risk of clubroot disease, which leads to swollen and misshapen roots.

Where not to use mushroom compost

Fruit crops prefer neutral or acidic soil, so only use it on their soil if you have confirmed it’s already too acidic and needs to be balanced with an alkaline such as mushroom compost.

Mushroom compost for your garden

Mushroom compost for your garden

Mushroom compost is not recommended for soils that are already highly alkaline, as this could raise the pH too much and make it less favourable for plants to grow.

Avoid using it on ericaceous plants, which include azaleas, heathers, camellias and rhododendrons, as they prefer an acidic soil. A pH neutral improver such as broad leaf mould is better, or an acidic improver such a pine leaf mould can be used.

Due to the high salt levels of mushroom compost, it’s not recommended for use with potting mixes.

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Concerns about the finite nature of natural resources as well as issues around pollution are prompting many householders to carefully consider the pros and cons of the various energy options on offer before deciding on the most suitable option. Whilst it may seem at first sight that appliances and heating systems that use electricity are the greenest choices on the market, the reality is more complex. Take a look at why wood fired cooking or smokeless coal may well offer the most environmentally friendly energy source.

Consider green production methods

Wood fired cooking in a Valloriani oven

Wood fired cooking in a Valloriani oven

Our kindling and logs, for example, are harvested from sustainable sources and left to dry for a year or so to ensure that they generate the maximum amount of heat when burned. Contrast this with electricity production, where large amounts of natural oil or gas are needed to generate the power, further depleting already limited resources.

Pollution

Smokeless fuel releases only tiny amounts of particulate matter when it burns. Similarly, wood is generally considered to be a “clean” fuel. Whilst electricity may not emit particulate matter or release smoke whilst it’s being used in your home, if you consider the significant levels of pollution that electric power stations produce, it’s clear that electricity is sadly not as green as initially envisaged. Biomass fuels actually contribute to the carbon cycle, with carbon being released into the atmosphere during burning then taken up by plants (through the absorption of CO2 during photosynthesis).

Energy efficiency

Particularly when you opt to use biomass energy for your home, you’re using energy in a highly concentrated form. This results in a large percentage of the available energy being emitted as heat. When used in contemporary heating systems and stoves, it’s possible to meet all your energy needs using only a very small amount of solid fuel.

Given the enormous aesthetic appeal and charm of wood or coal powered appliances, it’s good to know they also have many environmental benefits. With so many advantages, it’s little wonder that a growing number of our eco-aware customers recognise the value of using solid fuel to meet their green energy needs.

Funky old fashioned well

Wood-fired restaurant cooking
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Here at Logs Direct, we believe that cooking on wood creates a unique and unparalleled flavour that’s the epitome of quality for diners. If you agree, and if you run a restaurant and serve wood and charcoal-cooked dishes to your customers, why not see if you’ve got what it takes to win a ‘Woody’?

What’s a Woody?

The LogsDirect Woody Awards is for wood-fired restaurants and caterers

The LogsDirect Woody Awards is for wood-fired restaurants and caterers

The Woody Award is our brand new award specifically for restaurants that serve food cooked on a barbecue, over a fire pit, in a wood-burning stove or pizza oven. As suppliers of wood fuel for restaurants, we’ve seen many fantastic establishments that meet the criteria.

It doesn’t matter if your restaurant is big or small, casual or formal – you just need to embrace the art of wood cooking and the resulting flavours and aromas.

How can you win a Woody?

Between May 2015 and April 2016 a grand total of 12 Woody awards are available to win. You have a chance to win every month, simply by collecting three reviews from customers that have enjoyed a wood-cooked meal at your restaurant. We need the customer’s name, information about what they ate and why they believe the food deserves an award.

If you want to win a Woody, collect together your three reviews and email enquiries@logsdirect.co.uk – it really couldn’t be easier! You can even enter each month, and if you win you’ll get the help of Logs Direct to publicise your success. Your new award will receive social media mentions, and the hashtag #WoodyWinner is ready for winners of our award.

You can find out more about winning a Woody Award by browsing our site or calling us on 01524 812476. We’re really looking forward to judging the competition, giving our awards and meeting our Woody winners. Don’t forget that you can enter to #WinaWoody every single month, even if you’re a previous winner. There are no rules to say that you can only win once, so with the right wood fuel for cooking and the right wood-cooked dishes on your menu, all that you’ll need to do is impress your customers and email their reviews to us.

Find out more about what Logs Direct can offer wood-fired restaurants and caterers on our restaurant page.

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Axes may have existed for almost all of human history, but if there’s one thing every handyman knows it’s that there’s always room for improvement. Up until now cutting wood has required a lot of force and a surprising amount of risk, but thanks to Finnish inventor Heikki Kärnä and his Leveraxe that’s no longer true.

Kärnä applied his knowledge of physics to replace the dangerous and labour intensive chopping motion of traditional axes with a levering effect. The Leveraxe’s head is side attached, subtly changing its centre of gravity, while the blade widens abruptly after the point of incision. The effect is a splitting force that multiplies the original kinetic energy of your swing by the lever action of the axe head, and if you know your Archimedes, you’ll know there isn’t much you can’t move with a decent lever. A single blow from the 1.9 kilogram axe head can open an 8cm fissure in a log, easily enough to separate it.

The increased effectiveness of each blow is an impressive benefit of the Leveraxe’s design, but it’s not the only one. The levering effect also has the benefit of preventing the axe from getting stuck after penetration and even lessens the risk of dangerous glancing blows. Plus, because the Leveraxe splits wood without needing to pass all the way through it, there’s less need for a chopping board. The Leveraxe will work just as well on stones or cliff, and when you use a chopping board there’ll be way less wear and tear than using a traditional axe.

The Leveraxe is also much safer to use than a traditional axe. Downward thrust is converted into rotational energy, so there’s no jarring shock passing back up through the user’s arms. The Leveraxe’s design even means that it naturally comes to rest on its side, keeping the blade facing away from the user while also handily stabilising the log.

In a world where gadgets are continually getting smaller it’s great to see some of that scientific know-how applied to making simple, physical tools safer and more efficient. It may be worthwhile to keep an eye out for what Kärnä thinks up next.

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To really bring your garden to life, try mixing in some fresh top soil. If your garden has poor quality soil, with too much sand, clay or stones, then your beloved plants will suffer. With low nutrition or poor roots your flowers might barely bloom before they wilt and your plants may struggle to live, let alone look lively. With our specially produced nutritious soil, made with 100% organic material, you can reintroduce the wow factor to your garden, making it look healthier, happier and brighter.

There’s no patch that our top soil couldn’t help improve. If you’re planning on re-laying turf, or even planting new grass outright, mixing in a layer of our top soil will give your grass a lovely layer to root in, giving you a livelier, greener lawn. Our mushroom compost, full of organic matter, is perfect for putting into your vegetable patch to grow bigger, tastier vegetables. Imagine sitting down to a filling dinner that was mostly grown in your own back garden.

It’s even worth using a bit of our top soil in your flower boxes and plant pots, especially in plants that might need re-potting. If they don’t have access to fresh soil, your plants will soon suck the food out of the little ground they’re given, so make sure to refresh your plants now and then to keep them growing strong. There’s nothing like a big, healthy flower on the window sill to brighten up your home.

Make your garden a paradise with the simple addition of top soil from Logs Direct. Good quality, natural, fertile soil, we know our stuff, and as always, we provide free delivery nationwide.

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Peat has been used as a fuel source for over 2,000 years, and when you look at all the benefits of burning peat, it’s easy to see why.

Convenience and Ease-Of-Use

Compressed peat briquettes are easy to handle and easy to use. Lightweight and compact, they are convenient for storage and let you avoid the mess that can be associated with other fuels. As the briquettes are formed from specially milled, compressed and dried peat, they take up much less space than many other fuels – great if storage space is at a premium. The convenience doesn’t stop when you add your peat briquette to your open fire or multi-use stove. Made from all-natural ingredients, with no fillers or binders, peat briquettes are extremely dry, meaning they are much easier to light than wood – peat briquettes are perfect for burning on your wood burning stove. Even better, when burning they produce a lovely characteristic scent, without smoke or high atmospheric emissions. This aroma is so pleasant that peat-scented candles and incense are popular purchases in countries that don’t tend to have peat fuel available!

Economy and Cost-Effectiveness

A large part of the appeal of peat as a fuel source is its economical nature and long-lasting heat. Six briquettes of peat will burn for 3 hours, the equivalent weight of wood would certainly not last the same amount of time. What’s more wood could potentially take up much more space in both your storage area and in your fire or stove. The high energy-density of peat means you get more bang for your buck.

It’s also environmentally friendly, Irish peat levels are currently replenishing faster than production levels.

If you’re looking for a smokeless fuel that is cost-effective, environmentally friendly, clean, easy to handle and gives a long-lasting heat, then smokeless peat briquettes might just be the perfect fuel source for you.

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With Christmas just around the corner, Logs Direct are taking inspiration from nature and bringing the outdoors indoors with decorative birch logs this year.

The beauty of decorative birch logs is that they come in a range of shapes and sizes so you can create effortlessly elegant displays throughout the home. We love the idea of displaying a bunch of decorative birch logs in a wicker log basket or crate, and adding festive foliage and strings of twinkling fairy lights to create a welcoming display as you enter the front door or in the conservatory. Why not snip a few branches from the Christmas tree and tuck them into your display to spread the scent of the tree around the house?

It goes without saying that birch logs, whether for decorative purposes or practical, look their best when stacked beside a wood burning stove or in the corner of a living room or kitchen to add height and interest to a bare wall. You can even cheat your way to your own farmhouse country kitchen and display decorative logs in an empty fireplace and add candles to create a warm glow.

Muted tones such as white, beige and soft grey work perfectly to accentuate the natural shapes and texture of decorative logs, while statement patterns like an old tartan throw, faux fur rug or exposed brick walls channel refined rusticity. Best of all, your decorative birch logs will only get better with age as the bark weathers, making them a timeless investment.

Decoration ideas and inspiration

  • Large logs make simple and functional side tables, or why not arrange three or four in height order beside the fireplace to create a mini feature?
  • Make the most of the logs’ natural shapes by fixing them to the floor to create a rustic feature underfoot. You could then use the off-cuts as DIY candle holders for centrepieces on the Christmas dinner table.
  • Choose a few longer logs and arrange them in a tall vase to add height and create a unique feature on bare landings, hallways and corners of the room.
  • White birch logs, noted for their pale, smooth bark are also part of the Logs Direct range so why not combine them with a bundle of decorative birch logs for an even more unique display?

Get your decorative birch Christmas logs from Logs Direct today.

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Logs Direct have added to their extensive range of firewood with a new air dried silver birch firewood crate. The logs are ready to be used straight away with a moisture content of around 15 – 20%.

The logs have been dried in the old fashioned way, by leaving them out in the open over a period of time. This drying process produces logs that have been properly seasoned with a moisture content of less than 20%. In fact most of the wood measures around 15%, making it perfect for using right away…Read more

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With planting season just around the corner, it’s a good idea to start preparing your soil right about now. Good soil preparation involves making sure that you’ve provided plenty of nutrients to feed the plant, and ensuring the texture and consistency of the soil allows for roots to grow. There are a variety of different ways in which to achieve this:

Topsoil is a perfect choice if you are bedding plants, laying down turf, or simply aiming to improve the quality of your existing soil. Good topsoil is soft and doesn’t contain stones, making it ideal for raking out or planting in.

Mushroom compost, meanwhile, is exceptional when it comes to improving your soil. It is largely made up of horse manure and wheat straw, amongst a variety of other organic components. Mushroom compost is a particularly good choice if you are intending to grow vegetables.

In the information age, buying compost online is as simple as can be. Online topsoil is widely available, and with retailers having relatively low overheads, you can be certain to find cheap compost on the web. Buying bulk compost will undoubtedly provide you with even more savings, as retailers will often offer discounts or free delivery for buying in bulk.

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In this article Logs Direct share their wisdom on how to store your kiln dried firewood as well as introducing their excellent range of log stores.  You can read the full article on kiln dried wood storage here.