Wednesday 29 January 2014

28th January 2014 - How would you like this for your Birthday ?

Wife and daughters sat me down last night for a serious talk - Gulp "what now" thinks me  :unsure:

Turns out they wanted to know if I would like a Norfolk Spacesaver Greenhouse for home for my Birthday as I'm so excited about having a greenhouse down the allotment. I've done some research and appears that the instructions are bad and it's like putting Meccano together, but there again I loved Meccano as a kid.

Going to measure this morning and agree positioning in the garden then It looks like I may end up with two greenhouses .

Picture is from Norfolk Greenhouse site appears to sell from £129+P&P to £159+P&P not really found an alternative in the same price range.

Tuesday 28 January 2014

Monday 27th January 2014 - Super Store Flower Pots

As suggested by a fellow forum member I asked at my local superstore if they had any flower pots / containers I could have or buy - "Wait a mo, I will see what I have" the guy on fruit and veg said and came back with a stack "you can have this lot if you like".  I did like very much

280 x 300mm internal and 295 x 330mm external on plan
    3 x 235mm high 
  13 x 285mm high
    6 x 340mm high

They will be idea for the new greenhouse

So now I shall have to get the soldering iron out to make some drainage holes in the sides about 10-15mm up from the bottom so that the hold some water in the bottom

Monday 27 January 2014

Sunday 26th January 2014 - Terracotta Pot Candle Heater

Too wet to do anything down the allotment today - So I went to B&Q to pick up 8 2.4m lengths of treated timer to make up some more pop bottle frames and I'm kinda getting overrun with them down there and want to make up pop bottle fox proof cloches ready for warming the beds in late Feb / March

Also picked up a pH & Soil moisture tester reduced to £3 so that I can check the pH of the beds and perhaps water as required in the new greenhouse rather that have it too wet in there, and a couple of terracotta pots for the candle heaters I intend to try in the greenhouse and the cold frame. I intend to do some trial runs and monitor the inside and outside temperature to see if these candle powered terracotta heaters really work. 

I think their diagram is wrong in that as heat rises the hot air would escape from the top and draw air from the bottom of the pot to be heated on the way i.e. a vented chimney with their diagram where does the replacement air come from if its all flowing out? - basic physics really - God I'm turning into the gardening equivalent of Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory

Sunday 26 January 2014

Saturday 25th January 2014 - Greenhouse Day

Keith gave me a call this morning to say that he and Pauline were back from shopping and we could start dismantling the greenhouse - We lost one nut and one screw (different times) in the grass and could not find them but managed to get it apart just in time for lunch.

The framework is now residing on the allotment and all the plastic panels came home to be washed off - Where it's been in the corner of the garden up against two fences for a couple  of years the outside of the panels had developed a nice coating of green algae. Just got it all cleared away before it went dark and the heavens opened.

So I need to get some timbers for the base and have now decided to place the greenhouse on Bed 6 so that I can get all around it. Another alteration to my Master Plan - Also now thinking about making Bed 5 a permanent strawberry bed.   

I could do with identifying the make of this greenhouse to see if I can get some replacement plastic strips that hold the plastic panels on place. I know it came from B&Q but they don't sell anything like it anymore.

Wednesday 22 January 2014

Tuesday 21st January 2014

As I now know that I'm getting Keiths Greenhouse I have decided to turn the pop bottles into fox proof cloches. I cut a strip of pine boarding up at an angle of 60/30 degrees because I intend to make triangular ends panels to infill when the 1.2 x 1.2m panels are used like a playing card house, like the photo below but the ends will support the sides when you want to remove one side to weed.

I painted those corner brackets today to protect the timber and hopefully get more life out of them. A little research into vent openers and a post on the forum for advice. 

Tuesday 21 January 2014

Monday 20th January 2014 - Digital Thermometer

Picked up a couple of Digital Thermometers from Lidl on my way back from a meeting in London.

One for my new Greenhouse and another for my brother-in-law for his new one and as a thank you for giving me his old greenhouse.

Runs off a single AA battery which is included. UK Instructions in the box for those of you that are thinking of picking one up.

This gives the temperature inside and outside and has an Ice Alarm 

Given some thought as to where to shoehorn the greenhouse into the exiting plan and it look like where I had the blowaway greenhouse last year after I remove all the pop bottle and the bags of sand and manure - Thinking I may just leave the slabs - I really need to see what I'm playing with and the relative heights with the timber / material store.

I've also located three more places I can squeeze some comfrey plants in. I was going to try and build a mini greenhouse on the side of the shed but now I'm thinking more of a store cupboard / extension

Moving the green dalek to the black dalek could release another 1/2 bed - Some thing to think about

Monday 20 January 2014

Sunday 19th January 2014 - I've got a Greenhouse

Lovely Sunny day but no visit to the allotment today as I wanted to go and get some more potatoes to start chitting  I ended up buying a 2kg bag of Maris Peer Second Earlies (26 seed potatoes) instruction on label

1. Set to sprout in light cool frost free place
2. Plant March - May when soil is well prepared and Warm. Apply fertilizer to manufactures recommendations
3. Earth up when 200mm high
4 Water when dry to avoid scab and improve yield

Sow 100mm deep Rows 700mm apart  at 300mm spacing's
First earlies June/ July
Seconds earlies July/Sept
Maincrop Sep / Oct

Picked up slug pellets, and various bits and bobs from the £1 shop including 10 cat litter trays for intercropping on the beds and holding the weed membrane down a Terracotta Pot for my Cold Frame heater (which will now have a new home see later...Very Big Grin)

Seeds (Yes I know I didn't really need anymore but they were there and cheap - 6 in 1 pack of easy salad collection pack including Carrot (nantes 5), Lettuce (little Gem) Spring Onion (White Lisbon), Radish (Cherry Balls), Rocket, Cress (fine curled) for 90p and Parsnip (Student) 40p and Radish Icicle (long White) for 40p Offer 3 for the price of 2 from Wilko so £1-30 better than the 50p seed sale. I do like the collection packs they are real value for money. 

Got home to find that my Brother-in-law is buying a new greenhouse and I have first refusal of his 6"x4" Aluminium framed and polycarbonate glazed greenhouse for the allotment - going to take it apart next weekend if the weather holds out. You guessed it that's the new home for the terracotta tea light heater.

I feel like a kid again .....  :nowink: I've got a greenhouse, I've got a greenhouse  :nowink:   

Beryl if you read this (and I know you will) - I now know just how excited you are feeling having got your one on ebay

Wednesday 15 January 2014

14th January 2014 - Potatoes Chitting

 Picked up some seed potatoes - details off the labels just encase I loose them

Beautiful Garden £1 Shop 8 Seed Potatoes SWIFT - Solanum tuberosum
Good for Boiling, Chips, Baking, Roasting, Salads

Plant Feb - May (Before Planting outside ensure any danger of frost has passed
Depth 200m centres 300mm Diameter 35 - 55mm Harvest June - July

Beautiful Garden £1 Shop 8 Seed Potatoes PENTLAND JAVELIN - Solanum tuberosum
Good for Boiling, Chips, Salads -
Plant Feb - May (Before Planting outside ensure any danger of frost has passed
Depth 200m centres 300mm Diameter 35 - 55mm Harvest June - July

B&Q Verve Grow Your Own  DESIREE main crop Seed Potato £3.48 or 2 bags for £6
19 Scottish Basic Seed Potatoes in the 1.75kg sack Size 35mm x 60mm Grade EC3 Class A
High Yields for growing 18-25 Weeks Sow March - May Harvest - Sept - Oct

Chose a site that has not grown potatoes for four years to avoid pests and disease
Chit (encourage sprouts) in a tray in a light, frost free place until sprouts are 20mm or plant directly into soil once frost risk has passed.

Rows 250mm apart 100mm deep , cover with soil and water well. Water during dry spells
As shoots appear above soil surface draw up the soil into mounds to cover the shoots, repeat through growing weeks. Feed regularly with a high potash fertilizer

Harvest Once the leaves and stems have withered leave the potatoes in soil for 2 weeks. Move soil carefully and remove potatoes.

B&Q Verve Grow Your Own KING EDWARDS main crop Seed Potato £3.48 or 2 bags for £6
30  Scottish Basic Seed Potatoes in the 1.75kg sack Size 35mm x 60mm Grade EC3 Class A
All other details as DESIREE

So I need 18 x 4 beds = 72 Seed Potatoes and have 8+8+30+19 = 65 so I'm 7 short so I guess I'm looking for a bag of seconds from the £1 Shop or another variety of main crops

15th January 2013

I've set up a fold away crate with egg boxes and an additional level of support using bamboo canes for the overflow. As I don't have a spare bedroom they will live in the shed during the day and come into the kitchen for the night unless there is a frost during the day.

The plastic shed does allow light in via the small window and the translucent ridge board.

Tuesday 14 January 2014

13th January 2014 - Plan Tweaking

I've been making a few modifications to the proposed Layout (assuming I actually get Beds 10 - 15 ready before April this year

Thursday 9 January 2014

Thursday 9th January 2013 - More Plastic

An early visit to drop off  kitchen food stuffs to go into the runner bean trench with paper shredding's from my still sorting out the boxes and the home office. Took down the hoops on what was the Brussels Sprouts Bed 5 and dug up the remains and roots of the Sprouts - Didn't quite get around to adding them to the compost daleks

Popped into Astra to harvest lots of small plastic sections to be used to link the netting hoops together, came away with some timber Joists and scaffold boards as well. Took back to the allotment and stacked in front of the shed.   

Friday 3 January 2014

Friday 3rd January 2014

 My youngest daughter asked if I could drop her off to work, OK said I, well being half way to the allotment and the Astra Windows old yard. It would be rude not to see if I could get more plastic extrusions to use as edging.

The caretaker John 79 was there,

John "hello son, back for some more"
Me   "Yes please, if you don't mind"
John "Take what you want, the more you take the less I have to get rid off"

So an hour of sorting and cutting and I have more plastic all cut to 2.4m and enough for the whole plot with a few strips spare. I also got some small cross section mouldings that I can use to link the water pipe hoops together rather than buying more 8ft bamboo. John suggested I drop down next week and pick some more up for the runner beans.

John and I got talking, turns out he has a load of scaffold boards and timber joists which he just needs to check the company don't have a need for and he will phone me next week to collect. So I may be able to create a few raised beds along the path. I just managed to fill the car as the rain started, a quick trip around the corner and three trips had it all on the allotment.

I've laid out 3 strips of plastic next to each bed and doubled up where I have not dug on the other side of the flag stone path. The stuff for the triangular area is stacked in front of the shed on top of the timber fencing.

I also managed to get the netting off beds 6 and 8 and tied up the hoops and stored behind the shed. Managed to get home for lunch about 12:30 and the heavens opened and a little thunder.

Thursday 2 January 2014

Thursday 2nd January 2014 - Mouth like Dudley Moore and Tougue Like JarJar Binks !

I broke a chunk off a back tooth before Christmas and had a Dentist appointment this morning thinking it may need to be extracted - but he managed to fill it and save it for another day. So I returned home with a mouth like Dudley Moore in 10. I looked at the Weather forecast for the next 10 days. On seeing that today was the best day in the next 10, I made a executive decision that I would visit the allotment for the rest of the morning, especially as I had lost the use of my tongue like JarJar Binks in Star Wars and could not really use the phone. (any excuse to get to the allotment really)

I saw that the Astra Windows people were moving out from their old premises and decided to ask if I could have some of the guttering, pipes and plastic to use to replace the lawn edging form the pile that had not yet made it into the container sized skip. Help yourself the man said, and even lent me a saw to cut it up into 2.4m lengths and 1.2m lengths. So I've got my nettle pipe, some weather board to form a roof on the timber store and enough edging for 12 beds.

I did manage to harvest all the rest of the Brussels, Installed the timber into the 2nd Runner Bean bed and trenched both beds and filled them with the stalks and leafs from the Brussels, I then added some cardboard and will add some more compost material over the next few weeks then cover.

Now back to the spread sheet and the programme, I will send over to those that have emailed me as soon at it's nearly there