The Forest Log and Tool Store is a handsome garden structure and, now that winter is approaching, a very useful acquisition. Martyn Loach purchased one recently and here he explains how it is assembled.
Once you've purchased your perfect greenhouse, it's essential to make the most of it.
And that means growing a wide variety of plants over a large part of the year, if not all the year round.
Make sure that the greenhouse is well planned and equipped . If you want to achieve maximum efficiency and enjoyment, such items as staging and a potting bench, heating, insulation and shading aren't optional extras. See our blog 'Greenhouse Accessories' for all your options.
Even a cool greenhouse in which the temperature is kept at say 5C can earn its keep by providing a winter haven for plants such as geraniums and fuchsias but if you provide more heat (see 'How to Heat a Greenhouse'), there are many more possibilities.
And not only will a warm greenhouse support the a wider range of flowering plants and vegetables, you will be able to make an earlier start in the spring with seedlings and cuttings.
Tomatoes are probably the most common greenhouse crop, they can be either grown in bags or a border that has been prepared with plenty of organic matter. Sown in February or March, plant out when the first flower truss appears. The atmosphere should be warm and dry with good ventilation. When the first fruit has set ,start to feed with a high potash fertiliser. Pinch out any side shoots and the tops when the plant reaches the top of its supporting cane.
There are many other crops worth considering: Capsicums and Aubergines can be grown in the same way as tomatoes, spaced about 1½ ft apart in the border. Chillies, whether your taste is for the mild or the red hot Naga Morich should be sown from January to April at a temperature of 25C - 30C so will really benefit from a heated propagator (see How to Propagate Plants) and then planted out.
Lettuce, sown from August to October in a heated greenhouse (approx 15C) will be available to eat all the way through the winter. Cucumbers need 18C – 21C and humidity but can be grown equally successfully, as can Grapes if the temperature is maintained at a steady 15C from March onwards.
You may prefer to concentrate on flowering plants such as Carnations that can be propagated from softwood cuttings and grown in containers or a border, Chrysanthemums, Cyclamen, Begonias or Gloxinias, there is really no limit on the
variety of plants you can grow and, when the danger of frost has passed, no heat is necessary – just care, attention and a good liquid feed.
All these plants require slightly different climatic conditions in which to thrive and there are various day to day routines that should be followed to enable successful cultivation.
This guide by Andy Taylor is all about battery powered lights, a very safe way to decorate your home with festive colour. With low running costs and bright LEDs, batteries may be the smart choice this Christmas.
There's a huge selection of Premier Christmas Lights, and it's no wonder why they are market leaders judging by the variety and innovation that's on offer. This is Andy Taylor's guide to their range of top quality lights and decorations.
In the past Christmas decorations were limited to streamers and fairy lights, but not any more as Robert Hall discovered when reviewing the huge range of novelty Christmas items that are brought to life by LEDs.
Christmas wreaths, swags and garlands might be thought a little old fashioned, but Robert Hall thinks that modern versions of these traditional decorations are a fabulous way to combine tradition with colourful contemporary themes.