Many of us have modest outside spaces but they needn't be unproductive and, as David Hall finds out, containers and planters are a brilliant way of growing vegetables and herbs.
If you have money to burn, then wasteful heating in your greenhouse is a good place to start.
If you get as many double glazing leaflets through your door as I do you'll know energy saving is big business. And not without good reason. If you have money to burn, then wasteful heating is an easy place to start. Keen gardeners will know to their cost that their greenhouses also need heating. Even if it is only keeping the severe frosts off tender young plants. Double glazing can be used as effectively and efficiently in the greenhouse as the home.
It can save up to 45% of heating costs for only a small initial outlay. Now that will warm any gardeners heart, particularly when you know 83% of the heat put into a traditional glass structure is immediately lost to the atmosphere. Money burned!
Clear polythene could be used for double glazing your greenhouse, but it has little insulating effect and clings to the glass when wet, further minimising its potential.
When manufactured with the addition of clear bubbles, though, polythene becomes extremely attractive. The bubbles trap pockets of air, creating the same effect as sealed units in double glazing by providing a still air barrier. Bubble glazing, as it is affectionately known, is fixed into any metal greenhouse by using special plastic fastenings that slot into the channels of the aluminum frames. The bubble glazing is then held in place with a cap that secures it tightly ensuring a 1" insulation gap. With a wooden greenhouse you can simply use drawing pins.
When fixing, remember to place the bubbles towards the glass, and ensure good ventilation. Never completely seal up a greenhouse. Once in place you will discover that during daylight hours the warmth from the sun's rays passes through the bubble glazed lined glass to heat the greenhouse. When the outside temperature falls, the effect will be to retain this free heat. This not only means a saving in fuel bills, but also the opportunity to plant earlier and crop later. For you can get a 70% increase in daytime temperature during the cold season, and a 60% increase at night.
But there is one drawback, and that is trying to keep small hands from popping the bubbles!
Many of the timber products that we sell on GardenSite are manufactured from pressure treated timber. On some occasions a substance similar to mould forms on the surface but, as David Coton explains, this is harmless and easy to remove.
Tennis isn't everyone's cup of tea especially when for a fortnight it's impossible to get away from the sound of ball on racquet. However, one delicious advantageous of Wimbledon fully appreciated by Martyn Loach is strawberries and cream.
On average July is the hottest month of the year, and Dan Everton is busy maintaining his pond to keep the water and fish in top condition. However, safety especially during the school summer holidays should also be a prime consideration.
After a few colder than usual weeks, hot weather has now arrived to coincide with Wimbledon. However much excitement there is at SW19, Nathan James Dodd will find time for these July jobs around the garden.