With little chance of frost for most of the country and the weather becoming increasingly warm, May is a very busy month in the gardening calendar. Nathan James Dodd explains what should be happening in your garden.
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!
Palram offer a 'world of outdoor solutions', and David Coton reports that their impressive range of polycarbonate structures, including gazebos and skylight sheds, will soon be available on Gardensite.
Regular readers of the Gardener blog will recall last year's 'Shed Of The Year' competition. Martyn Loach now reports on the remarkable structures vying for the 2015 accolade.
Char-Broil has been the best selling barbecue brand in the US since 1948, and David Coton is pleased to announce that Gardensite will shortly be distributing their products.
Suburban gardens, once the well kept privet edged pride and joy of the majority of householders, are rapidly becoming paved over according to a recent report from the Royal Horticultural Society that Nathan James Dodd has been reading.