Whether it's a bleak December or the more mild weather we are becoming used to, you can still spend useful time in the garden. Nathan James Dodd suggests the jobs that can occupy the shortening days.
If you have money to burn, then wasteful heating in your greenhouse is a good place to start, as all the benefits of a heater will swiftly be lost through the glazing. Robert Hall recommends bubble insulation to save you money and keep your plants nice and warm.
Keen gardeners will know that to over winter plants and sow seeds early in the spring, heated greenhouses are essential, and they realise that double glazing can be used to retain heat as effectively in the greenhouse as in their home.
It can save up to 45% of heating costs for only a small initial outlay. Now that fact will warm any gardener's 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.
But when manufactured with the addition of clear bubbles, 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. It 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.
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 results in a 70% increase in daytime temperature during the cold season, and a 60% increase at night.
The only drawback is when you have children, and trying to keep small hands from popping the bubbles!
Trimetals metal storage solutions continue to be popular best sellers on GardenSite and the company has now been officially recognised as one of Britain's 'brightest businesses'. Robert Hall learnt of this latest achievement on the Queen's birthday.
Grange have a long history of manufacturing decorative timber garden structures. Their new Urban and Contemporary collections feature the type of sharp, clean lines that Nathan James Dodd thinks will benefit any modern landscape.
The connection between gardening and good health is well established and Robert Hall has learned that it's now going to be the subject of a report from The King's Fund.
Autism affects a person's relationship with others and the way in which they experience the world. Gardening has increasingly been recognised as a rewarding activity for those with autism and Nathan James Dodd has been discovering why this seems to be true.