Interest in growing herbs has increased sharply over the last few years, many are used in cooking and others have valuable medicinal qualities. Nathan James Dodd gives you advice on what herbs to choose and how to grow them.
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!
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.