Log burners and open fires have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity over the past few years. Andy Taylor explains how you can have a continuous supply of dry, well seasoned, wood by investing in a log store.
Buying a greenhouse will extend your gardening horizons, allowing you to grow a much greater variety of plants throughout the year. Here, Andy Taylor answers some of the questions he is frequently asked.
There's such a large range of greenhouses the choice can be bewildering. Our customers already know how much they have in their budget and how much space there is available in their garden, but need guidance on many other deciding factors. We are always happy to oblige, advising on a raft of considerations including:
These let light in from all sides, there's plenty of room for staging and they are very practical. This style offers the most growing area. Modern styling has seen elegantly curved glazing introduced and a 'barn' style offers extra height for tall plants. 'Orangery' type constructions are as much about outside leisure as gardening.
These are attractive designs but space is limited. They are most suited to the smaller garden.
Good if you have restricted space but unsuitable for north facing walls and can overheat if south facing. Light levels are reduced and traditionally the back wall has been painted white to return any available light to the plants. The back wall retains heat and can also be used to train and support climbing plants. If there is an internal door, lean-tos are very convenient as essentially you don't need to leave the house but, like any conservatory, they can become very hot during the summer.
Fixed against a wall with a series of shelves, attractively styled these are perfect when space is at a premium.
Whatever the style, the general rule is to go for the biggest you can afford and can accommodate. From 4ft x 6ft to the cavernous 20ft x 10ft, your greenhouse will soon be full to capacity. Think about how much use it will get, what types of plants are to be grown, how much storage is required, also consider aesthetics and whether or not you want the greenhouse to dominate your garden.
A pre-formed base is not essential, after obtaining the base dimensions you can construct one. However metal bases come as standard with many greenhouses or can be bought to save you a lot of time and trouble. Any base should be securely attached to a foundation, definitely not soil or turf, this may be slabs or concrete, overlapping the edge of the greenhouse by about 6 inches.
To lay the strongest foundations, you can excavate the ground around the perimeter of the greenhouse to create a strong foundation. Dig out a spades width to a depth of 5-6" around the edge. Fill the bottom 3-4" with rubble, hardcore, stones etc. and crush it in. Either add 2-3" of concrete mix on top, if you want concrete, or add a few more smaller stones, firm down & top with 1" sand, on to which you can lay slabs (maybe 18" x 9"). Alternatively fill all the hole with hardcore, crush in firmly and top with a sprinkling of sand to level it off.
Concrete slabs are ideal but at the same level as the entrance door or else they'll be a dangerous little step. Also think about wooden decking, bricks or gravel.
Greenhouses normally come with two or three glazing options:
It is really useful to have staging along least one side of the greenhouse, offering space to perform a number of tasks and also on which you can place plants and seedlings nearer the light. Pots and other equipment may be stored underneath.
You must control the temperature in a greenhouse and during the summer this is achieved mainly through ventilation. Always check that there is sufficient ventilation at all levels as, during hot weather louvres near ground level are used to allow in cool air that will then heat up and rise, exiting through top ventilators, thus providing an effective throughput of air. Check out the different types of manual and automatic ventilators that open and close according to temperature.
Heating will be a deciding factor on the variety of plants you are able to grow and the number of plants that can be kept over winter. Temperature during the winter shouldn't dip much below 10C and throughout the year the daily variation shouldn't be more than 10C, this can be controlled by a combination of heating, ventilation and insulation. The main types of heating used in a domestic greenhouse are:
Solar energy or wind turbines may become a consideration in the future but at the moment they are far too expensive due in part to the poor heat retention qualities of a greenhouse. Spent cooking oil is used occasionally commercially but is messy, smelly and not really suited to small scale production.
Yes, two people are generally better than one and you may find this blog concerning erecting a greenhouse helpful.
We can quote to erect greenhouses bought from us. However we do not have national coverage, so please ask first, Telephone 0121 355 7701.
We offer a 12 month guarantee on all the aluminium structure, we also have a full after sales support system that will resolve any problems. Furthermore we have been selling greenhouses for 50 years and have two show sites, each displaying a selection of greenhouses. We are not an internet only company that simply buys and sells, with little or no knowledge. We sell with confidence so you can buy with confidence.
We use a specialist company that will telephone prior to arrange delivery. You can not send glass on a standard parcel carrier. The unit will be delivered to your door. The glass is pre-packed and then shrink wrapped into manageable packs, please lift with caution and use gloves. The unit is packed separately, and the base is packed separately.
If you need advice on buying a greenhouse, don't hesitate to contact our sales team on 0121 355 7701.
Robert Hall, senior partner at GardenSite.co.uk has been elected to sit on the Garden Industry Manufacturers Association (GIMA) Judging Panel for 2017. The news was announced on 31st March 2017 on the GIMA website.
April, particularly if you are on holiday over Easter, is the time when gardeners, whatever their level of enthusiasm and skill, want to get into the garden. Andy Taylor looks at the gardening jobs that can be achieved this month.
With rising water temperature and kinder weather, April is a good month for pond maintenance and Dan Everton takes a look at the jobs that need to be done this month.
Pay attention to your lawn in the spring and Andy Taylor reckons you will receive dividends later in the year.