Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Storm damage

Well it's all been happening here. The storm hit us Monday, high winds & loads of rain. When I went to bed everything was still standing but by Tuesday morning it was a scramble between the rain to try & repair & retrieve everything.

The roof on the greenhouse blew off, 2 panels completely broken, 2 missing. Luckily I had kept all the old panes when I replaced them with the plastic ones, so gloves on hands I carefully replaced them all. Now this wasn't the only happening at 10am, mum's door finally gave up the ghost & she couldn't get in her home. So there she was sat in my house waiting for a locksmith (Christmas eve- double charge?). At least she kept the dogs entertained for a while but it did take me 3 hours to replace them all & remove all the soaking wet bits from inside the greenhouse. During winter I use it to store all my seat cushions & fabric bits from the garden. The electrics were a problem too, luckily the fuse had gone on the main box for the circuit & not the whole house.

The whole of the garden is soaking wet, luckily not flooded like some down here in Kent. It's more mud than grass & the dogs took delight in taking as much of it indoors to dry it out. Hurry up summer. A lot of my seeds are all soaked too, I think I will invest in some plastic boxes to keep them in instead of the cardboard shoe boxes I have.

I now have the heating going in there, the candle & plant pot trick, to see if this will help but at the moment there is so much moisture in there I don't know if it's really going to help.

I hope everyone else managed to get through the storm with none or minimal damage.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Heating the greenhouse/shed for 4p per day | Sean's Allotment Garden CHA...

Sorry the link below didn't work for some reason.

Bad blogger

I don't mean me, I mean Blogger. Why do they have to keep changing things, especially without telling you how to use the new stuff. No wonder people are leaving & going over to Wordpress, personally I don't like that either. The alternative of course is to go to FaceBook but then people have to have an account with them to read that.

Well, I've not been up to much in the garden, as you can imagine, but I have re-filled the beds with manure & compost ready for next season. As you have already read I have also put the bubblewrap up in the green house too. It was then going to go on to the next bit about heating it cheaply, but I got beat to it by the Horticultural Channel so in some ways that saved me having to make my own video as I can let you watch theirs.

Now there are a few points I would like to make about this.
First off, there is NO POINT heating your greenhouse unless you have insulated it. All the hot air will just simply disappear through the glass & the metal frame. So make sure you have the bubblewrap up, double layer if necessary.
Secondly those candles do not burn all day, they last about 3-4hrs. You can buy bigger ones which last 8 hours (as I have) but they do work out more expensive, I think about 10p each & you will need 2-4 depending on how much you need to raise the temperature. Also remember that as you are using clay pots even after they have stopped burning the radiant heat will still remain for a while, how long I don't know. (I see an experiment to come)
Thirdly, don't stick it on top of ANYTHING. I know most things in a greenhouse aren't combustible but I'm sure some of you (like me) will have something in there that could. Not only that but as hot air rises you will simply loose what you make. I would suggest you place it on the floor or on a shelf under/nearby any plants that need this extra heat (not too close to plastic pots/trays)
Fourthly & remember I haven't actually set mine up yet as we haven't had any frost (lowest temp in greenhouse so far was last night at 0.2 degrees C) but I think using a ceramic tray maybe safer than a metal one, it will heat up just as the terracotta pots will, using a ceramic or clay one will heat slower & cool slower so keeping heat around longer.

This is a good way to heat a greenhouse for anyone with a plot or without electricity, it still costs less to run than a paraffin heater & also a bit safer (imagine knocking over the paraffin). I actually have electricity in mine & will invest in an electric heater one day, I just don't know if it will be cost effective as I wouldn't need to use it much.

I don't grow plants in my greenhouse over winter but I do store some frost sensitive plants & bulbs (mainly in pots) & I do like to heat it in early spring so I can get a head start on growing.

I hope everyone is safe, it's a bit windy & there is snow up North, we also have flood warnings down here for tonight & tomorrow.