Sowing and Growing a Winter Harvest (5)

I am re-thinking my plan to use the potato growing bags for salad crops, since the slimy ones decimated the plants I’ve already sown – radish, parsley and most of the mizuna mix. Even after the eggshells went down.

Continue reading “Sowing and Growing a Winter Harvest (5)”

Insulating the Greenhouse (3)

With plenty of seedling growing in the potting shed, and hundreds thousands of salad leaf seeds to sow, I was determined to get the salvaged bubble-wrap pinned to the inside of the greenhouse. I used drawing pins – easy to remove and minimal damage to the wood.

The bubble-wrap originally protected the polycarbonate sheets while in transit.

Bubble wrap can’t be recycled or burned so it would have ended up in landfill. As it is estimated that it takes 500+ years to decompose, that is not something I’m comfortable doing until I have re-used and re-purposed it many, many times.


Additional Heating

I’ve been looking at possible ways to warm the greenhouse – and protect my salad leaves – when the temperature hits zero or below. Preferably at low or no cost.

There is power point nearby for electic heaters and I have bad memories of smelly, smoky parafin heaters.

I found information on the internet about using candles to heat nested terracotta pots; the idea being that instead of the heat from the candle rising up, the pots (linked with a steel bolt suspended on nuts and washers) will warm up and – similar to storage heaters – will retain and then release heat.

The cheapest version is a Cornish Heater.

Do they work? Some say they do (for a small space), others say not.

And you should never leave lit candles unattended.

I’ll stick with garden fleece, and maybe tuck them up with a hot-water bottle or two on the coldest nights.

Borders, Boundaries and Shady Dealings

NOT the local Mafia (or, as we’re in Wales, the Taffia), but a look at the problems caused by my neighbour’s overgrown trees.

First, the vew from my study window – for the wider angle looking across the conservatory roof. The brick shed is ours, the greenhouse and field is the neighbour’s. as are the trees.


Continue reading “Borders, Boundaries and Shady Dealings”

Weekend Workout

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In June 2019, I made a start on a project that is finally almost complete. This began with the removal of a raised bed in the shadiest part of the back garden, via the building of the Tiny Greenhouse and now the final corner. Click here to see what it looked like in 2018.

We were left with this ‘spare’ piece of ground, where the round compost bin had stood for 20 years. But then our beer spare fridge finally gave up the ghost in February (almost gassing us in the process), and we were forced to buy a new washing machine after the bearings went on the old one: so with all Recycling Centres closed until a few weeks ago, this (↓) was the view from our kitchen window – until now. Continue reading “Weekend Workout”

Growing in a Grid (2)

Though I have, technically, been attempting grid gardening for two years, it’s been on a more informal basis; a shove it all in and hope it grows basis.  This has worked, but only up to a point.

There are websites and books out there that have already calculated the optimum number of plants that should grow in one-square-foot.

If you want to sow garlic, one square foot (foot-square?) will support nine. Sowing parsnips? You can sow sixteen in one square.  Chard? You can only sow four seeds or seedlings. Potatoes – just one.

If I translate that to a large-scale raised bed, then a way of measuring the area and using the correct spacing is necessary.  I spotted something on the internet a while ago, but it wasn’t too difficult to draw up my own plan, though it doesn’t cover every variation.


This is the template my husband used to make my board out of plywood scraps from the shed.

The square is 12 x 12 inches (well it is called square-foot gardening).  I drew diagonal lines corner-to-corner and measured a one-inch border around the outside, then worked out the distances between each set of holes by trial and error – and a pencil and rule(r).

16 holes (green) are 8 centimetres apart, 9 holes (blue), which include the centre are 10 centimetres apart, 4 holes (red) are 14 centimetres apart.

And here is the finished object.

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It’s not pretty, but it doesn’t have to be.  It will do the job, and I have a spare. I’ll use a small length of cane as a dibber – to mark the space when planting seedlings, or measure the correct depth when sowing a seed.

I just need to make sure I have a list of how many of which vegetable seed per square.

There may be times when I just make it up!