Adam Young

Latest posts by Adam Young

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Greenhouse Advice

Posted: 11/06/2013 at 12:34

Supernoodle - The powder coat finish will obviously still need cleaning, more to stop the build up of germs than anything, but it would be a heck of a lot easier to clean than plain aluminium which has a slightly abrasive finish. The other thing to bear in mind is the quality of the green powder coat. Greenhousesdirect say that they put on layer and layer, heat treated I believe, so that it actually becomes part of the aluminium itself, hence the price of a powder-coat finish. That said, do be really careful when it says powder coat, because some, no doubt, will be a simple paint on job, in which case I doubt it will last 5 minutes.

Makes - I paid for a guy who is sub-contracted to put up Rhino's and he said that there is barely any difference (certainly not enough to justify the price) between the harvester (which I have) and the premium. Both come with 4mm safety glass as standard, both have a 25 year frame guarantee (at least 10 more than I could find else where), vents are included, though louvres have to be added. The customer service was absolutely brilliant. The guy they recommend to put it up even came out just after the snow on valentines day! Elite, the GX range looked very, very good, but for the money and features the Rhino harvester definitely had the upper hand. Hercules also looked very good, but again, less years in guarantee and they actually ended up costing more. This is a major point by the way - do not be fooled into buying a cheap greenhouse unless it really is a budget thing, because they will end up costing a fortune. How anyone can sell a greenhouse without louvres and vents is beyond me, they are a must! And, do consider the base for the greenhouse, mine is drilled into patio paving, but the Rhino and some other makes, come with 2 different types of anchors, meaning you can erect on grass or concrete, saving a fortune in the grass case, as you don't have to pay for a concrete base to be built, they will simply need concrete poured around the anchors, much like a garden feature, arch, etc. so work out prices. Once you have done that, you'll find that the Elite and harvester are great options, if you have the money.

Do think of it as an investment. I absolute love mine and even in aluminium it looks the business. Everyone I know is really, really impressed by the build quality and general aesthetics. Actually, they're green with envy!

Greenhouse Advice

Posted: 21/05/2013 at 15:16

bought a rhino harvester with 4mm toughened glass from greenhousesdirect, who were very helpful and knowledgable. Safety glass for me was a must and this stuff is strong, I know this because my dog jumped the wall and bounced off of the glass leaving only muddy paw prints behind! Only regret is not getting it in a maintenance free, green powder coat finish, but that was a budget thing. I'd suggest 4 roof vents and a couple of louvres, automatic prevents you from becoming a slave to the greenhouse. The rhino is extremely strong, has a 25 year frame guarantee and really good head room. The low threshold doorway is brilliant, and the frame on the harvester is so strong you can have hanging baskets inside. I obviously recommend greenhousesdirect highly as I've used them, but I've bought staging form TwoWests&Elliotts and they were a pleasure to deal with and staging is extremely good.

Saint or sinner?.....don't like annuals

Posted: 21/05/2013 at 13:10

Moved late autumn last year and had a garden full of cigarette butts, balls, inflatables, ivy, brambles, battered shrubs, etc. and have now cleared the lot. I'm going to grow cosmos sulphureus, calendula indian prince, nigella love in a mist (white and blue), cerinthe major purpurascens 'shrimp plant', french marigolds (GH for toms), papaver lacinatum 'pink fizz', chrysanthemum polar star, rudbeckia cherry brandy and some catananche cupids darts. I really want to encourage as many bees, hover flies and butterflies as possible and think these will fill any gaps I have this year. On the plus side, went to crocus' open day in early May and have got some very nice perennials for the future. Can't wait, but definitely won't have room next year for all those annuals, not in the borders anyway! By the way, if you want bees, then cerinthe major purpurascens shrimp plants literally hum with them.

Feeding Seedlings and Plug Plants

Posted: 19/04/2013 at 10:42

Plants are a bit like people in that some are more vigorous and fill out quicker than others, don't worry at this stage, it just depends on the genetic make up of the plant. If the parent plant was a gooden and it was propagated from that, then you'll have a strong grower, but, likewise, if it is from a not so good parent, I don't know, let's say like a Jeremy Kyle 'show parent,' then the chances are, it will be a bit more weedy and slow growing, though hopefully less promiscuous. Hang on, that's not right, they don't normally know who the parent is, but you know what I mean!

On a practical note, I would agree with not feeding seedlings and that seed compost is the best thing for them. Most compost mixes give enough nutrients for 4-6 weeks, after this time, assuming you've started with seed and cutting compost, you can then go on to potting on compost, which, again, will give another 4-6 weeks of nutrients. It's really important not to over feed them at the young stage. If you are going to use a liquid/granular fertiliser, then make sure it's a very weak solution, maybe 10 times weaker than for stronger plants. Nitrogen is used for leaf and root growth, so using that will help the early stages, but do make sure you then switch to a higher potassium one for flowering/fruiting plants, as you'll end up promoting foliage over flowers if you don't.

Vitopod Propagators

Posted: 26/03/2013 at 13:37

I have bought 2 different propagators. My first one is Bio Green's jumbo propagator with heat mat, mini staging, thermostat and polypropalene cover, which works brilliantly, though would be about the same price. The advantage over the vitopod one is that it already has plenty of head room, the down side is that the condensation runs down the covering and onto whatever surface it's on, mine being wood = mould, where as the vitopod one is encased and the condensation runs back to the tray, however, for the height of the Bio Green propagator, you'd have to buy another layer, which is not cheap at all. That said, even though I've got the Bio Green one, I can see that both are very much the Rolls Royce of the gardening world.

The second one I bought is from TwoWests and Elliotts, and it's the electric blanket with cover. This comes with polystyrene sheets, heat mat and thermostat, (feels better built than the Bio Green one) plastic protective covering, and a self assembly polycarbonate and metal casing unit. It is highly, highly, impressive and I think, will whip the other 2 for what you get.

The way I look at it, is that buying just a single heat mat, nothing else, and not even to the length of the Bio Green jumbo propagator, and certainly nowehere near the TwoWests electric blankets, will cost anything up tp £200, yet, for the same price or just £100 more (that's assuming you can stretch that far) you get so, so, much more, which in my eyes, though costs more, is more economical and so, so, much better. Honestly, the way this spring is going, I'm so happy I bought them. My cheaper propagators would see 2 foot high seedlings and no true leaves about now, and it has certainly saved money on heating as it's far more localised than heating a whole greenhouse to tropical temperatures.

This is what happens when.....

Posted: 26/03/2013 at 13:06

Don't see why this should be an issue, why not insert some small stakes to act as supports? You can always remove the smaller support once in grow bags and tie them to a bigger cane. Just make sure you have the bigger cane in place first in-case they snap. Worse thing that can happen now is a check in growth due to lack of heat, hardly a bad thing at this stage! Believe me, no one will be laughing when you've got tomatoes 2 months ahead of everyone else. Happy days!

Plants from cuttings

Posted: 26/03/2013 at 12:50

Reading-wise, which is the only way I have to learn as I don't really know any other gardeners, I can't recommend enough 'RHS, Plant Propagation, Kenneth A. Beckett' and 'RHS, Propagating Plants, Alan R. Toogood' are exceptional books. The Alan R. Toogood one is brilliant for the amount of pictures it has.

Plants from cuttings

Posted: 26/03/2013 at 12:45

Rosemary, so they say, is actually easier to grow from cuttings than from seed. Simply do as others have said with the above plants. Cut a decent stem off and pull down on the bottom half of the stem, stripping away the fragrant leaves. Dip the bottom (read somewhere you shouldn't dip too far as it can cause the stem to rot) in rooting hormone of some kind and insert into compost until it reaches the leaves.

One thing I would say is important with Rosemary cuttings is the compost mix. I feel they do better with equal parts seed sowing compost and vermiculite. They really do need good drainage as they like it fairly dry anyway. Always go for seed sowing compost as anything else may have too much nutrients in it and be too strong for the fledgling plants. Also, also, if you have bottom heat, such as a propagator/heat mat, this will always speed up the rooting time of cuttings as it draws the roots down. You'll know if it hasn't worked because they go all manky and horrible!

Do these grow through plants?

Posted: 13/02/2013 at 17:03

Thanks guys. I think based on advice, I'm not gona bother with Iris', Papavers or Glads. I'll make room for Bonariensis as it's more transparent, and I'll make room for Alliums, as the advice is they'll grow up through less vigorous plants.

Looking forward to May time when I can start planting up the beds. I've never grown in a garden bigger than 7', so am very excited, even if there is a lot of work involved, but hey, ait's all part of the fun! Cheers guys!!

Do these grow through plants?

Posted: 13/02/2013 at 16:06

Also, just to give you an idea of scale, the border is an 'L' shape, with one part 3.3m x 1.5m and 3.1m x 1.5m. They were going to be based on thirds at 1.2m, but I wouldn't have been able to use the space hungry Lupins, Digitalis or Delphs. As it is I'm gutted because I know I just can't fit in Acanthus Mollis Bears Breaches

11 to 20 of 34

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