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BobTheGardener


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

DIY heated propagator

Posted: 01/02/2014 at 22:10

Next would be to line it with insulation so that the heat would be retained.  I had a roll of polystyrene insulation which was left over after fitting a laminated wooden floor in my conservatory (which has a concrete floor.)  This stuff is very cheap and ideal for the job:

 

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/36870.jpg?width=288&height=350&mode=max

First layer stapled in place:

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/36871.jpg?width=288&height=350&mode=max

Second layer now stapled (with galvanised 12mm staples) and trimmed:

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/36872.jpg?width=288&height=350&mode=max

 

DIY heated propagator

Posted: 01/02/2014 at 22:01

 

 

I worked out that it would take 4 x 25kg bags of sharp sand to fill it to the required depth (4 inches: 2 inches below the heating cable and 2 inches on top.)  As that meant the whole thing would weigh over 100kg, very sturdy support would be needed!  I used 50x50mm (2x2 inch) timber to make a frame and used steel legs from an old office desk I found in a skip:

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/36863.jpg?width=288&height=350&mode=max

Pic below is it in place on top of the frame:

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/36864.jpg?width=288&height=350&mode=max

DIY heated propagator

Posted: 01/02/2014 at 21:53

Hi all, before I post pics of all the latest work done today, here's one of how I decided on the exact size of base to make.  I originally wanted it to be roughly 4ft x 2 ft to fit the space available in my shed but decided to make it an exact fit to multiples of standard seed trays by laying them out on the plywood I used for the bottom then adding 2 x the thickness of the decking boards used for the sides.  This is how it turned out:

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/36862.jpg?width=288&height=350&mode=max

 

best-potato-to-grow

Posted: 01/02/2014 at 20:36

My OH won't eat them with the skins on Alan!  Personally, I don't even mind a bit of soil left on things I eat!  We couldn't be more different really.

Garlic growing

Posted: 01/02/2014 at 18:17

Hi nikki, yes, if you have somewhere which isn't waterlogged (does anyone?!) I would get them out now.  They need a bit of cold to trigger the bulb to split into cloves.  If they don't get that they might just grow into larger single bulbs - still useable in the kitchen but not ideal.  Given the weather, putting them under open-ended cloches for a while might be a good idea to keep the worst of the rain off.

Clematis

Posted: 01/02/2014 at 17:50

These deep pots are what I use to grow-on clematis before I plant them out:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/10-NEW-PLASTIC-4-LITRE-EXTRA-DEEP-BLACK-RIGID-PLANT-POTS-/301079978671

If they are small plants/large plugs, they stay in these for a year before being planted out in about mid-march.  I plant them 2 inches deeper than when they arrive into these pots and then 4 inches deeper still when I plant them into the garden in a year's time (in March).  I have lost small clematis by planting them into the garden too quickly so am always patient and stick to this method now.

best-potato-to-grow

Posted: 01/02/2014 at 12:05

I have heavy clay and keeled slugs but Kestrel were untouched last year and also the best tasting so those together with Sante (also slug resistant) and Pink Fir Apple are my selections for this year.  The last one will get attacked but I just can't resist the taste so some damage is acceptable (and being knobbly means cutting out the damaged bits doesn't add much longer to the preparation time than the rather tedious peeling!) 

For anyone just starting out I recommend you get a pack with several different varieties (eg 6 x 10 tubers) if you have the room.  Potatoes grown on different types of soil DO taste different, so you really need to find out which grow and taste best on your particular plot.  I grew over 50 varieties before finding 8 or so that I really like and do well.  I still try a row of a new variety every year, too (Mayan Gold this year.)

Happy spudding, spudders! 

Two things that I have no idea about!

Posted: 31/01/2014 at 21:38

I would mix them together, cover to stop the rain getting in, and let them compost until spring.  I think you'll have some lovely stuff by then.

Talkback: How to plant a grapevine

Posted: 31/01/2014 at 21:32

The video is there reverett, I just played it to check.  It needs your computer to have Adobe Flash Player installed so you could try installing or updating that.  This link is for Windows computers:

http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/

Apple iPads don't support Flash videos without installing a different web browser:

http://ipad.about.com/od/Productivity-Apps/tp/How-To-Play-Flash-On-The-iPad.htm

 

 

raised bed building

Posted: 31/01/2014 at 18:43

How long will you make them dj?  Soil is very heavy when wet so you ideally want to drive some 50x50mm (2" x 2") stakes into the ground about every metre along the length and screw the boards to the stakes to prevent them bowing outwards under the weight.

Sue, it's because millimetres are often the standard unit quoted the UK building industry now - whereas we used to buy (say plywood sheets) in standard sizes of 8ft x 4ft, suppliers now size them as 2400x1200mm.  I say we should go back to cubits myself - the majority of us permanently carry two cubit measures around with us - they are very 'handy'!

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