Latest posts by BrummieBen

Heated Bench

Posted: 12/03/2013 at 23:34

well brum, being a ninja, (well on saving cash! 3 women in the house!) I got my hands on panel heaters.. they are rubbish for heating a room or drying clothes, BUT, they cost pennies to run, typically less than 5 p a day, and that's them on all day. I have two, back to back on a wooden frame I constructed, connected to a thermostatic plug, I am finding just how powerful they are. Currently have a tent of bubblewrap inside my gh, it's a big 'tent' because gh is 10foot by 12. Basically tent is 2/3rds.. before I got the thermostat plug these two were keeping the gh at 18 degrees lol.. So next year I'm going to have bubblewrap up to about 4 foot wrapped around my staging, obviously moved inwards from the walls, but I think most stuff will be fine, quite tempted to see if just them two panels can keep whole gh frost free, if not I could add 2 more, honestly, 20p per 24 hrs, how can u say no? By the way, I do have the thicker safety glass due to my young kids, just incase that makes a difference.

Price for the heated bench is prob pennies a day btw.

Filling a new raised bed.

Posted: 12/03/2013 at 23:21

I'm currently sticking raised beds ontop of an old lawn, which has couch in it, I have bought some good quality weed matting, and what I plan to do is lay it inside my raised bed before I add the filler. We'll see how I go I guess..


Posted: 12/03/2013 at 22:59

Sounds ok in principle, I'd go for on extreme margin of water tbh, yes beans like water, but not sat in it, their nodules fix atmospheric nitrogen, not waterbourne nitrogen. Certainly on an edge where the pond overflows after rain etc, but in the water probably not. And you'd still need a tonne of manure or organic stuff for them to stick their roots in, not sure that's a substrate I'd want right next to the overflow of my pond.. easier to dig a trench 18inch deep fill it, tramp it, fill it tramp it, fill it tramp it, (with organic stuff) then grow your beans!

Rejuvinating an hibiscus

Posted: 12/03/2013 at 22:48

Hard to say, because them hibiscus will be wanting heavy duty sun and temperatures, if you cut back they might just die back, seriously, lots of 'indoor' plants which are sold in the UK don't do very well because aside from temp, they need sunlight intensity, something the UK isn't too great on..

If they are straggly , I'd suggest moving them to the brightest place in the house, top dress and let them get on with it, if they are happy, then cut back next prunning season. The fact they are a bit bare indicates maybe light intensity isn't high enough. Just my thoughts.

just made my 1st ever hanging baskets

Posted: 12/03/2013 at 22:36

she'll love you when they flower, and when her friends come round and mention 'lovely flowers, wish my husband could do that'.. it's all a game..


Posted: 12/03/2013 at 22:28

Hi, I've been fascinated with this especially for tomatoes! I'm wondering a) how much you have to top up, and b) how long a bottle of nutrient solution lasts. I think someone on a forum said a 15 quid bottle should last you a season, in which case I'd be happy. As far as I could see, you start your seeds on tiny bits of soaked rockwool in a propagator, then you stick them in bigger bits til you reach the rockwool block size. You then plant them in your nft system resting on top of a sloping capillary mat covered piece of plastic. The pump shifts the stuff to the top of the slope and gravity does the rest.

My questions, how often do you test your medium? How many plants can you get into say a 3 ft (1 mtr) pod? Also, it seems the support is the main problem.. any advice, or is wire from above the way to go? And the main one, on a hot day in the green house, even with shade, how much you top up each week?

Like I said, I've been interested, but until you know someone to show you, it's hard to justify the investment.

Compost v topsoil

Posted: 12/03/2013 at 21:52

usually go 60/40 on soil to compost, I thought everyone did this? I pity the people using just compost in pots when it's sunny for a week. Soil gives the medium 'weight' so it isn't blown away, and also it can absorb water.. try wetting compost after a drought of a week, you just can't, it's like the dried -up crust of a cow turd, damn near waterproof.

For stuff like summer bedding, I'd stay the same, but give them tomato feed or high potash feed, something to keep the flowers or fruits going.. if you are giving them the nutrient once a week, the only thing the compost is doing is providing soil structure. After a month with things like summer bedding (high feeders) the compost will be exhausted anyways..

Jean Bailey

Posted: 12/03/2013 at 21:46

yes TT, it's all about where the money flows really, and who you know. Politicians always look after each other, you telling me that this high speed line, which will actually take longer than the main service once you factor in getting across town, hasn't had many palms greased? This whole idea of a high speed train is flawed, you get to birmingham then take 40 mins to get to the next station.. which is 3 miles away but across the city. Some serious cash has gone into pockets on this, hence why it's being forced through. Another white elephant.

Jean Bailey

Posted: 12/03/2013 at 21:16

Yes GG, the problem is, you develop a piece of land, even just a nice ornamental garden, then you are in a grey area, and the authorities don't like grey areas, because it allows the scummier side of society to take liberties. Unfortunately that is the way society is, but I'd prefer there is zero tolerance and my kids and grandkids and great grandkids can still enjoy the UK and it's wildlife, than allow precedent on greenbelt land. Yes it's a lovely garden, yes it's really harsh, but that is the regulations, the minute you make exceptions is when you basically shouldn't have made the law in the first place.

Fork Handles

Posted: 12/03/2013 at 21:07

Bloody hell Dean, you've damn well dug it already! Very nice bud, most envious!

On a duller note, boiler drained and out with the fan heaters for tonight!!! Mind I did sow some allium I collected last year, so not all bad. Chilli haven't germinated yet, but they are from a supermarket, the birdeye ones, reckon they'll still come? Well I'll let you know!

I will say I've been watching the 'how to be a gardener series on youtube, and by 'eck, Alan titchmarsh is epic.. makes monty look positively boring in comparison, (and I like monty!) Anyways, it's given me some enthusiasm which can't be bad, here's a link to the veggy one, but if you click on the MrGrizzerBear or the 69 videos next to it, you can find all the parts in the series. Most enjoyable watching while the snow was falling.

Discussions started by BrummieBen

growing brassicas

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water those poor souls!

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Back after a long slog

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Last Post: 18/04/2013 at 22:46

anyone else think this 'extended' winter, means a good summer

as above 
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Last Post: 23/03/2013 at 12:46

So lyon, change your name back to Gary, wondering why?

well not really 
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Fine Green beans in the shops

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Last Post: 20/03/2013 at 18:33

This made me spill my tea over the keyboard!

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Last Post: 10/03/2013 at 12:09

Your Favourite Tools

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Needing old mouse or vole nests

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While it's been raining

trawling youtube for gardening 
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Most famous moment with your plants?

meeting a big cheese 
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Last Post: 03/03/2013 at 10:25
1 to 15 of 22 threads