Excitable Boy

Latest posts by Excitable Boy

Greenhouse set up

Posted: 17/02/2017 at 15:36
missclarech says:

Well I was going to have path in the middle and just leave the sides as soil for planting veg etc seeing as my raised bed gets eaten to bits by snails every year and boy do they keep at it all year, tried everything but nope they insist on eating the damm lot 😖

See original post

 Have you tried stapling copper tape around the side of the bed? Not that cheap but I have found it does work and friendlier to wildlife than chemicals.  You will still get eggs hatching in the soil from last year but if you turn it over a few times in the winter that cuts them down too.

Greenhouse set up

Posted: 17/02/2017 at 15:12

Hi Missclarech,

I bought a 14x10 second hand greenhouse 3 years ago and it's the best money I ever spent. Lengthens your growing season and allows you to overwinter cuttings easily. 

You are probably too late this year to do much in the way of seed sowing until the autumn but the advice I would suggest is that you think carefully how you intend to use the greenhouse before you set it up. Will you really grow tomatoes given that they take up a lot of space for a long time?

I now have a setup very similar to Perki's above with staging and a high shelf down one side with membrane & gravel underneath, a flagstone path and then soil on the other side. I have a couple of trestle tables which I put on the soil side to over winter cuttings and tender plants but in an ideal world I'd like some high shelving along that side too. I bought a few mat heaters which are a good investment for starting seeds. 

I have grown tomatoes in the soil and in growbags and tbh they're a chore. Chillis and peppers are more useful. You only need ONE chilli plant though! I think it is probably best to grow these in large pots on gravel as Palaisglide suggests above. I am considering digging out the soil and doing as he suggests. I find that the soil gets very very dry inside the greenhouse so this would reduce the need to water.

Best regards



Posted: 13/03/2015 at 12:56

I bought some gypsophilia in January from Poundland. Two bags for £1.94 and I got seven sticks. I put them in moist compost in the greenhouse and all are shooting. They had little buds or the start of shoots on the top end, not much fine roots at all. Have to say I was quite worried, but all is well.

Like others I have found that it dies after 2 or 3 years.

Helen - I covered mine about 2cm.

Grow / Greenhouse

Posted: 13/03/2015 at 10:43

I've had one of these (I've had most gadgets and bits of kit over the years) and I'd have to agree with treehugger - they're useless outside. Quite good if you just want some extra temporary shelving in a greenhouse or potting shed, but too flimsy otherwise. If you have the space and a bit more cash better to buy a small greenhouse second hand off ebay. You'll need time and patience to move it and put it up but you can do such a lot more with one.

You will probably get away with it if you strap it to your wall but make sure your fixing points are heavy duty!

slugs and runner beans

Posted: 01/06/2014 at 11:49

Yes, they'd grow and yes, they'd be protected but I think you might have to experiment a bit with height above ground and depth below. The slugs and snails in our garden seem to be able to jump. 22mm would be rather restrictive for roots, so probably best to plant and then put your collar on the sprouted bean. Give it a go - can't hurt.


Posted: 01/06/2014 at 11:13

hi SweetPea,

I have grown rhubarb from seed and although very satisfying it does take a few years. You can pick one or two stalks per plant in the second year. Biggest problem is that you end up with dozens of plants - rhubarb is one of these species where you seem to get 100% germination.

Unless you are growing commercially it takes over and you'll want to grow something other than rhubarb, so best to scrounge a bit from someone else.

This shouldn't be a problem - I keep hacking mine up and it seems to make no difference whatsoever to yield, but I do mulch with well rotted manure in the autumn.

On the soil issue I have to say that I would advise you to cheat and spray roundup on what you aren't going to be able to do in the next fortnight, leave it for a couple of weeks and cover it in as much manure as you can get hold of between now and winter. (6 inches absolute minimum.)  You will be amazed at how much work earthworms will do for you. You can then rotovate the whole allotment in early spring and start at the right time of year. By spraying you will be killing off the weeds before they set seed which will help both the bit you have done and the remainder. 

I took over an old allotment at our previous home and if you try to do it all at once it just gets on top of you and you end up doing nothing, so be realistic and enjoy a portion of your allotment whilst planning ahead. Remember it's supposed to be enjoyable and there's always another year!

PS Whatever you do don't rotovate without weedkilling first - this is known as weed propogation.

White bubbles on my lavender

Posted: 01/06/2014 at 10:48
Pops3 wrote (see)
its the first I've seen since I was kid 


Yeah, there does seem to be loads of it around this year for some reason.

Target Greenhouse temperatures and plant positioning

Posted: 10/05/2014 at 08:41

Thanks Perki. The garden is walled and the greenhouse will be about 10 feet from the western wall but will get full sun until around 4pm (I'm putting the staging side on the wall side), It has four vents at ground level which won't be controlled and two on the roof. I'll have to experiment to get the airflow right - unfortunately it seems that the low level vents are either fully open or fully closed.

I'm hoping that it'll be ok from the winds - it's in a much more sheltered position than where I collected it from but as you say it's the blustery days which can do damage - two 4m polycarb sheets from our patio awning were blown off and over our 3-storey house last winter!

Target Greenhouse temperatures and plant positioning

Posted: 09/05/2014 at 14:12

I was hoping to get my freshly painted second hand greenhouse up tomorrow but with gales forecast that obviously isn't going to happen. I have been given (or bought cheap) tomatoes, cucumber, sweet peppers and chili peppers to grow.

I've bought some automatic vents but can anyone advise what min and max temperatures I should be aiming for? Also does position inside the greenhouse really matter (I know cucumbers prefer more humidity supposedly, but can you actually affect this in a greenhouse?)

Timber Greenhouse

Posted: 09/05/2014 at 13:50

Bruce, if you go to a glazier they have a silicone glazing sealant, very similar to Pansyface's bath sealant, which fits to a skeleton gun. Around £4 for the tube which will do loads if you are just touching up.

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