Latest posts by Madeleine51

Bamboo canes

Posted: 03/04/2014 at 17:03

Hello All

At this time of year I am getting my bamboo canes ready for my runner beans and as usual, every year I have to buy  more to make up for the reduced length due to the ends rotting. They only seem to last about 2 years full length before I have to remove a foot or so to make them strong enough to push into the ground. Very annoying.

So my question is, does anyone have a tried and tested remedy for prolonging their life?  I usually remove them during my autumn tidy up as soon as the crop has finished so it's not as if they are left in the ground over wet winters. This year I thought I might buy the longest length I can find so that if I do have to chop them, they would last a bit longer. I found the green painted metal ones I bought for my sweet peas a few years ago were a complete waste of money as the coating peeled off in no time at all.

Does anyone perhaps dip them in a solution or paint them or something?








Posted: 09/02/2014 at 23:51

Thanks chicky

Just typed a load and then zapped it away by mistake  so here I go again

I was thinking of trying a few flower seeds which state on pkt can be sown in Feb. Doing as you say and opening vents of HP for a few days when germinated, I wondered if it might work if I then transferred  them to unheated greenhouse, and place them on shelves with the zipped up plastic covers on they originally came with to keep them warmer out there and also cover the trays with lids .That way it might take away any excess cold.

OH doesn't like trays on windowsills and besides, things used to get so leggy

Would that be feasible do you think?


Conditions for raising seedlings

Posted: 09/02/2014 at 22:59

I use the gardman plastic covered mini greenhouses without the covers as shelving for seed trays in my unheated greenhouse.  I have figured that as the greenhouse is a high sided one, I should be able to put the clear cover over the shelves to provide extra warmth in there instead of bubble wrap.


Posted: 09/02/2014 at 22:37

Mine has no temperature control facility.  You seem to either use it unplugged or turned on. 

Yes I still am unable to find instructions and gardening books only seem to touch the surface of the subject when talking about propagating.

More questions - sorry

1)  matting - do I need to re-wet it if it dries out?

2)  Should I wipe off any build up of moisture hanging from the lid?  

3)  When do I open the vents?  Is it when seed packet instructions say "remove lid"? 

Also how long do I keep seedlings in there after they have germinated.  I only have an unheated greenhouse (I am thinking of putting the plastic covers on the cheap  shelf units I have in there to provided some snugness instead of bubble wrapping the whole inside)   I should imagine that when any seeds have germinated, to whip the lids off and expose them to cold unheated greenhouse/conservatory air would kill them at this time of year.

Sorry about this


Posted: 08/02/2014 at 15:24


 It's a Sankey one. I have looked underneath and found an information website but it "cannot be found". I did wonder if perhaps the fabric is just for packaging.


Posted: 07/02/2014 at 22:28

 I have recently inherited a heated propogator which has no instructions on how to use. It has a square of fabric(capillary matting?) included and I was wondering if this needs to be wetted before placing cuttings, seed trays etc inside or do they go direct onto the prop bottom?


Homemade Cloches

Posted: 07/02/2014 at 21:55

I have just answered another writer's problem on holding cloches down and I suddenly thought, at this time of year maybe  others might be interested to know how I make my own cloches/polytunnels.

I cut 4 old hosepipe into lengths each about a metre long and put short lengths of bamboo cane into each end and push them into the ground a couple of feet apart to make "hoops". Then I drape the fleece or clear plastic over the hoops and hold the edges of the material down with bricks or scrumple them up and peg it into place.

It's cheap and it works for me.

fixing fleece / closches

Posted: 07/02/2014 at 21:47

Homemade cloches.

I cut 4 lengths of hosepipe each about a metre long and put short lengths of bamboo cane into each end and push them into the ground a couple of feet apart to make "hoops". Then I drape the fleece or clear plastic over the hoops and hold the edges down with bricks or scrumple them up and peg into place. Works for me.

Outdoor Cucumbers

Posted: 07/02/2014 at 21:19

Thanks everyone!

What are people sowing right now?

Posted: 03/02/2014 at 23:56

Yes very exciting.

I shall also be looking for bulbs to plant to give a show in spring/summer for a tired looking bed I cleared last autumn. I put in some daffs, tulips and anenomes then and new leaves are sprouing nicely.  I should have put bigger numbers in I think for better displays.  

Tomorrow ( Tuesdays)  our garden centre has 10% off for over 60's so I usually take a list of bits then.  Great stuff

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