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Shrinking Violet

Latest posts by Shrinking Violet

Brussels sprouts

Posted: 12/12/2012 at 22:25

For the first time (in over 30 years) I have to admit to total failure of my Brussels.  Usually it is a bit of a tradition to pick sprouts for lunch on Christmas morning.  This year, the plants are a joke.  There has been virtually no growth since the plants were set in the ground, and I have given up hoping for any reasonable growth - ditto winter cabbages.

I guess it's down to the freak weather we have had, and, in particular, the low light levels. (My poinsettias in GH which would normally have turned red by now, given the absence of artificial light but with some bottom heat, are stubbornly green). 

Oh well - there's always next year .  .  . 



Unheated/uninsulated greenhouse

Posted: 06/12/2012 at 22:59

Artjak - a GH is no different from your own house - you don't ventilate it regularly at your peril!  It's amazing how many people won't open a window in their house because they are "keeping the heat in" - and forget they are also keeping the build-up of moisture in as well - hence the likelihood of mould growth.  Likewise in a GH - even when it is cold, it does need ventilating, even if it's only for a brief spell, to get a change of air inside.

Unheated/uninsulated greenhouse

Posted: 06/12/2012 at 22:50

Re attaching bubblewrap in a GH:  you can get special clips from the garden centre that will hold the wrap to the frame by clipping into the channels in the aluminium glazing bars.  Hard to explain - but you press the clip (a sort of button thing) through the wrap into the glazing channel.  If you have a wooden GH then I guess you would use tacks of some description.

I re-use the bubblewrap each year, and the clips I've had for years.

Unheated/uninsulated greenhouse

Posted: 06/12/2012 at 17:30

Oh, Tinker Christmas Bell - it wasn't just my mum then!  And did you hate having the seam in the middle, digging in when you were trying to get to sleep?  And silently curse mother's thrift????  Oh, how times change - I guess there are many people of a younger age who wouldn't know what on earth we were discussing!

Anyway - good luck with the extra insulation.  I think you'll find that the fleece works a treat.  In the long term, bubble wrap is worth it imo, although it's a bit of a drag fitting it each autumn!

Unheated/uninsulated greenhouse

Posted: 06/12/2012 at 17:17

If it's particularly cold, then a roll of fleece is a cheap and good investment.  Just throw it loosely over the plants overnight, and that is usually sufficient to give the extra bit of protection.  (If you don't have fleece, then think laterally - I have used long-past-their-best sheets that are thin - mother would have had a fit to see me use them, much given as she was to the thrift of "sides to middle" repairs, but that's another story!).

Where are all the birds ?

Posted: 06/12/2012 at 17:13

I've also found that the goldfinches prefer the sunflower hearts over the nyger seed - and can be quite aggressive defending the feeder!  Poor old chaffinches are still trying to work out how(1) to fend off an attacking goldfinch and (2) how to hang on to the feeder to get at the seeds if they do!    It's only a matter of time . . .

Re apples for the blackbirds and thrushes - I throw them on the ground, and slightly crush them with my food.  Blackbirds will then find it easier to get at the flesh (it doesn't roll away!).  They and the thrushes stripped my pyracantha in less than a week - and I can't produce more of those berries to order.  So apples it has to be.

Where are all the birds ?

Posted: 04/12/2012 at 22:45

Good idea re the cage over the ground feeding tray.  I don't put food on the ground, except for the apples, because of the marauding pigeons.  But I'll give that a go - hopefully the blackbirds will not be intimidated!

Where are all the birds ?

Posted: 04/12/2012 at 17:10

Instead of putting the peanuts in the wire cage type of feeder, they are in a little house-like structure, which means that they stay dry.  The tits swipe a whole nut at a time and fly off to eat it.  Shame insofar as we don't see them doing their acrobatics to eat the nuts, but at least they don't go mouldy, which was happening with the traditional feeders.

Sunflower hearts and mealworms - yes, the most expensive, but bringing in a wide range of blue tits, great tits, coal tits and long-tailed tits, as well as dunnocks, sparrows, robins etc.  Blackbirds and thrushes enjoying the apples thrown on the patio, and we have seen one goldcrest (briefly) and - a first for us - a waxwing!  Unusual in the west, I believe, so what that says about the winter ahead of us, I dread to think!  But the birds are costing us a fortune!  (And I don't begrudge them a penny).

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 04/12/2012 at 17:03

Showers today in West Somerset - showers of rain, hail and sleet.  Brrrrrrr!

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 26/11/2012 at 22:45

A much better day today - only a few showers (though it is raining again now) and the worst of the flooding seems to have subsided.  Amazing how nature moves in at great speed - saw egrets and heron trying their luck on a flooded field!

Yes, we are the village between Exmoor and the sea, and Porlock is blessed with its own microclimate, which often means the worst of the weather hits the hills rather than us.  But the water has to go somewhere, hence the flood plan being in place!  The stream (well, river at the moment) has had banks strengthened etc to try to prevent the flooding that happened in the past.  Seems to be working (fingerscrossedsmiley).

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