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Latest posts by skyrunner

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Greenhouse Heaters

Posted: 26/09/2014 at 07:32

I have an 8x6 alminimum glasshouse, with apex roof about 8 FT in height.

  My I suggest that you bubble wrap your greenhouse. I don't go completely up to the apex but cross from one side to other around halfway up, so less space to heat. A few years back I tried the following suggestion! which was even better as far as I'm concerned.

Place one layer of double sided bubble wrap directly against the glass held in place by the plastic fittings you can purchase from garden centre. Then add a second layer attached to the end of the fitting in the correct way. Now you have a double skinned glasshouse. Haven't used a heater now for three years, nor lost any plants. 

 Only expense is initial purchase of bubble wrap, so if you are carefull removing the tape as and where you join sections together, which can last several years with careful use, sticky waterproof tape (yearly purchase)

i also use a marker pen when removing the bubble wrap in spring, where each piece is fitted, so then no need to cut to fit next year.

Many years ago did have a parrifin heater, but found the glasshouse was full of condensation each morning, so always opened the doors to try and dry out. Don't know if they are better now though, so my comment is just my view.

 Have an electric heater now, as have laid electricity laid to the glasshouse, used in conjunction with a timer unit, when it is required. Then one can set up the time to switch on and off, saving you a walk up each night. 



Talkback: Three ways to improve your pond

Posted: 05/05/2014 at 22:24
Buy a bag of barley straw from and pet shop, then make up your own bales, which is far far cheaper than purchasing ready made ones from a garden centre. Just need a net (buy net of oranges from greengrocer) then stuff loads of barley straw into this, including couple of heavy stones to prevent it floating, and hey presto, your own home made barley bales.

Early birds.

Posted: 06/04/2014 at 09:50

Sadly the adults abandoned this nest, during our very cold snap end of last month. No robins been sighted since in my garden or near neighbours. Removed this wonderful nest from the box, found 5 deceased chicks, deep inside the moss cup, which was surrounded by dry willow leaves, which are in good supply as large willow 3 houses away. 

 Most likely lack of live food in March, and thought it very early for chicks. Sadly my live meal worms arrived too late.


Early birds.

Posted: 27/03/2014 at 06:55

Last Saturday, saw whilst walking past where I have a Robin nest box sited, just happened to view, and saw much material. Initially thought I hadn't cleaned it out early winter, so ended up watching from my shed. 

 Yes saw robins coming and going, taking grubs in, and removing poo sacks. so on Monday, ordered live meal worms from the usual company. Yesterday worms arrived, and actually saw 3 chicks, when I walked past. 

 Thought it a bit early, hence ordering meal worms.

 Btw actually seen my hedgehogs which have been hibernating under the shed. Hoping to find out if either has hog-lets In near future.



Posted: 07/11/2013 at 08:54

I'm no expert, but they do suffer with fleas, etc. Those on my unedited video, are often seen scratching. Maybe the slowness is due to becoming drowsy and making ready to hibernate. Don't know where in UK you reside, but think that with the cooler nights now, hibernation is now on the cards.

Down here in the south, still eating well, and will have to buy yet another bag of dry cat food, and no the cat can't get to it, being tucked well under my shed. Must say was fun firstcouple of nights, watching him/her on camcorder video, trying to crawl under to reach it. Head and a shoulder only, so gave up, and now never bothers to stop.


Posted: 17/10/2013 at 07:17

I'm using an ordinary camcorder (Canon Legria HFR 205) but set on low light level mode. I also have the outside shed light switched on, so some light. I've often thought of purchasing one of those cameras you can put inside bird boxes, but rather expensive, especially if birds don't use that particular box.

One advantage with my camcorder, which was one of the many reasons for purchase, was that it had slots for two memory cards. One for video, one for images, (extremely poor quality) but now set for video as well. Must admit came in handy for our China holiday a year ago. Even had another two spare 32GB cards, eventually used three full and one about half, so around 18 hrs video.


Posted: 16/10/2013 at 21:28

I've just made a short video clip, from the other night. lasts 1 min 30 secs. In process of making a longer one, incl frog hoping across and bouncing into perspex, looked puzzled, spiders dangling in front of camera, and odd moggie.Not sen our mouse family though.

The area where camcorder is videoing, is basically an extension of my shed, another 8ft x 8ft. Frame of wood, with corrugated perspex, around the 3 sides and roof, but minus any doors, just a wooden gate to allotment area, (righthand side in video, left side from hause and garden), so open to wind cold etc, but not rain. Keep a variety of overwintwering plants, and summer time, we eat out here in the evenings, as faces west.

Tonight when I went to shed to switch on camcorder at 8pm, yes hedgehog 2 (whitish haunches) was already coming under the gate, but no still camera. Typical!!!



Posted: 10/10/2013 at 22:30

My 8ft by 8ft garden shed was erected on concrete base, but on top of breeze blocks, leaving many gaps between for wind ect to blow through. this was some 8 years ago. over August Bank Holiday after dark my wife was beside the shed, when hedgehog shuffled past, smelt her feet, and departed in haste. Middle of last month, commenced putting dried catfood down in a dish under shed out of reach from cats, etc, and put my camcorder on to record once dusk. This will use both cards for 12 hrs. Fantistic viewing, food and drink consumed each night, and last night even some of the barley bedding removed and taken under shed. I can actually identify 3 individuals, due to fact that all have differing white markings.

Is this unusual to have three known individuals in a garden some 200 ft long, with two taking bedding under my shed.

Suppose over winter I'll have to wear slippers, so as not to disturb their sleep over!!!

Grape Vine Care

Posted: 25/09/2013 at 07:34

Hi. I have two vines planted permenantly outside in the garden. One grows along garden shed, with quite a few bunches of grapes, and only been growing for 2 years.

The.other planted last year, again in open ground, but stem through into my shed extension, which is walk through, minus doors, to permit access to the top part of the garden, made from Perspex which is basically an open cold frame, about 8ft high, and similar width and length. Vine now being trained along wires etc.

I have seen several greenhouses on local allotments, with vines planted outside, but stem through a missing glass. Even some garden centres have similar within their restaurant extensions, with plenty go grapes growing well

Hampton Court has a vine growing outside, stem inside, many hundreds of bunches grapes this year, and reputed to be over 50 years, (from memory, maybe even more)

Most vines are hardy, so should survive outside ok.

Tomato Growpots, any good?

Posted: 24/09/2013 at 08:25

I have grown very successfully this summer in my greenhouse both toms, cucumbers (so far from 3 plants over 35 cucumbers) and several peppers. 

Where every plant was dug in, I also planted next to it, a 3 to 4 inch pot depth so the rim is just above soil level, and water into these. This allows water to penetrate down immediately, where the roots need it, and encourages deep root growth. 

Have even done this now for many years with success.


1 to 10 of 28

Discussions started by skyrunner

Early birds.

Replies: 4    Views: 286
Last Post: 06/04/2014 at 09:55


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Last Post: 14/11/2013 at 20:34

Name please

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Last Post: 11/06/2013 at 19:30
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