Monday, 17 March 2014


I'm not very good at going into Simpsons garden centre without buying something.

Today I bought some raspberry plants.

Never grown them before, planted them on the allotment this afternoon. They are an early summer variety which means they fruit on last years wood, which means no fruit this year.

Something new to look forward to next year though.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Starting some seeds already

Been on the allotment this afternoon as the weather has been dry of late and the soil is really quite workable for the time of year.

Spring Onions and Early Carrots planted
I ran my Mantis machine over a section to give me a fine soil and then planted two rows of seeds, early carrots, "early Nantes 5" and spring onions (both red and white Lisbon). Hopefully they'll be cropping by June / July thanks to this early start.

Everything else on the allotment is growing well, blackcurrants and gooseberries are starting to leaf, I tidied up the strawberries planted through black plastic and the garlic I planted last year is now about 6" high.

Can't wait to get other things planted, but it's still a bit early for most. Although I will try and get my early potatoes in this week if this weather continues.

Strawberries through plastic are sending out fresh green shoots. 
Garlic Doing Well

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Double the seed tray capacity of your greenhouse for a few pounds.

Greenhouse staging is ridiculously expensive and if you're like me as you prick out seeds over the next couple of months you very quickly run out of space. 

Here is an ingenious idea that will give space for up to 24 more seed trays in an average 6'x8' greenhouse for the price of a few pieces of wood, that even a DIY novice can put together.

Here is what you need:

  • Upright: 2 posts.  2"x2" is good but any old bit of wood will do as long as it will support the weight of your trays. The length needs to be the height of the roof edge of the greenhouse
  • Centre Support: A flat piece of wood about 18" long
  • Shelving: 4 pieces of 2x1, each piece being a few inches longer than half the length of your greenhouse
  • a hand full of wood screws
  • 8 nails 

First of all you need to build the centre support, so screw the flat piece of wood onto the top of the two uprights, each should be approx. 12" apart. There, that's done, it should look something like this but it doesn't have to be exact.

Next you need to hammer 2 nails into one end of each the  shelving pieces so they protrude out the other side. You want the nails as close to the end as possible, but again it doesn't have to be that accurate. 

Take care of these nails sticking out.

Now you simply hook the nails over the cross bar on the end of the greenhouse and place on the centre support, two pieces either side and you're finished. 

 All done. You'll probably get 10-12 seed trays on each side of your greenhouse.

If you have existing staging in your greenhouse simply make the upright supports long enough to sit on the staging rather than going down to the floor.

And because this all stands up under it's own weight and there's no permanent fixing, later in May / June when all the plants are out in the garden you can simply take it all down and store away for next year, making space in your greenhouse for tomatoes and other summer crops.