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Found 8 results

  1. Douglas Adams, in "Life, the Universe and Everything", that Arthur Dent expressed a need for "a strong drink and a peer group". That is what this Gardening Blog is for - my need for the same thing because my knowledge about gardening is patchy, just like my garden. Buildhub cannot supply a strong drink, but I am hoping that the peer group can help me get to grips with the garden I inherited last year. The idea has been around for a couple of months, and is now in a position start. We talk a lot about building here, but not so much about all the aspects of the settings of our houses - planning, clearance, climate, fencing, groundworks, trees, plants, soil, hedges and all the rest. That is what I hope can get a bit more coverage and conversation here, in all its aspects. This is a group blog, with potentially as many authors as wish to contribute, so if you have a question, or a project, or a garden you have liked or a plant you have spotted or grown, we can sign you up as an author or do a one-off contribution. If you would like to involved as a one-off or regular, do send me a Private Message. For my first question - what is the purple plant in the middle of the piccie below, and is it a weed or a specimen? Do I take it out or leave it in? Comments are most welcome. Plant identification is one of my weak points. * The header picture is of the Dill and Watercress in my microveg "Green Wall" - which has been one my new projects during the lockdown period, which I will post about more as things go on.
  2. At the start of lockdown in March 2020 I decided to try to see how well I could grow what are termed Microgreens. What are microgreens? At a simple level, these are a posh version of “mustard and cress” that we all grew at school, and comprise several dozen different crops that can be grown indoors at eaten very young – usually when the cotyledons have grown, and sometimes when a few leaves have also developed. Typically these are nutritious and flavoursome, and perhaps colourful, small plants that can be used as a garnish or flavouring, or as a portion of salad. Some of the microveg are “cut and come again”, so several cycles of harvest are possible. The time from planting to harvest is anything from perhaps 6-10 days to 20-30 days. So by planting in waves every couple of weeks, it is possible to keep a continuous supply of microgreens rolling. Examples of microgreens are mixed salad greens, water cress, beet, dill weed, rocket, mizuma, coriander, alfalfa, basil, various other herbs. The current header picture for this Gardening blog is a closeup of Dill Weed and Watercress from my second batch. Fortunately I was able to get to our local 'hardware and everything' discount store (“GJ and Daughter”), and buy a selection of seeds etc. just before everything locked down around 20 March. There is also a category known as “sprouts” (sprouted seeds), which are consumed even younger. My drivers were a desire for some more difference in what I eat, a reluctance to go into the garden every time I want a herb, and a north facing conservatory that was ready for a new purpose after my mum passed away in November 2019. I started with a goal to experiment and see if I could grow the equivalent of one portion of veg a day in my north-facing conservatory in a space about 2m wide and 2m high, using a couple of bays of (yacht varnished) IKEA IVAR shelves as I have umpteen of these available. There is still a long way to go, but I can see a route to get there. I am now into my third cycle of experiment. 1 – The first was a couple of trays just to get an idea as to how it works. 2 – The second was about 10 types of microveg planted in early May to be a bit more systematic. 3 – For the third cycle I have a few growlights, as my lower shelves get significantly less light than the top shelf, and I will be buying seed in bulk to grow the plants close enough to be self supporting. Photos to follow. For this first article I think there are two or three major insights worth mentioning: 1 – The amount of seed needed is startling. To grow a normal 18cm x 50cm seed tray of microgreens, which may give up to (I hope) 150-200g of crop, will require around 10g of seeds. This is about the same amount of seeds as 4-5 packets, which makes clear that seeds need to be bought in bulk, as otherwise it may need £5+ worth of seed per tray. Bulk seed is many times less expensive. Packets of seeds is fine for playing or going for garnishes to add interest to salads or soups or smoothies, but bulk suppliers are worth investigation. One supplier I am looking at is Moles' Seeds, where 50g of seeds for eg Sweet Basil is around £5, compared to approximately £1-3 per for about 2-3g of seed if bought in a packet. An official “5 portions a day” portion is about 70-80g of vegetables. 2 – There are a wide variety of systems and growing mediums that can be used. I am using – as mentioned – IVAR shelving, and conventional potting compost. There is no need to feed as I am replacing the compost each time and putting using the compost in the garden. It works with normal sized seed trays, of which I inherited approximately 30 in the potting shed. The site I mention below uses a system of 4” x 2” shop display racks, and large 10” x 20” trays, using a growing medium of COIR (made from coconut fibre) with hydroponic chemicals. They use shop undercounter display lights for growlights. 3 - The thing can be done with relatively little time, but regular input – essentially daily – is needed for example to check whether watering is required and misting. A 48 hour break is possible. A one week break is likely to kill some things. So timing is important. A auto-watering system may help, and is readily available. 4 – There is a potential small cost saving here (or at least a lower cost for interesting flavours and better food) as microgreens from supermarkets can be quite expensive, in addition to the benefits of growing our own. For example a portion of microveg can be anything from under £1 to about £2 or £3 depending on the shop and the product. I have gained quite a lot from a site called “On the Grow!” which the story of a couple who grow their microgreens in a specially fitted out small-container-on-a-trailer, and maintain a videoblog. There is also their excellent written walkthrough / get started article here: How to Grow Microgreens And a particular video walking through how they do one particular crop. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcqnIHnK-75WdpaVPQOUxtw I’ll post further articles about my experiments over the next weeks. Ferdinand * Blame the title on a youth spent p-p-p-picking up penguins and being asked what I would be doing when I reached n-n-nineteen.
  3. I have a somewhat vigorous mature Clematis and Wisteria, rambling over a frame dividing the leisure garden from the kitchen garden. This is an exchange from during lock-down with a friend, but I would welcome any further comments before I tackle this. These are a few "high summer" dripping wet piccies from this morning: o This is the type of frame that is under all that greenery; a 2m tall horse fence. And these are the replies from a friend who posts as "Cyclefree" over on http://www.politicalbetting.com/ Thanks in advance for any comments.
  4. My second bathroom refurb is now coming down the track like the proverbial train pretending to be the end of the tunnel, so this is the project thread. I still have lots of questions. There are two blog posts with piccies from the spring: This is the design I plan to go with. The main changes from last time are 1 - The bath will be a corner bath slotted in by the shower - round ended unlike the plan and with a bath flller mounted on the wall. I plan a custom bathside shelf thing of sorts along the bath on the window side at bath rim height to make it look properly integrated. 2 - There will be 2 washbowls with a pair of shallow cupboards above. The width on these needs to be watched as it is potentially quite tight. I have the loo and taps already in store, and sources for tiles identified - so it is bath, basins, vanity unit, shower tray next, and practical issues. Ferdinand
  5. This is a thread about all the features and detailed questions related to adapting a house to be more accessible. I hope it will become a resource thread. Ferdinand
  6. Just a marker for a project thread.
  7. We have previously talked about seondhand kitchens and French Doors on ebay. I have just been looking for a pair of bi-fold doors for a 1.2m hall closet (probably need to pay £30 for pine bi-folds, and came across quite a lot of interesting deals for general doors. Probably it is all in "go and see first" territory. But lots of potential. So just a heads-up for a place to look - potential savings of hundreds of £££. Example: 5 brand new 1981*838mm Cotrtage Oak doors for £249 Buy It Now. Alloa http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Internal-Oak-cottage-veneer-doors-1981mm-x838-/272843925264?hash=item3f86c3e710:g:q~0AAOSwhIFZoqAI 5 B&Q Shaker Oak Doors (27" x wide) potentially for £20-40 each. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/5-x-B-Q-4-PANEL-SHAKER-OAK-VENEER-INTERNAL-WOOD-OAK-DOOR-1981-X-686-27-Inch-/272886337093?hash=item3f894b0e45:g:rmIAAOSw76JZ4PZL Wickes Oaks Veneer will need a sand down - about £20. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Wickes-Oak-veneer-Internal-door-1981x762-/272886004685?hash=item3f8945fbcd:g:54cAAOSwn1FZuR2N 8 1920s trad doors just sold for £3 each. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1920-internal-doors-/172915651218?hash=item2842937292:g:AqcAAOSwp0NZ0hkF&autorefresh=true 3 used Cottage Oak 78x30 doors where the auction is currently at £47. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3-OAK-VENEER-INTERNAL-DOORS-/282694187985?hash=item41d1e2fbd1:g:J5kAAOSwb0hZ4hiD Cottage Oak door near me that looks liike gong for £20-40. Unfortunately I need 6 and they have to be trimmable by 50mm+. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Cottage-style-Oak-Veneer-internal-door-/222678011131?hash=item33d8a4ccfb:g:3LwAAOSwVohZ4eqj
  8. Checking in again. Well done all. Delighted that it seems well enough organised that there is no need for me to stick any oars in; vodka and holidays beckon. A few questions and notes: 1 - The organisation seems set up exactly as other long lasting online associations I am inviolved ni have been set up. Good. 2 - Is there an account somewhere of what actually happened to Ebuild; I would like some more understanding and here should eb looking forward. PMs are fine. 3 - I'll copy across my various pinned articles, where I had written them as subject references, and the blog. 4 - Has the potential IP issue on "BuildHub" been dealt with vs the other self-build portal called "The Build Hub"? We wouldn't want to lose the domain in 2 years time. 5 - A simplification of the topic hierarchy would have been useful, but not getting involved I naturally had no say (!), and perhaps there are more routes to find content on the new new platform? 6 - Could a high-up recreate my "God is in the Details" blog, please? Cheers Ferdinand
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