The Shedstore Shed MOT
The summer is over. Weeks of unbroken sunshine, record temperatures and paddling pools will soon be nothing but a distant memory. Winter is coming, so it’s time to wrap up warm, batten down the hatches and protect all that we hold dear.
For customers of Shedstore this can only mean one thing… It’s time to get your shed ready for winter with Shedstore’s 5-point Shed MOT.
If you're interested in growing your own fruit and veg, this seasonal guide explaining what to grow and do in the greenhouse at each stage of the year will be of great help.
One of the most valuable assets any gardener may possess is a greenhouse. For those gardeners fortunate enough to have one, the growing season can be extended. This enables gardeners to make the best use of the sun for longer periods of time.
A wide range of fruit and vegetable crops can be produced in a greenhouse. Furthermore, since the greenhouse environment can be controlled, providing heat and extending the growing season it is important to understand which crops to plant during the different seasons of the year.
It’s been a great growing season up to now with plenty of rain and a good dollop of sun. Soil and compost are getting tired and some are struggling to keep up with the demands of voracious root systems. Feeding time!
Plants in containers concern me most as you cannot get the natural interaction between soil organisms and roots required for the best healthy and sustainable growth. A little bit extra is needed. But even plants in natural soil can starve their surroundings, especially fast growing and active plants.
Top Tips for a Tidy Shed
It’s that time of year when your shed becomes messy. None of us can help it, in spite of our best efforts. Inevitably, rain arrives as you finish mowing and it’s a case of ‘quick, get the mower away’ and it’s never in the right place, comfortably nestling under the benching. Nope, it’s slap-bang in the way of the door. Same with the mountain of now redundant cloches, tangles of netting, tumbleweed and horticultural fleece. But you can change your ways. Really.
The first job in tidying a shed is to throw away anything that is surplus to requirements. It is so much more efficient to take a photograph of the can of paint, for matching purposes, than keeping the can itself. Or paint a swatch onto a piece of old wallpaper and write the brand and shade on the back. The contents of the can will most likely be ‘off’
Patios are emerging from the dark winter and wet spring looking worse for wear. Algae and moss are causing major slip hazards and weeds are emerging from every poorly mortared joint. But sorting them out can be easy and highly satisfying.
Get yourself a comfy kneeler, sink to your knees and do your weedy business. Make sure you get every scrap of root out wherever possible as perennial weeds (dandelions are one of the worst culprits) will regrow. Annual weeds are best removed before they start to flower and set seed. It will save you a whole heap of problems later in the year
Get a Flying Start This Spring with Raised Beds and Planters
As we welcome signs of spring, it's the favourite time of year for most gardeners. And it’s raised beds and containers that allow gardeners across the UK to get ahead of the game.
Both can help with earlier sowing and planting and are easy to protect if any cold weather dares to head back. Get the best from your beds and pots by following a few guidelines.
Raised beds are more easily managed than big wide borders. Weeding, watering, feeding and protecting your plants is far simpler when you are focusing on one area.
When constructing your raised beds, it's a top tip to line them with empty compost sacks (folded inside out so the black part is showing into the bed). This will protect the wood from water damamged - especially if your planter is not pressure treated.
Remember to occassionaly check n
There, it’s over. All the happy activity and social whirl of family and friends, the hunt for AAAs and calls of ‘have you kept the receipt?’ have gone. Christmas is a distant memory and New Year’s Eve well, came and went.
And now it’s 2018 (just in case you’re recovering from the celebrations and hadn’t realised) and time to…tidy your shed. Of course, it is. It may be the Chinese year of the dog but that's no excuse to have a dog-eared or down trodden shed.
"A tidy shed is a tidy mind - and that starts today."
Sheds are always at risk of becoming dumping grounds for anything that won't fit in those bins - currently overflowing with turkey carcasses and sparkly wrapping paper - and gardening tools are always thrown in haphazardly on a freezing cold dark afternoon or rain soaked evening. The rubbish and tools then become a cli
As winter’s frosty jaws bite deeper into the soft underbelly of autumn, now is the time to get your greenhouse sorted. No one wants tender plants to be savaged by the cold. Obviously.
Choose a relatively warm, dry day and get everything out of your greenhouse. Give all staging a wash down with soapy water including the glazing. Pay particular attention to the nooks and crannies or anywhere that bugs can overwinter. Let it all dry and then put your plants back in. Diseases will be reduced and light levels maximised.
If you can, put all your plants together on the staging in one half of the greenhouse. Choose the half away from the door. You can then put up a curtain of bubble plastic at this halfway point, in effect halving the length of your greenhouse. This will help in keeping heating costs down and your plants snug.
The rest of your glazing can be insulated using bubble plastic. It’s easily fixed to both timber and metal framed greenhouses. The
There's no better taste in the world than a freshly-picked 'hothouse tomato' – but there's so much more you can grow in an unheated greenhouse.
It's a win-win situation – tastier, organic, cheaper food; virtually no carbon footprint; no pesticides; you extend your gardening year and the extra activity gets you fitter.
The most important things before you touch a plant are safety and keeping the greenhouse clean. If you're getting a new one, consider getting it professionally installed. If you've inherited one, make sure the glass is secure with all clips in place and that the vents/louvres work.
To clean a greenhouse, hose down outside and inside to loosen dirt, pests and eggs, then clean glass with antibacterial washing-up liquid in warm water. Wash staging with a garden disinfectant like Citrox.
The easiest crops to grow in greenhouses
Cherry tomatoes: buy plug plants. Choose cordon (intermediate) varieties &nd