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Hi from Essex, England

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Re: Hi from Essex, England

Post  plantoid on 11/29/2015, 7:27 am

That looks to be a fantastic site MM ,
Perhaps you can rake off & burn the weed or easier for you hire a wheeled gas weed burner with gas cylinder  from a tool hire place & get them to deliver / collect it to you on site .and burn the  dead weeds  to the soil   in 10 foot wide strips to kill any seeds in pods on the dead stuff.
A hired power driven geared rotovator would be helpful  .if you can afford it .

You  might ask the site manager who on site has a rotovator and then offer to cross their palms with silver to get them to rotorvate it


 On the site where I had two adjacent north to south plots I was part of a  group of four ,  who  would burn off ,  obtain & spread several tonnes of  cow muck & straw & rotovate it in for a very reasonable fee .
 I like the fact that others have big poly tunnels on site .. that could be a big asset for you.


You can grow a tot of stuff quickly in a tunnel whilst slowly working over the rest of the ground . Plus when it pee's it down or it's real brass monkey weather , you have a retreat where you can still work in relative comfort .



 If you happen to visit any garden centers , over wintering cauli and spring cabbages plus leeks & garlic are still available in some places including the big Wyvale centres .
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Re: Hi from Essex, England

Post  naughtymoose on 11/29/2015, 5:25 pm

Hi square-foot friends!

Cor! This allotment/veg patch design  stuff is time consuming!

I've been told off because I've buried my nose in a design pad...

The plan so far:

Sue and I will pull the weeds an remove (not compost, due to not knowing for sure what has been sprayed)

We'll lay weed-suppressant fabric (not sure what my colonial cousins call it) on the path areas. I have made a plan for four 4' wide beds, running E-W and on the other half of the plot want a polytunnel, shed and fruit area.

The fourth bed is going to be a sfb of 4x16' (friends, as a sort-of-ex-tradesman-then-teacher, this Imperial inches business is really hard work, but I will try my best!)

It will be interesting to see the reaction of other allotment owners on the site, Plantoid may be able to give me a heads-up on this!
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Re: Hi from Essex, England

Post  Scorpio Rising on 11/29/2015, 5:46 pm

Nice, NMoose. The planning part is very fun for me, all the possibilities before you. Sounds like a good start to the plans!
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Re: Hi from Essex, England

Post  plantoid on 11/29/2015, 6:07 pm

MM ,
 Perhaps think about running your beds North to South if you make them more than 4x 4 foot .
That way you get a fairly even amount of sunshine , (  Of both sunlight & warmth ) on either side of the plants ..it can make a big difference to your crop yields. Colder North winds will also have less effect on the longer beds  as less side will be exposed  to them .

 For the same reason of exposure there will not be a lot of excess drying out on the longer sides most of the time when strong sun is on an out of the wind aspect ..


 Feet & inches .. there is a metric version of the book available .

To save you problems  Laughing :-


25 mm an inch
50 mm = 2  inches  75 mm = 3 inches
100 mm = 4 inches
300 a foot ,
3 foot , a yard or 900 mm

4 foot =1200 mm
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Re: Hi from Essex, England

Post  sanderson on 11/29/2015, 6:15 pm

Another possibility is to buy a 12" ruler and 12-25' metal tape measure on eBay.

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Re: Hi from Essex, England

Post  AtlantaMarie on 12/1/2015, 9:09 am

NaughtyMoose, this link may help as well:

http://gardenplanner.motherearthnews.com/gardenplanner/gardenplanner.html

You'll have to change location information, as this page is for my house...  Let me know, please.  Would like to know if it works overseas.

Have fun!!!
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Re: Hi from Essex, England

Post  naughtymoose on 12/2/2015, 5:30 pm

Hi folks

Plans are moving ahead.

AtlantaMarie, I've started using that software, but I got it from here:

https://www.growveg.co.uk/garden-planner-intro.aspx?redir

It's been very useful, and helped to get an idea about locations etc.

Plantoid, N-S orientation noted. Thanks! Also, the weed burner is a great idea. I think that I may be able to borrow one!
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Re: Hi from Essex, England

Post  plantoid on 12/6/2015, 12:23 pm

Hi Moose,
 How are you holding up in this foul weather?

 My son lives up in Carlisle , the river Eden has risen 7.9 mtrs above normal and flooded right across the Eden valley which is some four miles wide to a depth of 1.7 mtrs  just a few hundred metres away from the hill he lives on .

 Are you on an imminent flood warning for tonight Sunday 6 Dec , did you sustain any of the storm damage ?
 


Here in South wales ( nine miles inland at the West end of th M4 )  we live on a hill 117 mtrs above sea level , if we get flooded  you & the rest of the UK will have problems indeed .

 So far there has been no power failures for us but on the way to friends this morning we saw many trees had been chopped up because they had fallen across roads and taken electricity & phone cables down . It did get a bit noisy last night as the strength of the winds got going .. up to around 60 MPH gusts here  apparently .
 I've set our  genny  ready to go at a moments notice just in case storm  weakened trees bring our power lines down .
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Re: Hi from Essex, England

Post  naughtymoose on 12/6/2015, 1:32 pm

Yes mate, no problems here, although it has been very windy.

We are at 40m above sea level, and although we are close to the estuary, it shouldn't be a problem. They're really getting it bad up in the Lakes though, aren't they?

My Christmas present is a Wireless weather station. I'm hoping to get the thing set up this week, then I'll be able to tell you just how windy it is here!
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Re: Hi from Essex, England

Post  Kelejan on 12/6/2015, 4:56 pm

Yes, I have been reading about the weather in England, particularly the Lakes where I went on a school holiday trip many years ago.

I remember Keswick, the train station where we arrived to go down to places like Grasmere, Derwentwater, etc. Helvellyn, Striding Edge and so on.  It was early in the year, but lovely weather.

I feel for all the people swamped with that rain.
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Re: Hi from Essex, England

Post  plantoid on 12/6/2015, 6:49 pm

Some of those lakes are now  a single lake apparently .

 If you Google " Storm Desmond UK " you may be able to see some pictures of the wetter bits.

 As a boy soldier from age 16 & 3/4  till I was 18 & 1/4 I used to cycle a lot of the flooded routes shown on the news broadcasts to see my girlfriend three times a week ( a 22 mile round  trip )  . It looks like a jet ski would now be the order of the day .



 Stop press ..

 The local authorities in Cumbria have announced a six month hosepipe ban starting yesterday morning . Laughing
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Re: Hi from Essex, England

Post  Kelejan on 12/6/2015, 6:56 pm

@plantoid wrote:Some of those lakes are now  a single lake apparently .

 If you Google " Storm Desmond UK " you may be able to see some pictures of the wetter bits.

 As a boy soldier from age 16 & 3/4  till I was 18 & 1/4 I used to cycle a lot of the flooded routes shown on the news broadcasts to see my girlfriend three times a week ( a 22 mile round  trip )  . It looks like a jet ski would now be the order of the day .

Stop press ..

 The local authorities in Cumbria have announced a six month hosepipe ban starting yesterday morning . Laughing

That was dedication, Plantoid. I bet you were fit then, being a boy soldier. Very Happy

Is there a logical reason for a hosepipe ban. I expect they are wanting to fill up the reservoirs.  California could do with some of that rain to fill up their reservoirs.
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Re: Hi from Essex, England

Post  naughtymoose on 12/6/2015, 7:04 pm

Kelejan, the bit about the hose pipe ban is just British humour!

Over here we have a water supply infrastructure that is outdated (to be polite!)

We've had situations where bans have been imposed shortly after big rain (people generally don't realise how short of water some parts of the UK are!
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Re: Hi from Essex, England

Post  Kelejan on 12/6/2015, 8:30 pm

@Kelejan wrote:
@plantoid wrote:
- - -
Stop press ..

 The local authorities in Cumbria have announced a six month hosepipe ban starting yesterday morning . Laughing

- - -

Is there a logical reason for a hosepipe ban. I expect they are wanting to fill up the reservoirs.  California could do with some of that rain to fill up their reservoirs.
Moose
Quote: Kelejan, the bit about the hose pipe ban is just British humour!"

The bit in bold was my attempt at humour. Very Happy K
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Re: Hi from Essex, England

Post  naughtymoose on 12/7/2015, 5:34 am

Ah! Didn't show as bold on my screen. Apologies x
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Re: Hi from Essex, England

Post  Kelejan on 12/7/2015, 6:19 am

@naughtymoose wrote:Ah! Didn't show as bold on my screen. Apologies x

I actually bolded it in my reply to you, it was not bold in the original so no need to apologize, moose.  Very Happy
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Re: Hi from Essex, England

Post  plantoid on 12/12/2015, 5:49 pm

I got your hosepipe/ reservior filling humour Kelejan  & smiled at the subtly of it
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Re: Hi from Essex, England

Post  Kelejan on 12/13/2015, 1:32 pm

@plantoid wrote:I got your hosepipe/ reservior filling humour Kelejan  & smiled at the subtly of it
Smile
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Recent developments

Post  naughtymoose on 1/12/2016, 1:44 pm

Hi folks.

I have my plan all worked out (but accept that there will be changes, as with all plans)

We are going with three 6x4' SFG beds, with one of them being 12" deep. Next year I'll make the other two into 12" deep, and follow a traditional three-year rotation plan.

A similar amount of space, but in the ground, will be used as traditional old-fashioned planting.

At home, I've temporarily potted some inexpensive fruit bushes for later transplantation to the allotment. 

We've managed to bag some really good bargains over the last two weeks as well: a large quantity of sub-irrigated planters for in our future polytunnel; a petrol brush cutter; and a load of other bits and pieces.

At home, we've converted a small downstairs room into a sort of 'grow room'. I'll be getting some decent grow lights and a couple of decent heated propagators so I can get some chillies and peppers etc going.

The box of seeds has now mutated into a whole drawer, and I'm under instructions not to spend any more...

As if!
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Re: Hi from Essex, England

Post  sanderson on 1/12/2016, 2:18 pm

Exciting! Please keep us updated.

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Re: Hi from Essex, England

Post  Kelejan on 1/12/2016, 2:59 pm

You really have this gardening bug, NM.  Keep it up and us posted. Very Happy
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Re: Hi from Essex, England

Post  plantoid on 1/12/2016, 6:15 pm

NM Happy New Year ,

 For my growing tables
I use LED grow lights in standard bulb holders with reflective lampshades ..., at the end of the day they worked out nearly as cheap as buying fluro tubes and fittings .    However  they  use next to nothing in electricity & are very light weight . I have almost  fully encased one of the heat beds in 25 mm reflective foam insulation to keep heat & light in where it's needed .

LED grow lamps ,  mine have 68 or so blue & red LED's each if I remember correctly .They keep the light quality well , I think this is the fourth year mine will be on...  usually from Feb to June  on 24,7.

 There are some good cheap soil warming cables that include a thermostat built into the mains cable , Think one of mine was £13 for four meteres of heat cable thre years ago

 I made a  tray 4 inches deep ,  line it well with a bit of pond liner to keep it from leaking out , put in 1.5 inches of liddies play sand ( silver sand from " Toys R Us  ), laid the cable in correctly & covered it  with another 1.5 inches of sand .

 I used silver sand because it is kiln heat dried and won't contain any weeds or nasty bacteria .
the heat  bed is sited on a slab of couple of inches thick of reflective foam insulation  again to keep heat losses down and money in my pocket ..

 I smoothed the sand flat & covered it in a sheet of pond liner leaving a fraction of an inch clear around all edges so any water slip drains back into the bed sand . You need quite a damp sand to conduct the heat and keep the heat cable from over heating in any case.

 
Once it was set up ready to go I poured in four liters of water & left it to  dissipate evenly for four days .

 Having the top sheet of pond liner on the frame  really helps as it gives an even heat spread as well as delaying the sand drying out.

 I raise or lower the lights on single nylon cords with  simple thee hole guy line type cord retainers to lock them off at the desired height  according to the needs of the plants,
Another good thing is that LED's being cool don't scorch  any plants .
As soon as the seeds have germinated and you can see the baby plants  you can take the seed pot out the heated bed and grow them on elsewhere as the hot bed has done it job . This frees up the bed very quickly for other sown seeds .
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Re: Hi from Essex, England

Post  Scorpio Rising on 1/12/2016, 7:28 pm

@Kelejan wrote:You really have this gardening bug, NM.  Keep it up and us posted. Very Happy

Oh yeah, got it hard!  So exciting!

Plantoid, pictures of the sand and cable setup? I will lack heat in my basement grow area.


Last edited by Scorpio Rising on 1/12/2016, 7:33 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Need pics!)
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Re: Hi from Essex, England

Post  AtlantaMarie on 1/13/2016, 8:17 am

MN - at our house, I'll be under those instructions, then HUBBY goes & buys more stuff, lol!
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Weather station

Post  naughtymoose on 1/25/2016, 3:05 pm

Hi folks

Today, I got my replacement weather station through the post. I've got it set up and now added the weather sticker to my signature. I followed boffer's excellent tutorial for this.

I've put it in Imperial measurements, as most of you are the other side of the pond!

For those interested, the station ID on Wunderground is

IBASILDO7
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Re: Hi from Essex, England

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