The Best Wooden Garages in the UK – Delivered and Assembled

In recent years the take up of standalone wooden garages has really stepped up in the UK, it might be because recently built houses often neglect to include a space secure enough to store a vehicle along with all your garden tools and equipment, Wooden Garages offer all of these plus adds an attractive feature to your home, which will also add value to your property making the actual cost a lot less than you might first think.

Today we are looking at some of the options available from UK retailer B&Q, their selection impresses us because the prices include delivery and construction, this means that you can be sure that the quality of the build will be high and if you encounter any problems you have a reliable retailer based in the real world to fallback on.

Our top choices include three varying sizes designed to suit your home and the location of your new garage. As with everything we review we have included the options which we feel are most hassle free, therefore all of the selection below includes all the materials, delivery and even construction, B&Q have wooden garages for sale and they really do take the hassle out of choosing the best wooden garage for you.

14″ x 17″ Large Wooden Garages with Base

14x17 Wooden Garage

14″ x 17″ Wooden Garage

Our first choice is best suited for larger spaces this 14” x 17” wooden garages or 4.19m x 5.09m and is 2.5m height. The door opening is 2.45m making this product perfect for your average family car with plenty of space left to store garden tools, machinery and other bits and bobs. It’s designed using 34mm Siberian FSC certified tongue and groove logs, it features double doors ideal for removing machinery and it is designed to reduce draughts and the side door can be located on either side of the garden building which offers excellent flexibility.

This product also includes a pressure treated base frame, toughened safety glass for added security plus it includes a lock and key for the doors. Added in you’ll find a 10 year anti rot guarantee which applies as long as the proper care instructions have been followed. You can find out more about this product or place your order here.

13″ x 12″ Timber Garages

Timber Log Garage Interior

13″ x 12″ Timber Log Garage Interior

Next up we have our 13” x 12” timber garage (3.8m x 3.59m x 2.5m) this choice is better for smaller outdoor spaces and ideal for those with smaller cars or no need to store machinery too. Again it’s a secure choice with locks and keys included in the price and it’s also delivered and constructed for you. Designed from tough 35mm Siberian logs, it will provide a secure insulated space to keep everything you need to store save.

Again this model includes a pressure treated base, toughened safety glass and double garage doors. We highly suggest you take the time to have a look at this product over at B&Q’s website they include all the details about delivery and more.

13ft x 15ft Wooden Double Garage

Timber Log Garage

13″ x 15″ Timber Log Garage with Double Doors

Our final choice for today is the 13ft x 15ft garden building (3.8m x 4.49m x 2.5m) Again the construction is sturdy, secure and safe plus the timber is sourced sustainably. The draught seal systems included on both the side door and window frames protect the contents of your prefab garage from the weather and ensures a waterproof environment. Overall the quality of construction is impressive we would highly recommend this product to our visitors.

So whether you are looking for the best wooden garages for sale, or just need a big space outdoors to store all your gardening equipment we would highly suggest you give B&Q’s ever expanding range a try. You can find all they have to offer here, plus stay tuned for more with out upcoming articles about garden sheds and other outdoor storage solutions you might want to consider for the future.

Growing Fruit Trees Near The Sea

growing-apples-by-the-sea

A reader recently posed a question regarding growing fruit trees, in particular apple trees, near to the coast in Scotland. Whilst some problems are common it is entirely possible to successfully grow fruit near the sea. Usually problems stem from the humid conditions, strong winds and sea spray which will have a very high salt content these factors combine to cause a variety of issues, all of which can be avoided if you plan correctly.

First of all lets take a look at the question which comes from Liz who lives near the cost of Ayrshire in Scotland, an area of the world  notorious for difficult weather:

“We want to grow apples, pears, soft fruit in a garden on the SW coast of Ayrshire. The sea is only a few tens of metres away and so there are frequent storms bringing winds and salt spray. The back garden has a wall and hedge to moderate the weather.

Is there any hope of establishing fruit trees and bushes and getting good crops? “

So to begin with lets talk about exactly why living near the coast can cause problems, wind and salt from the sea can cause serious damage to the tree this can include but is not limited to discoloured, misshaped and flagging leaves, lack-lustre stems and a lack of swelling in the fruit. This may indicate that a variety is not hardy enough to survive in these conditions and should be avoided in the future, because this varies so much across the UK we can’t advise what’s best for everyone but there are ways to avoid problems.

If the tree is provided with plenty of sunlight in an area sheltered from the harsh coastal winds the chances of successful growth will be dramatically increased. Our reader mentions that her garden includes a wall and hedges which shelter the area from the wind which will seriously increase the chance of success, planting relative to this shelter in the areas which capture the best sunlight will give you the best chance.

You can further increase yield by ensuring the area is irrigated properly using rainwater (collected in an area with less salty see spray would be ideal) or you can use tap water, which should be left to stand overnight to allow any chemicals to evaporate before use. This isn’t always necessary for fruit trees but it’s worth considering if you find the plant is often dry or if you can see ANY visible build up of sea salt in the soil or surrounding areas.

When it comes to planting the fruit tree we recommend you always water thoroughly as this will help the roots establish quickly. Additional watering may also be required as the fruit comes to harvest, producing apples takes a lot of water, and so as they begin to increase in size the tree’s use of water will also increase, you should account for this.

Any fruit tree growing on the coast is likely to have a lower yield when compared to trees growing inland, as we have already discussed wind can play a major factor in this. You can help minimise wind damage by following some golden rules:

1. The tree should be planted as young as possible – older more established trees will have greater difficulty in rooting properly, this can lead to them being unstable in regular windy conditions which will lead to further growth problems and an early loss on not yet ripe fruit.

2. Stake the tree properly – You should carefully tie the tree to a stable firmly secured stake which is inserted into the ground before the tree has established, this helps reduce root damage during installation process. If the tree is facing regular winds then you need to consider this to prevent the tree bark rubbing against the stake, this will cause damage to the trunk which may never heal.

3. Provide shelter and windbreaks – Reducing the impact of the wind is a key factor in success, our reader has access to a wall and hedges, plus possibly some protection from her home and any other outbuildings. These existing “defences” should be consider when choosing the ideal place to plant your new tree. If you use this shelter to it’s best you can reduce fruit drop in autumn and it will provide protection to pollinating insects during spring.

Choosing a variety which fruits in late summer/early autumn will help reduce the damage from autumn storms and should allow you to pick the fruit when conditions are relatively calm before you’ve lost too much to the wind.

4. Reduce the chance of disease – It’s important to monitor and treat canker disease and scab. These diseases are more common in the humid conditions often found near the sea. Scab damages the leaves and branches of your plant as well as ruining the appearance of your fruit,  unfortunately the organic treatment of for Scab is difficult to use in coastal conditions, you need to spray the tree using Neem oil.

You should spray the fruit tree using Neem oil (or if you prefer a sulphur based fungicide). However, you need to apply this weekly and unfortunately immediately after each rain. This can make it difficult in sea spray conditions and if regular storms bring dramatic downpours.

However, if you start from the time the first buds begin to break and continue this regime for 3 to 4 weeks after petals drop there is a good chance you can avoid spraying again until after the harvest. As if all disease and infection prevention is much better than cure, if you want to avoid using Neem oil then following our next advice is a must.

Good garden hygiene is important, remove ANY infected fruit during annual thinning around June time, removing and shredding fallen leaves during autumn will also help remove spores which can cause a problem during the next growing season.

Cultural control is also an important part of the overall approach and you should remove and destroy any leaves or fruits which remain on the tree at the on-set of winter. Prune and burn any diseased twigs or branches which show signs of infection. Under normal conditions you can maintain an open centre in the tree using pruning techniques which improves air circulation around the growth causing it to dry more easily after it’s rained, however if the air contains sea spray this will not be as effective as it would be inland, however it may still help and doesn’t take much to implement.

Choosing resistant varieties can also help to reduce the chances of infections, we would recommend the following varieties of apple for scab resistance, you should check each to make sure it also matches your other needs, for example your ideal growing period:

  • Ashmead’s Kernel
  • Ellison’s Orange
  • Lord Derby
  • Red Devil
  • Sunset
  • Winter Gem

Finally if you have a sun facing wall which is quite well sheltered why not consider growing the fruit on the side of your home, you can train fruit trees to grow very well against a structure, however as your home may also shield the trees from summer rain you will need to ensure they are properly watered during the summer months.

We hope you find this helpful and we would love to hear how you get on Liz please keep us informed!

The Vegetable Plot: February

 

February: Seeds to sow in the garden - Peas

Early Spring peas are a great variety for late February

Finally the end of winter is in sight and within just a few weeks the first shoots of spring will start to appear across the UK.

it’s not over yet though late frosts are extremely common and often February can end up showing us some of the worst winter weather going.

However this doesn’t mean all of your gardening activities have to stop, there is plenty of things you can prepare for spring and even though it’s getting a little late you can still select some great fruit trees to plant. Container grown is the best choice for this time of year although bare-root fruit plants will still establish.

As with all of our advice you may need to tweak your schedule depending on local weather, if the ground is still waterlogged or even frozen you should avoid sowing anything until your confident that the soil will support new plant life.

Seed Potato Preparation: Chitting

Chitting is a subject which comes with a great debate attached, in a similar way to searing meat before stewing, some say it makes all the difference others notice no difference, the main thing to take from this is that it does not harm the potatoes either way so if you have the time and resources you should go ahead and do it anyway.

Place the potatoes in a cool, frost-free environment, the room should be light, but you should ensure your seeds avoid bright, direct sunlight which might hamper their development. This process allows the initial roots and shoots to form on the seed prior to planting out later in the spring. Personally I think the process is worth the extra time and effort, I find it makes planting out easier and in my opinion it helps the plant establish. You can experiment, let us know how you get on, we would love to hear your feedback. If there’s enough interest we will update you in our next post.

February: What to sow outdoors?

February is not the best time to plant most vegetables outdoors, however there are some exceptions if soil conditions in your area allow for it. As the soil warms up and the risk of frost decreases you may want to consider planting early peas and broad beans for harvest during May and June. Excellent for an early summer treat!

There are other vegetables which you can plant and germinate towards the end of February, these include shallots which can be given a helping hand with the use of some protection, I use a combination of Frostgard (a highly regarded Gardman product) and a simple cloche.

So that covers outdoors what about greenhouses?

What to sow in a Greenhouse?

If you are lucky enough to enjoy the benefits of a greenhouse or coldframe you will be well aware of the advantages, however those with a cool spare room can also achieve similar results.

You want to be sowing radish, lettuce or rocket, if using a windowsill ensure there is plenty of sunlight to avoid weak, stretched seedlings and also keep an eye on the temperature, simple problems can be easily avoided if you know what your looking for.

Deciding to invest in a greenhouse, grow-house or small polytunnel doesn’t have to be expensive, there are lots of affordable options available at your local garden centre, pop in and ask next time your close. A cheap growhouse is often the best “starter” option.

With the use of a heated electric propagator you can start growing more adventurous vegetables (or fruits) including varieties of different spicy chillies and sweet peppers, both excellent additions to “grow your own” recipes. If you want to give these a little head start a small grow bulb can help you establish seedlings more easily.

Always ensure the light is placed directly above the plant. The light should be approx 10cm from the top of the seedling, but remember as a general rule too far away and the seed will stretch, too close and the small-vulnerable leaves will scorch. You don’t have to go crazy buying expensive growing equipment an old lamp and a “cool-white” bulb won’t cost the earth and it’s a good way to kick start the growth before we plant them on later.

Remember: Be very careful when using electricity in grow areas, you need to be sensible with how you power the light, make sure the plug is ABOVE the height of the bulb and as far away as possible, this ensures there is minimal risk when you water your seedlings. Never use a misting sprayer around any plants which are under a light, this can also be dangerous. Use common sense and be mindful at all times.

Fruit in the Vegetable Patch

Finally in February we can also look at forcing and growing Rhubarb, it requires nothing more than a change in light and heat conditions to get it going so don’t worry about it not falling into the not organic category no chemicals are used.

It’s not even a difficult process, simply take the Rhubarb crown and place it under something which will block the light, personally I use an upside bucket but I have seen other methods used. It’s a great idea to insulate the outside of the bucket using an insulating material, a personal favourite of mine is to use straw but again it’s up to you, some prefer sheets of plant fleece.

We hope to put together a full guide shortly to cover this subject.

So that covers most of the Vegetable jobs for February, remember depending on conditions you may need to adjust the timing’s slightly and allow for local frosts to pass before some of these projects can be undertaken. If you get stuck let us know, we would love to know why and we can help if you think we have missed something important.

Do you have something different going on in your garden at this time of year? Let us know we would love to hear from you, or even better send us your story and we might feature it here at the Organic Nursery.

The Best Organic Weedkiller

Best Organic Weedkiller - A Leaf grown without chemicalsWeeds are a real pest for gardeners and when it comes to tackling them organically there is a few viable options, by the end of this guide you should be able to decide which is the best organic weedkiller for you and how to make sure those pesky weeds don’t return in the future.

Avoiding the use of the harshest chemical herbicides will increase your safety whilst both gardening and eating your home grown produce, it also makes it much safer for the children and pets to enjoy your garden without the worry of excluding them from certain areas, and there is nothing more enjoyable than sharing your garden with your loved ones.

We also make it easy for you to find the products you need by offering some handy links to items we think will help in your garden;

The Best Organic Weedkiller

(Before we start RTU means ready to use)We think the best method for removing weeds is Neudorff’s Organic Fast Acting Weedkiller, it makes use of a naturally occurring weedkiller called perlagonic acid, it naturally exists in geranium leaves and is very effective at killing the weeds in your garden. This fast acting organic weedkiller can be used against both perennial and annual weeds and weed grasses and works by breaking down the cell walls causing the problem plant to dry out.

This organic weedkiller is 100% biodegradable, which means it breaks down quickly in soil, this prevents any build-up in your soil and it will cause no problems at all for your children or pets, once the area is dry you can use the area as normal straight away. The product is applied using a trigger spray gun which provides accurate and effective application with every use.

The only downside to this weedkiller is that fact that it has no prolonged effect on the weeds and therefore will need re-applying every two to four weeks. We found it most effective in smaller fruit and vegetable plots, it’s spray action is both easy to use and very useful and the effect on the weeds is noticeable within a day. However if you take some preventive action around vegetables you can avoid weeds without the need for even organically sourced products:

The best weed control without chemicals

One of the best ways of doing this is to cultivate the soil, you can do this using a garden hoe, it is easier than hand picking weeds because it exposes and damages the root system, without this the weed will die. If you do this regularly the soil will remain loose between treatments therefore making it more difficult for new weeds to establish and even easier to remove them. Creating a regular watering and maintenance schedule is the best way to avoid problems cause by troublesome plants.

Using mulch for weed control

Another good method of weed protection without chemicals comes in the form of mulch, applying a 5cm thick layer of organic mulch such as straw, grass trimmings or bark chippings will help block the sun, preventing photosynthesis and therefore preventing weeds from establishing. It is very important that you remove all the weeds that are already established before applying the mulch and the best way to do this is a combination of hand weeding and cultivating. You should be careful to suffocating young fruit plants by leaving a gap of around 3cm around the base of each stem. This allows air to each the plant and is required for healthy growth.

Alternatives to mulching

As a possible alternative to mulch you could use weed control fabric, the sheets of fabric create a barrier against weeds which are developing within the soil. The fabric is easy to lay and using a garden knife you can cut into easily in order to equally space your fruit or vegetables. However in our experience we have found this method to be quite expensive and difficult to re-use, plus natural organic mulch rots into the soil providing a natural source of soil replenishment and reduces the need to fertilise.

You could look into reducing the spacing between fruit and vegetable plants which will create a natural reduction in the amount of light passing through the plants canopy, however we find that this can lead to problems due to a lack of space, a lack water availability and a shortage of nutrients within the soil. Ideally you should take action to prevent weeds without jeopardizing your crops quality or likelihood of success.

Each method has it’s own advantages and if you are short on time we would suggest Neudorff’s Organic Fast Acting Weedkiller to spot kill weeds which can then be removed more easily after a couple of days. Combine this with a weekly cultivation, taking care around growing plants to avoid root damage, and you will find you weed problem to be a thing of the past. With the weeds gone your vegetable plants can enjoy more of everything they need to grow successfully and you should see crop yields improving and the quality of produce too.

Home

Welcome to the Organic Nursery

The Organic NurseryA guide to all things organic, we aim to provide a comprehensive, accurate and handy guide for everyone who would like to grow their fruit and vegetable plants organically. We offer a selection of guides regarding different subjects across our site, and we hope you find something useful to help you get up and running as an organic gardener, or if you are already established increase and improve your overall fruit and vegetable yield without turning to harsh chemicals and unnatural alternatives.

Nature has given us all the natural tools we need to grow without chemicals sourced from oil and other resources, we will explain how to grow your knowledge about plants and increase your skills along the way. We hope you find our site useful and enjoy your visit. Come back often for more updates and seasonal reviews.