Wednesday 21 February 2007

Ooh, pictures and everything

Right. I've made and eaten shepherd's pie. I've made and eaten pancakes. Five pancakes. More were made, but that is the number I ate, myself. Now I can write again the rather over-explanatory post I nearly put up this afternoon.

It all came about because one photo was taken on its side, so I had to open iPhoto/Photobucket to swivel it. Both obligingly did it, but then posted it on its side again. I think the computer was overwhelmed by the twinkling of my touch-typing fingers, because it crashed and lost my post.

Right. This afternoon, after the rain stopped, the sun shone as if it was April. It was delightful. I went out to the greenhouse to prepare the propagators.

I can't say it all again. Here are pictures.
The lighting units, used by the Sage to make propagators. He added the horizontal wooden bars. The trays, minus light fittings and wirings, hold the soil-warming cables.

I have tried all the alternatives but a peat-based compost is best. This compost uses alternative materials as well as peat and is supposed to be sustainable. I've tried other media to put the cables in, but the advantage of this is that, when the heaters are no longer needed, I can pot up plants using the compost. Once I used newspaper. Big mistake. It went slimy.

I cover over the cables. This is a very economical way of heating the greenhouse. Two double propagators hold 32 9" x 12" seed trays (30 cm x 22.5cm) or the equivalent in pots. I use two soil-warming cables, one uses 150 watts and the other 75 watts. I cover the framework with polythene to keep it warm and humid. One propagator is, of course, warmer than the other, which makes them suitable for a range of plants.

After I've covered the cables and watered the compost, to aid humidity, I cover it all with polythene, kept in place with sheets of perspex. I can't remember where we got the perspex but it is, of course, recycled. We were given a big roll of polythene by a builder friend (he owned the business, he didn't nick it) some years ago and it has lasted ages.

I do the potting here and this is where the plants that do not need heat will go. The Sage was given this staging by a woman whose husband has died - he had a big collection of cacti that, thank goodness, the Sage did not bring home - she found someone who does not dislike the spiky things. There are 3 sets, each 8 ft x 2 ft. The greenhouse is 10ft x 8 ft - they fit exactly. I plan to put chilli peppers in here, later.

I put seed trays of compost in the propagator to warm up, to sow in tomorrow or Friday (I'm in the shop tomorrow and I'm not yet sure if it's half or the whole day). I also sowed lettuce seeds, but didn't switch on the unit I put them in as they don't need heat. I will, later, plant some of those in the other greenhouse and some outside - I'll cut the indoor ones for the shop and when they are finished put in cucumbers; by then the outdoor ones will be ready and I'll have sown more for succession.

I've just touched my chin. It is all sugary. Heh heh. Pancakes are soooo good. Once in a while...


y.Wendy.y said...

You've adequately answered my question. Thank you.

All too earthy for me, sad to say. But bravo anyway.

I haven't made pancakes but I did make waffles. With Nutella. And strawberry jam. And maple syrup. Yum.

Rog said...

This has been like a complete episode of "Gardener's World", Z.

Now you just have to die your hair orange and start speaking like Peter Kaye.

(I didn't see the photo of the bucket)

Z said...

Earthy, that's me. Ooarrr.

Did you share your waffles with Petite, by any chance? You decadent ex-pats. I stayed with sugar and lemon.

But there's a hole in my bucket, dear Murph, dear Murph.

I could grow a pigtail and talk like Bob Flowerdew, if you like.

badgerdaddy said...

I had a doughnut. But I think that was yesterday. Today was a double-sconner.


And, erm, thanks for all the propagatory tipularity.

Z said...

Yes, it was all a bit instructive, wasn't it. The first version was better.

Doughnut, ooh, I haven't had one for ages. Years, I shouldn't wonder. Mm.

Pat said...

That's really serious stuff!

Pat said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Z said...

You posted the comment twice, Pat! It wasn't some excitingly rude spammer that I deleted.

Yes, I am alarmingly intense when it comes to sowing seeds and raising plants. But I also think that the inventiveness of the equipment is part of the fun!

Monozygote said...


Z said...

I've completely bemused everyone!

This is a bit startling for me, it's a normal, regular part of my life *feels OTT*