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OtleyLad

Last frost where you live? Safe to plant out yet?

The recent cold weather is predicted to end and it will warm up as the week progresses (at least here in Otley).
I did a brief search of last frost data for Otley and it seems to vary from late April to mid May.
That makes sense as every year is a bit different to the last.
I've got squash and sweetcorn plants that will soon outgrow their pots and the greenhouse is mighty crowded.
Would you plant 'out' yet (under a homemade large bubblewrap clad cloche)?
Mistress Rose

I haven't sown any tender plants yet as the frosts show very little sign of letting up just yet. We aren't having serious ones, but enough to take out things like runner beans and squashes. We are in southern England. We had a mild winter, but spring is rather late this year. We have been pretty well frost free by the end of April in the past.
dpack

i have a bit of an odd micro climate in the yard,in a city so warmer than average but north west facing so the sheltered bits dont get any sun.

so frost chance low but if we get a frost tis a bit cooler than average

we have been having daily hail which has made me delay planting but we did have a frost last week.

i recon another couple of weeks for anything tender like beans and cucumbers but the onions are going in asap.
Slim

Daily hail seems a bit rough, particularly when there is still a small frost risk. We really only get hail with very tall energetic thunderstorms
dpack

the hail thing seems to be from warm damp atlantic air getting blast chilled by arctic air by the jet stream swirling them together rather than the classic warm damp thunderheads rising into cold air which are normal for this time of year in these parts.
gil

We've had a lot of hail this year too, and are still having frosts.
The only reliably frost-free month here is July. Seriously.
Generally mid-May onwards for most stuff, but I wouldn't plant out beans till mid-June.

You just have to take the risk, get on with it and do multiple sowings.
Or use a greenhouse/polytunnel.

All I have sown outdoors so far are the broad beans.
Midlandsman

I'm new to veg gardening having just created large raised beds. I wondered the same thing. The last frost date is said to be 12th May by all the old boys. I don't have a greenhouse but have large heavy gauge plastic covers over hoops made of mdpe pipe for a couple of the beds, and heavy duty cloches as well. How do these differ from an unheated greenhouse in terms of crop protection? I assume that the volume has some effect?

MM
Behemoth

Just down the road but a little bit higher , generally frost free by mid May but very old nights can still be a slap in the face for beans and squash. Tend to wait until early June as can't guarantee getting to the plot every night to cover.
wellington womble

I'm a bit late with most of it this year, so none of my beans or squashes are anywhere near ready to go out. Just poking through, in fact. So I'll leave those a couple of weeks at least.

I might plant the potatoes next week.
dpack

5 sorts of lettuce,french breakfast and a mixed radish combo,2 handfuls of onion sets went in this aft and are now sunning themselves in the hope of germination and growth with no devastating weather.

the warm sunny autumn and almost no winter has put the garlic a couple of months ahead of where i expected it to be so odd weather can be good as well as upsetting.
Mistress Rose

Midlandsman, the covers should do for most things. Spring frosts aren't usually that harsh. Most people would get caught by a severe one.
OtleyLad

I'm new to veg gardening having just created large raised beds. I wondered the same thing. The last frost date is said to be 12th May by all the old boys. I don't have a greenhouse but have large heavy gauge plastic covers over hoops made of mdpe pipe for a couple of the beds, and heavy duty cloches as well. How do these differ from an unheated greenhouse in terms of crop protection? I assume that the volume has some effect?

MM


Do you have a nearby power supply? You can get thermostatically controlled electric fan heaters (most with a 'frost guard' setting) for 10.99 from argos and the like. They only come on when its cold enough of course and provide that safety net should nighttime temp drop too low.
Think what it would cost if you lost all your early sowings and had to buy them in (or lose the crop) and it seems like a sensible precaution.
dpack

I'm new to veg gardening having just created large raised beds. I wondered the same thing. The last frost date is said to be 12th May by all the old boys. I don't have a greenhouse but have large heavy gauge plastic covers over hoops made of mdpe pipe for a couple of the beds, and heavy duty cloches as well. How do these differ from an unheated greenhouse in terms of crop protection? I assume that the volume has some effect?

MM


Do you have a nearby power supply? You can get thermostatically controlled electric fan heaters (most with a 'frost guard' setting) for 10.99 from argos and the like. They only come on when its cold enough of course and provide that safety net should nighttime temp drop too low.
Think what it would cost if you lost all your early sowings and had to buy them in (or lose the crop) and it seems like a sensible precaution.

be careful electric, water,conductive floor etc etc .all the usual safety rules should apply (at the least make sure there is a rcd in the supply, that will prevent owt worse than a nasty surprise but any outside electrics really do deserve observation of the wiring regs for such things)

for low tech warming under glass or plastic a roll of bin bags over the soil with slits to plant through gives an extra 5 to 10 degrees c to the soil temp and plastic bottles full of water(painted black is best) on top to act as a heat store to keep the air a bit warmer overnight.both rely on sun during the day but as clear sky at night often means clears sky during the day they do work best when there is most risk of frost damage to young plants.
Nick

It's absolutely safe enough to plant out broad beans now. Hateful things. wellington womble

I'm new to veg gardening having just created large raised beds. I wondered the same thing. The last frost date is said to be 12th May by all the old boys. I don't have a greenhouse but have large heavy gauge plastic covers over hoops made of mdpe pipe for a couple of the beds, and heavy duty cloches as well. How do these differ from an unheated greenhouse in terms of crop protection? I assume that the volume has some effect?

MM

Do you have a nearby power supply? You can get thermostatically controlled electric fan heaters (most with a 'frost guard' setting) for 10.99 from argos and the like. They only come on when its cold enough of course and provide that safety net should nighttime temp drop too low.
Think what it would cost if you lost all your early sowings and had to buy them in (or lose the crop) and it seems like a sensible precaution.

be careful electric, water,conductive floor etc etc .all the usual safety rules should apply (at the least make sure there is a rcd in the supply, that will prevent owt worse than a nasty surprise but any outside electrics really do deserve observation of the wiring regs for such things)

for low tech warming under glass or plastic a roll of bin bags over the soil with slits to plant through gives an extra 5 to 10 degrees c to the soil temp and plastic bottles full of water(painted black is best) on top to act as a heat store to keep the air a bit warmer overnight.both rely on sun during the day but as clear sky at night often means clears sky during the day they do work best when there is most risk of frost damage to young plants.

A very long extension lead won't do, then? Bother. (I'm joking, I promise) I was supposed to have a supply put in the garage when the solar went in, but it doesn't seem to have happened Sad
Slim

If you need to run an extension make sure it's a heavy gauge.

GFCI outlet is a must. (or whatever equivalent you have there)
OtleyLad

I'm new to veg gardening having just created large raised beds. I wondered the same thing. The last frost date is said to be 12th May by all the old boys. I don't have a greenhouse but have large heavy gauge plastic covers over hoops made of mdpe pipe for a couple of the beds, and heavy duty cloches as well. How do these differ from an unheated greenhouse in terms of crop protection? I assume that the volume has some effect?

MM

Do you have a nearby power supply? You can get thermostatically controlled electric fan heaters (most with a 'frost guard' setting) for 10.99 from argos and the like. They only come on when its cold enough of course and provide that safety net should nighttime temp drop too low.
Think what it would cost if you lost all your early sowings and had to buy them in (or lose the crop) and it seems like a sensible precaution.

be careful electric, water,conductive floor etc etc .all the usual safety rules should apply (at the least make sure there is a rcd in the supply, that will prevent owt worse than a nasty surprise but any outside electrics really do deserve observation of the wiring regs for such things)

for low tech warming under glass or plastic a roll of bin bags over the soil with slits to plant through gives an extra 5 to 10 degrees c to the soil temp and plastic bottles full of water(painted black is best) on top to act as a heat store to keep the air a bit warmer overnight.both rely on sun during the day but as clear sky at night often means clears sky during the day they do work best when there is most risk of frost damage to young plants.

A very long extension lead won't do, then? Bother. (I'm joking, I promise) I was supposed to have a supply put in the garage when the solar went in, but it doesn't seem to have happened Sad

You have to use your common sense here. I have a waterproof socket in the greenhouse and the circuit is RCD protected.
Most modern consumer units/distribution boards/fuse boxes include RCD protection (but not necessarily on all circuits). Check first as you would before using any outside tools, etc.
You don't need an armoured cable running out to your electric lawn mower or hedge trimmer but you would be daft not to have RCD protection.
You can in fact have two many RCDs on a circuit (multiple RCDs can cause tripping conflicts) one is sufficent.
wellington womble

This is probably a daft question, but can armoured cable carry power in both directions at the same time? I have armoured cable coming from the solar panel inverter in the garage into to the (spanking new) consumer unit in the house cellar. How hard would it be to put a socket in the garage, or run power out to the greenhouse? I happened to fall over a length of armoured cable recently, and if it's not a huge job, power would be very useful out there. OtleyLad

This is probably a daft question, but can armoured cable carry power in both directions at the same time? I have armoured cable coming from the solar panel inverter in the garage into to the (spanking new) consumer unit in the house cellar. How hard would it be to put a socket in the garage, or run power out to the greenhouse? I happened to fall over a length of armoured cable recently, and if it's not a huge job, power would be very useful out there.

Yes the voltage appears the same at almost any place along the cable - albeit there will be a small drop the further from the source (your solar panels in this case).
However the solar panel output is dc so if you want to power ac appliances you need to take the output from the ac side of the inverter.
Does that help?
wellington womble

Yes, thank you. The greenhouse (and solar panels) are about 60m from the house, with garage with the inverter etc in about half way between. I have armoured cable going from the cellar to the garage, and trenched DC to the solar panels. So it should be a fairly simple matter to fit a couple of sockets in the garage, and run a bit more cable down to the green house with a couple of waterproof sockets? If I get a sparky in and ask him, he isn't going to come and do that backwards whistle thingy at me? Every time I speak to anyone about getting anything done here, they look at me as though I've asked for gold plated piped caviar or something!

Sorry to drag your thread off topic. It looks like nights will get warmer t the weekend, here.
OtleyLad

Yes, thank you. The greenhouse (and solar panels) are about 60m from the house, with garage with the inverter etc in about half way between. I have armoured cable going from the cellar to the garage, and trenched DC to the solar panels. So it should be a fairly simple matter to fit a couple of sockets in the garage, and run a bit more cable down to the green house with a couple of waterproof sockets? If I get a sparky in and ask him, he isn't going to come and do that backwards whistle thingy at me? Every time I speak to anyone about getting anything done here, they look at me as though I've asked for gold plated piped caviar or something!

Sorry to drag your thread off topic. It looks like nights will get warmer t the weekend, here.

Should be a straightforward job. Hopefully there is already a consumer unit in the garage it will need to have a spare 'way' so you can run off the cable to your greenhouse. If not then one will need installing. Look on Screwfix for example prices.
http://www.screwfix.com/p/wylex-2-way-metal-garage-consumer-unit-40a-30ma-rcd/3401h 54.99
A sparky should get a small trade discount too (maybe 10%).
The armoured cable 25m:
http://www.screwfix.com/p/prysmian-lv-armoured-6943x-3-core-cable-4mm-x-25m-black/67843 50.20
Then your waterproof socket:
http://www.screwfix.com/p/bg-nexus-13a-2g-dp-switched-socket/67928 12.98

You don't need an rcd socket if there is already an RCD in the garage consumer unit.
There will be cable clips and the like too.
Dig the trench in advance and it will save a considerable amount on the labour costs.

I charged 25 per hr when I was an electrician (only stopped last November) - you shouldn't be charged much more and might get less.
wellington womble

Thank you. I will definitely look into it. dpack

what he said.
plus if you are putting a cable in a trench it needs to be quite deep and should have a plastic tape with a beware cable warning a decent distance above the cable .i cant remember the exact min depths but iirc it is about 2 feet deep for the cable and a foot for the tape.it migt not save it from a big digger but it should warn anyone hand digging .(having seen 11000v meets digger bucket i recon tape is a good idea)
OtleyLad

Just going back to the original post - I'm going to plant out the sweet corn (under a large bubblewrap cloche) as its so mild today and the forecast for the next week is good too. The roots are already out the bottom of the pots.
Everything is growing like crazy in the greenhouse. I've had to pot up the toms & squash as they are rapidly outgrowing their 3ins pots too.

Definitely a spring day today.
wellington womble

Can one scan for cables, like you get things to tell you where they are in walls? (without getting time team out) no reason, just interested.

The cable will go under a slabbed path, which should keep it out of the way of most mishaps.

My sweet corn is an inch high, and also growing out of the bottom of the pot. I am in two minds what to do with it. I might plant it out, and then sow some more. I've got a cold frame kicking about somewhere.
OtleyLad

Can one scan for cables, like you get things to tell you where they are in walls? (without getting time team out) no reason, just interested.

You can - but they aren't cheap. Maybe get a metal detector instead (then you can also hunt for treasure) Wink

The cable will go under a slabbed path, which should keep it out of the way of most mishaps.

Sounds like a safe bet.
dpack

yep, one can and should scan for cables and pipes when trenching.the hand held cat3 scanners can be hired for about 60 which is far far cheaper than a repair if you run a digger bucket through a pipe or cable( and far less traumatic Laughing )

ps they dont see plastic water/gas pipes so eyeball for any possible runs is sensible. or if you know where the end is you can run a snake through a pipe and find it that way (that is more for if you are trying to hit it rather than avoid it)
Ty Gwyn

Strangly,BT couldn't tell me how deep the buried phone cable was in the field,only which way it ran. dpack

was that from a map?

anyway back to the frost thing it was warm today so hooves crossed my seeds will be germinating Cool

all the boxes ant tubs are half planting compost and half still hot compost underneath,im hoping that the heat of fermentation will help a bit to avoid the ground frost effect if it does swing colder again.
Ty Gwyn

No,from the engineer standing in my field,he stated they didn't have a device to tell the depth of the cable. Slim

Low temps for the coming week are all a minimum of 40f so I'm throwing caution to the wind and getting some stuff out. Bulbs going in (dahlia, gladolius), runner beans planted by the front porch, zinnias transplanted. Veg is all either cold hardy, or just getting moved into bigger pots in my makeshift greenhouse. Can be moved in if absolutely necessary.....

Soil is incredibly well draining so not too worried about soil temp
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