Hawkwell Herbology: Making Do

Hawkwell Herbology: Making Do

The frosts are on their way, so you're probably thinking about how you're going to protect your plants from the cold. But maybe you don't have the equipment just yet, so what can you do? Sara is ingenious with her recycling...

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Like many of you, getting my Rhino was the culmination of choices, decisions, and, in my case, saving up. I had never had a 'proper' greenhouse before I got my beloved Rhino. I had instead survived on conservatories and polytunnels (lent to me by wonderful friends!) and those plastic green temporary ones. So my Rhino was such a joy to have.

But it did mean that, in my efforts to get it as soon as I could, I did not really have the money available for things like heating, shades etc. So I have a bit of a Heath Robinson approach to things until such time as I can afford the real thing!

Heating & Shading On a Budget


I will NEVER heat the Rhino. It goes against the grain really to heat such a huge amount of air. And I grew up with my Dad travelling abroad, and calling us in the UK from very pricey telephone lines to ask 'is the greenhouse hot enough' in the middle of Winter! He covered it with bubble wrap inside and then we had a low heater on. Whilst in the house we dare not put the heating on 'because you can just put on an extra jumper'... BUT... it can get cold here in the wilds of Northamptonshire. And whilst The Herbs are a hardy bunch, I do like to make sure they do not freeze. So I use other people's waste packaging to keep them from freezing. I cover the benches with polystyrene sheeting (our neighbours are bathroom shop owners and they provide me with long, long, long polystyrene sheets) OR with bubble wrap from anybody who will give it to me. And then I place The Herbs on top. And then at night I cover them with fleece (also from neighbours and villagers who buy things by post). But, I must confess to keeping a teeny heater in there for my feet on occasions in the Winter... (You can see it in the photo).

As for shading, I use the same polytyrene plus a few cardboard box sides to erect shading where needed.

So, you CAN protect your plants in your lovely Rhino from both cold and hot weather. It may not look pretty (in the Winter my Rhino looks like Miss Haversham's dining room, all white and cobwebbed...) but it works!



Find out more about Sara and Hawkwell Herbs by going to her website - https://hawkwellherbs.co.uk/ - or finding her on social media - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram





I tend to water the smaller plants from underneath. It encourages their roots to go downwards in search of water which stops them drying out at the top of the pot if they are constantly coming upwards to get their water. Now, like many of you, I have plenty of those trays into which I plant seeds, with holes in the bottom for drainage - but never enough watertight ones in which to put my pots for watering. Whilst going through my Dad's gardening shed, I found some old seed trays into which he had placed blobs of glue to seal up the holes. I now use them. And will carry on doing the same to my seed trays over time. Each time I use them sealed up trays, it reminds me of my Dad. And his Heath Robinson ways!


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