Swallow Greenhouses Base advice

Kingsfisher Greenhouses

Kingfisher Greenhouse Range

The last post was all about Swallow Greenhouses a great range of timber frame greenhouses to suit a wide range of garden styles, below is what they say on the back of their brochure some sound advice about greenhouse bases.

Greenhouse Base Advice

The idea base for the greenhouse would be;

  1. Paving slabs to encourage natural drainage
  2. Solid concrete base to the size of the greenhouse with a minimum 4″ thickness
  3. Concrete strip footing again with a minimum 4″ thickness
  4. Dwarf wall can be built – heights to be advised

The base can be larger than the greenhouse if required by the customer but it must not be any smaller.

Most importantly the base must be level

Lean to Base Advice

There are additional factors to be considered if a lean-to greenhouse is purchased. In addition to the advice above, the following must also apply;

  • The base must be 90 degrees to the wall and level
    Swallow Lean to Greenhouse

    Swallow Lean to Greenhouse

  • Swallow (GB) will ask if the wall is straight and will request photographs if necessary Swallow (GB) will ask the type and height of the wall upon receipt of the order.

Swallow(GB) will ask the type and height of the wall upon receipt of the order

Access Information

We require the following height clearances for access as all panels are pre-glazed in the factory;

  • Finch, Cygnet, Jay, Kingfisher – 6′ 6″
  • Heron, Mallard, Swan, Raven, Rook, Falcon, Eagle – 8′ 6″

Once the order is received, we will forward a base plan for the building. We then ask you to contact us when the base is ready to enable us to plan installation.


All Swallow (GB) Buildings have the following features as standard

  • All the redwood pine is thermally modified
  • All the boards are fixed with stainless steel nails
  • The inward-opening door has a mortice lock and lever handle
  • All the glass is toughened (tempered) safety glass (three times stronger than standard)
  • The glass is slid into a groove and sealed with quality silicone (this is very reliable and makes it resilient to adverse weather conditions)
  • The glass shapes are joined with a clear plastic ‘H-Section’ (clean looking and easy to wipe)
  • Each roof vent is fitted with a Bayliss automatic opener
  • There is a plastic section fixed around the bottom of the greenhouse. This keeps the timber off the ground, prolonging the life of the building.

So pay attention and follow the advice above from Swallow Greenhouses for the ideal base for your new Swallow Greenhouse.

Swallow (GB) Greenhouses Ltd

I love receiving new marketing information from our various suppliers and one that was dropped onto my desk last week was a great partner we have called Swallow (GB) Ltd we have been working with this company since our first introduction many moons ago.

Raven Greenhouse from Swallow

Swallow Raven Greenhouse

Swallow Greenhouse products are made from Thermowood which is manufactured from red wood pine. The process involves kiln drying the timber which is put into a special oven where a powerful compressor which removes the air, the temperature is raised to 215 degrees C which bakes the timber, the result seals the capillaries, destroys resins and proteins and stabilises the timber.

The benefits are;

  • It can be left untreated
  • All bacteria is killed, resulting in a sterile material
  • Paints excellently and lasts up to three times longer
  • The timber is totally natural and chemical free
  • Reduced thermal conductivity
  • Consistent colour throughout the wood
  • Improves durability against decay
  • Improved dimensional stability
  • Good choice for allergy sufferers

    Falcon Greenhouse

    Swallow Falcon Greenhouse

Some general advice from Swallow Greenhouses on how to keep your greenhouse in tip-top shape.

A greenhouse is an excellent addition to any garden, whether a novice or a time honoured gardener, it is always good to receive a few tips. Your new Swallow Greenhouse will give you the ability to extend the growing season, with the possibility to grow produce that would not usually grow in your area of the country.

All Swallow Greenhouses are fitted with automatic vents allowing ventilation and temperature control. These help to make the greenhouse efficient and with the inclusion of a regular cleaning routine will keep your greenhouse pest and disease free.


By far the biggest problem you might come across in your greenhouse is mould. However, with a few simple steps your greenhouse should be mould free all year round.

Grey mould is caused by the fungus Botrytis Cinerea, a common fungus with a wide host range. It produces are large amount of spores that move around the greenhouse via air currents. To help control the grey mould a control of the environment should be maintained, this will prevent the fungus growth and to sporulate. By keeping the humidity level below 85%, as well as ensuring good air circulation and adequate plant spacing.

Cygnet Greenhouse

Swallow Cygnet Greenhouse

Annual Greenhouse Cleaning

In the first instance its a good idea to find way suits you best. With the seasons in mind, a warm sunny day will put less stress on the plants when you move them outside. This will enable you to use cleaning solutions without the worry of damaging or spills on any of your plants. Working from the top to bottom, clean the windows thoroughly with soapy water, adding one part bleach for ten parts of water if you can see mould or moss growth.

Sweep off any growing tables or staging to clear out any dirt or weed remnants. Discard broken or unsuitable growing containers. Clean and sterilize any benches and tools. Sweep and disinfecting the floor, another step pertinent to maintaining a disease and pest free greenhouse.

This is also a good opportunity to clean the outside of the greenhouse, clearing gutters, opening vents to clean thoroughly, cleaning windows.

Daily Greenhouse Upkeep

Finch Greenhouse

Swallow Finch Greenhouse

To maintain a healthy and well balanced area for your plants to grow, a routine daily maintenance schedule is a good idea. Just simply sweeping, weeding, removal and disposal of infected and damaged plants. Areas kept clean and tidy as you become more familiar with your greenhouse you will be able to notice where any maintenance is required.

All these measures will add up to a healthy growing environment for your plants, with an abundance of growth.

Click here to view our full range of Greenhouses

Have you voted yet? We have…

So it might be difficult to avoid the general election and party political broadcasts and if you’re like us and still not sure which way to go with your vote, we thought we would change the subject completely and do our own vote (just for fun), so as we sell garden buildings we each decided which was our favourite.

The buildings were chosen on an all around best building so when making my choices I considered the shed quality, the standard features and benefits, the supplier support and aftersales, price, value and delivery lead time.


Voted best sheds 2015

These are my choice of garden sheds.
1. Supreme Apex Shed
2. Rowlinson Potting Shed
3. Supreme Workshop

The Supreme Apex Shed – is a good quality shed which also includes assembly within the price so keep that in mind when comparing the prices. The shed comes as standard with two diagonal cross supports on each wall built into the frame work helping maintain the rigidity of the shed with a 3ft opening door fully framed, ledge and Supreme Apexbraced this will help prevent the door from twisting, warping and over time dropping out of shape. this range of garden buildings is made with shiplap tongue and grooved timber and has a tongue and grooved roof and floor so no chip board, sterling or OSB. I like this range of sheds as they are not just good quality and include assembly but they have a slightly larger than average eaves height as I am 6ft it is nice to be able to stand up straight all through the building.

Potting Shed

The Rowlinson Potting Shed – a nice alternative to the traditional looking shed with the integral wooden growing space it makes not only for an attractive feature but a completely functional space, why not grow your own and not everyone wants both a greenhouse and a shed or summerhouse so why not get all three in one with this stylish design potting shed.

                               The Supreme Workshop –  Supreme Workshop      This was an easy choice a larger and superior version of the supreme apex so all of the above but available in larger sizes and has a double door as standard so for those who need the larger garden storage space or a decent workshop even a place to store the ride on mower or garden machines.

Taylors Garden Buildings make it easy to grow your own herbs

Herbs deserve a place in any VegTrug. They are easy to grow and can be very attractive. Put your VegTrug in a nice sunny spot close to the kitchen as you will be harvesting your herbs regularly. Herbs have many uses from cooking to cosmetics and also medicinal properties.

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    Basil is a lovely fragrant herb which is important in the making of Pesto. It does however; need to be protected early in the season if there are frosts around. Plant a pot-grown specimen in early June in a well drained sunny spot place about 20cm apart and pinch out shoots to create a bushy plant.

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    Bay is usually grown as a bush or a small tree and is used for flavouring soups and stews, the leaves can be used fresh or dried.  Plant a pot-grown specimen in late April early May.  They can be pruned quite hard and shaped. Pick leaves as required.

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    Chervil is a relative of Parsley and is used with a wide range of dishes including fish. Sow in shallow drills made 30cm apart, make sure the soil is well-drained and sow in August. The plants will then have a longer season for the leaves to be used and for the seed to mature.

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    Chives are wonderful chopped into salads giving a lovely onion flavour. Chives are a hardy perennial – reproducing itself from small bulbs – growing to 30cm tall. It is propagated by division every three to four years; the bulbs are teased apart and replanted into rich soil, plant about 8in (20cm) apart in spring or autumn. Plants may be raised from seeds sown in shallow drills in April. The plant should not be cut until their second year. Whilst chives will grow almost anywhere, they seem to have a better flavour if grown in sunny, dry situations. Not being allowed to get too lush with watering or over-feeding.

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    Coriander likes dry light soils and the leaves are used as flavouring in many Middle Eastern and South East Asian cookery, the seeds are also used as a spice. Plant coriander where you want it to grow; it quickly develops a deep taproot that doesn’t respond well to transplanting.  Sow seeds 1.5cm deep after all danger of frost has passed. When plants emerge, thin them to 10cm apart and mulch to conserve moisture and deter weeds. Keep a close eye on young plants to make sure they don’t dry out, but once established, coriander needs little water.  Ensure a steady supply of leaves by sowing succession crops every three weeks until late summer.  Harvest entire plants when they’re about 15cm high if you want only the leaves.

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    This is a fast growing herb. Dill does not like to be disturbed so sow the seeds in your VegTrug in April where the plants are to grow and thin to 20cm apart.

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    Garlic can be used in all types of cooking. Plant individual cloves 6cm deep and about 9cm apart in March. Apart from watering there is nothing else to do until the foliage turns yellow in July or August. Lift the bulbs and allow to dry under cover., then store in a cool place.

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    Mint is a quickly spreading plant that is very easy to grow and is wonderful for flavouring all those lovely new potatoes.  Also makes a wonderful refreshing tea.  The best way to plant mint is within a small container within the VegTrug as the mint can take over. Plant small pieces of root 6cm deep and 15cm apart in late April early May or early September.  Top dress with compost in the Autumn.

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    Nasturtium is a pretty trailing plant with bright orange and red flowers, the leaves can be used in salads and the fresh seeds are a good substitute for capers.  Plant out in April about 3cm depth and about 20cm apart.  You can use a trailing variety that can hang over the side of you VegTrug.

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    Parsley is an important herb used in lots of recipes.  Sow seeds 3cm deep in April for a summer and autumn crop and again in August for winter use. Germination is slow and can take up to 2 months.  Seedlings should be trimmed to 15cm apart.  Pick regularly for a continuous supply of fresh leaves

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    Rosemary is another evergreen herb good with lamb. You can sow seeds in May or buy a pot-grown plant and plant in the spring. You can sow seeds in May or alternatively buy a pot-grown plant and plant in a sunny sheltered spot.

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    Sage is an evergreen herb native to southern Europe and is used a lot for flavouring. Sage can be propagated by cuttings from the end of April through to September. Insert the cuttings 30cm apart in a lightly shaded place; leave them until they are well established, then they can be removed and placed in a permanent position. Sage prefers chalky soil in sunny areas, but will thrive in a fertile workable soil with good drainage, water well until moist. Old plants tend to get woody, so replace every 3-4 years. Cutting back hard in spring can rejuvenate the older plants. Sage tea is also said to be good for the throat and ears.

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    Tarragon has aromatic leaves that are used in fish and meat dishes and can also be used in salads.  It needs a sheltered position and you can plant a pot-grown specimen in March.  Remove the flowering shoots to maintain a fresh supply of leaves on the bush.

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    Thyme is a fragrant herb of the Mediterranean and it grows easily in light dry soils.  Plant in late April early May in your VegTrug in a sunny spot at about 20cm apart.  Pick leaves as required. It grows new stems, which need to be divided and planted every two or three years.