Vitavia Greenhouse Damage, Firewood

Well the storm has passed leaving a load of glass for me to clear up. The wind hit the Vitavia badly. It’s in a very sheltered position but when the wind is coming up the coast it gets rocked. Cutting up firewood for winter and log splitting the push button way.

The Welsh Wind strikes again, panes gone in the greenhouse.

What’s happened this time is that the panes at the front of the greenhouse on either side of the door have had the gusts push them back. This has split the aluminium bottom bar so the uprights flexed and put pressure on the sides of the glass panes which exploded.

I don’t mean exploded as a figure of speech – when toughened glass goes it goes with a bang into thousands of small pieces. Toughened glass is stronger and safer but it’s a lot of mess to clear up.

I knew the base rails were wearing and intended to strip down the greenhouse and replace them as soon as the last tomatoes were finished. Looks like my hand has been forced.

I had thought about replacing the greenhouse but realistically I can’t justify the expense. Although I think the Vitavia is an excellent greenhouse and great value for money, if I was replacing it I’d go for something more robust to cope with our winds. That would set me back well over £2,000.

On the other hand, I don’t spend much on myself. We live very frugally and spend less than our fixed pensions. It’s hard to break the habit of being careful with money though. Too often having some reserves have saved things, unexpectedly finding my employer had gone down being a prime example.

Frugal Living Rule

Back to one of my little frugal living rules.. When in doubt whether to buy something, put the decision off. Often you’ll realise you didn’t really need it or want it so badly.

Free Firewood

Log Splitter. 11 years old and still working well

Back in March a local tree surgeon dropped a load of wood chippings for me (Woodchips, Lawnmower, Planting Potatoes & Onions) He asked me if I wanted some wood as well. Not a huge amount of logs but free heating is not to be sniffed at.

They were just left in a heap until a few weeks ago when son-in-law took the chainsaw to them. He sliced them into lengths that will fit into our woodburner. I’ve been bringing them in to the big shed and using the hydraulic log splitter on them.

They’ve dried out surprisingly well, considering the short period since they were cut. The final step was to split them using my hydraulic splitter. That’s a job my grandson helps with, I load and unload whilst he presses the button to activate the machine.

Safety Note

The machine requires a button to be pressed with one hand and a lever depressed with the other. That safety feature means it’s not dangerous for him to help with splitting. Regardless, I keep close with my eye on him at all times.

Since our LPG central heating costs have shot through the roof, the contribution from the wood burner is very useful, especially with free wood!

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary

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