Does anyone know anything about gardening?

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  • Quick whip up of the frame, seem about right?
    Seems a bit overkill and could possibly halve the number of noggins but figure a central beam is worth it if the boards are perpendicular to frame. Actually, given the orientation of the decking boards does it make more sense to have several long joists along the length?

    Edit- I know 4x2 usually measure 47mm but close enough for now.

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  • Short joists, long boards, no need for noggins at all. One post per corner and a central post on each long side.

  • Long boards it is then, Liz wanted them short so it looks like a ladder but will do them lengthways if easier.

  • Not just easier, more efficient use of timber, better looking (trust me) and a much more rigid construction.

  • Well I’m sold.
    Can adjust the width of the deck a bit either way so it it fits best with width of boards.

  • Not really, boards have a way of varying by fractions despite going through a profiling machine, you can only get approximate. Expect to cut down the final board lengthwise with a circular saw to fit. Cladding around the frame will tidy everything up. Presuming a width of 1.5m, 7 boards needed including cladding, adjust 4x2 quantities to fit within frame with a 33 to 46cm spacing between joists. Structural screws will remain at 100 as smaller packs don't exist. A good rule of thumb is 50 decking screws per square metre.

    For anyone else reading this and wondering how to space supporting posts, my golden rule is a minimum of 2m between posts, anything much more and you will be building a trampoline rather than a decking.

  • Is it true that the ridges in boards should have their groves facing down for air circulation arrived the joists? Read that on a click-bait article recently, but it kind of makes sense.

  • This is my hedge, planted about 2 years ago (along with a "proud parent" picture to show how far it's come since it was little).

    According to this, I should be trimming only the sides at the moment to encourage it to be bushy, and then trimming the top branches to the height I want it in autumn.

    I want it much taller than this though - should I be cutting back the top and sides now?

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  • If you're thinking of the finely grooved side, yes, but not for that reason. The real reason is that the finely grooved side will splinter if you look at it in a funny way if you use it as the upper surface.

    Would-be forum deckerers: always screw down your decking through the outermost grooves on the board, otherwise they will curl up like corrugated iron.

  • That advice is broadly correct, however, make sure you do prune the leaders quite hard to ensure that your upwards growth stays bushy (fnarr, fnarr). It might take the hedge longer to reach the overall height desired, but you wouldn't want spindly upright growth, would you?

  • More decking advice: I have used a flat sided decking board for years without rot problems. I have laid it smooth side up on the insistence of a client (see below). DO NOT DO THIS, sure it can look good, but is slipperier than a bucket of greased eels on an ice rink.

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  • Area cleared and scalped.

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  • Shopping list:
    5x 4.8m 4x2 treated stabilised
    7x 4.8m 150mm boards
    6x 4x4 posts(guess I want 2-300mm in the ground)
    Decking screws
    Structural screws(I’ve prob got a few boxes at work that’ll be big enough)
    25kg ballast
    1bag cement

    Anything I’ve missed? Will one bag ballast do 6 posts if I don’t get carried away and dig massive holes?

  • Getting there. I go 600mm deep and use a bag of ballast per hole, but people can sue me. You will need at least 3 bags of ballast, probably 4, one cement is enough. 2x8' 4x4 posts will do you, each cut in 3 to provide 6 posts, sawn and treated fence posts are fine . You're now on overkill for the 4x2, 1x4.8 and 3x3.o will be enough for 2.4m x 1.5m surface. Don't forget the decking screws, you need 200.

  • Perfect. List adjusted. Will ring round tomorrow

  • Can anyone recommend a ‘pond’ book please, RHS as per...?


  • Freshwater Habitats Trust have a wealth of info on their website.

  • Thanks, they’re not far from me and have some really interesting initiatives too. We bought some aquatic plants the other day (buy first, research later will go on my headstone) which sent me down a ‘non-native invasive species’ rabbit hole and the billions it costs us every year to control, scary stuff.

  • Yep, I'm organising some Himalayan Balsam removal volunteer days along the Ruislip Pinn this Summer.

    You didn't buy Floating Pennywort or Azolla, did you?

  • We did not thankfully, just decorative plants for an old trough but I’d like to add a wildlife pond when the kids sandpit becomes redundant.

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  • Mare's tail I think can be problematic in the wild?

  • Thanks for the info. So pressure treating/any other sealing/staining is not good for veg etc? The current ones are literally falling apart so I was hoping to replace them with something more weather/water resistant.

    There is debate about this. I've seen forums where people argue about it all day. Brakeless, helmets, etc... Since I'm growing veggies for my family to much on I just choose to avoid the debate and get untreated wood. Cedar is notorious for its weather resistance, so this is what I use.

  • Wouldn't you want to nail / bolt the frame to the posts, because of the different respective shear strengths compared to screws?

  • Probably for house building, I doubt a deck would cause an issue given substantial enough screws (mine was screwed and I hammered about on it for 5 years with no issues, and I guarantee I'm heavier than @edmundro)

  • When are people planning on putting their tomatoes in the ground outside?

    A couple of mine are getting quite big now.

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Does anyone know anything about gardening?

Posted by Avatar for carson @carson