Tuesday, 15 August 2017
The Polytunnel - part 2
Welcome to my two new followers. Sadly I am absolutely rubbish at the technical aspects of this blog and can't work out how to see who you are to welcome you personally, but you are very welcome regardless 😁
This is the view of the tunnel right now. It's coming along quite nicely. We have been amazed at the speed with which everything grows in there and sometimes it seems quite hard to keep up with it all.
We have six raised beds, 4 single height and 2 double height on the left. The right side is south facing so we put the taller beds on the left so as not to block too much light. We had 4 scaffolding planks left over from the beds, so I made four hanging shelves and hung them from the crop bars. On those, I have peppers, chillies and aubergines. The fourth shelf is in amongst the Jerusalem artichokes on the left so only has a pot of lemongrass on it.
A very early photo to show the growth
I have planted oca, artichokes, first early potatoes (all eaten now), pumpkins (too many!), yellow and green courgettes (also too many), summer squash, melon, beetroot, chives, oregano, Rosemary (in a pot), lettuce, salad leaves, rocket, mizuna, parsnips, spring onions, red onions (pulled now and drying on the staging), yellow onions (also pulled and drying), garlic, leeks (went to seed but the flowers looked great), yellow French beans, green French beans (both dwarf), sweetcorn, peas, sugars nap, purple mangetout, three varieties of tomatoes, basil, turnips, kale, cabbage, sprouting broccoli and Brussels, Chinese cabbage, pak choi, chard
I planted cauliflower but they were rubbish and got thrown on the compost. I planted carrots, but they didn't do anything. I tried cucumbers twice - once was too early and by the time the tunnel was ready they were too leggy and etiolated and the second time the slugs ate them whilst I was on holiday. Fortunately my sisterinlaw has plenty and is happy to share. I had wanted to plant sweet potato but by the time I had a bed ready, they were out of stock - next year....
We thought we would try strawberries in guttering as I don't yet have an outside bed for fruit. My verdict? Completely pointless! You win some, you lose some. It's now a case of keeping the plants alive until I can plant the. Outside next year.
I also had a pot of nasturtiums to decorate my salads and a pot of sweet peas and grew marigolds. On my staging I have some ginger growing in a pot and seedlings of perpetual spinach and winter lettuce ready to plant up. I'm also growing some flowers even though I don't really have a garden much yet to plant them in!
Most things have been fairly successful, but it's obviously a huge learning curve and I guess each year will be different anyway. I'm constantly reading to see what I should be sowing now to keep a continuum of planting and trying to find different recipes to use any surplus. I did drown in courgettes, but gave a whole load to a local start-up restaurant which serves only vegan food. I believe she used them to make courgette schnitzel, a recipe I tried myself.
So that's a whistle stop tour of the inside. As and when I will add some specific photos, but I've got a house to paint today so need to get going!