I've decided I will attempt to chart the polytunnels progress through out the year by taking a photo a week hopefully always on a Monday, so I (and you) can see just how things change on a week by week basis.
At the moment in the tunnel there are potatoes chitting, we only bought these last week, late I know, but another week or so and they will be out on the hillside fending for themselves in one of the raised beds.
Behind the potatoes on my potting bench are lots of seeds in their toilet roll tubes, nestled in seed trays and under the protective cover of propagator lids. The lids are important because although we have reached the dizzying heights of 38 degrees on sunny afternoons, at night the temperature plummets to 10, which sounds low until you realise that outside the tunnel the temperature has been zero or just one degree.
Each day I open the slots in the lids to allow the condensation to disperse a little and close them up again at night. It seems to be working and there are lots of little encouraging green shoots and leaves.
I am being very good at keeping notes, it's vitally important that I chart this first year of growing on our Welsh hillside both inside the tunnel and outside. The temperature fluctuations and weather conditions are so different to when I last had a polytunnel and outdoor beds in Oxfordshire.
I write down the date, what I planted, how many to a pot or tray and then I go back and add the number of days it takes the seeds to show signs of life. I am having a very good success rate at the moment, especially when you consider that I am using up the seeds that are the most out of date first.
Out on the hillside, basking in the gloriously warm afternoon sun each day, the Garlic is the star crop. It's just starting to show more signs of growth as the warmth of the sun combined with the moisture trapped deep in the soil from the last few weeks of rain helps this lovely crop spring back into life.
I accidentally 'weeded' one out the other day and although there is not much sign of bulb growth activity yet the plants are healthy and strong. I'm just hoping the abundance of rabbits currently on the hillside and in the woods don't take a liking to garlic!!
Rosy is doing her best, but this weeks tally of three rabbits will not keep the population down.
Dad's Bed is looking a little more colourful now, when Mum came to see us on her birthday weekend she added new spring flowering plants to it, and the ones that have overwintered are also starting to show signs of life.
The birds come to drink at Mum and Dad's original bird bath and their birdsong fills the air in gratitude. It's nice to have Dad nearby as I garden and plan. He's in the polytunnel too, I keep finding plant labels in his neat handwriting and some of the seeds I've planted were chosen and bought by him and Mum.
Already planted out on the hillside in one of the beds are these first earlies potatoes 'Swift'. I've never grown this variety before but they were on sale in the Pound Shop for ..... £1, so I had to give it a go.
I bought two packets, they were looking so sorry for themselves in their plastic wrapping but the shoots were long and green, so I took pity on them and gave them a much needed bed in the rich soil of our hillside.
Does anyone else feel sorry for dry plants, neglected plants, or plants that just look as though they would sink into rich earth with a drink of fresh water and go .... mmmmmm at the shops and garden centres ..... or is that just soft old me?
I don't really mind .... being soft sometimes gets me the most incredible bargains :-)