Thursday, 11 June 2015

Polytunnel Progress - June

Working every day in the polytunnel I don't really notice the difference, well not always, last week after a hot day the day before and giving everything a good drenching with the hosepipe in the evening I stepped in next morning and was startled by a six inch growth on the potato plants, they had literally shot up over night and flowers had appeared that most definitely were not there the day before.

This was how it looked at the start of last month, I'm glad I started taking comparison photos after seeing this difference.

On the left hand side -

potatoes (comparison)
peas (c)
sweet potato
 .... and an experimental Ginger in the plant pot on the floor at the end.

... and dotted here and there amongst them all lots of french marigolds

In the middle -

salad leaves
shallots (c)
single garlic (c)
spring onions
iceberg lettuce
show carrots in breadbin
butternut squash
courgettes (c)

In the pots there are the rooted herbs from the kitchen windowsill -


In the hanging baskets -

tomatoes (c)
french marigolds

Oops ..... I forgot to get a photo of the bed under the workbench.

But underneath are -


and more french marigolds.

On top of the work bench are lots of seedlings waiting to be planted or potted on, including -

runner beans
cape gooseberries
cape gooseberries
 lavenders, antirrhinum and salvia plug plants 

 ...... and no doubt a few others that I have forgotten about.

Anyone still awake ??

This fennel is amazing, I love the delicate foliage of fennel and would grow it even if I didn't eat the bulbs :-)

We are on the second crop of radishes, still tasty but I need to get a third planting in, something I forgot to do, I'm not perfect at this successional planting yet ... is anyone!!

I planted a very old packet of carrot seeds into this bread bin, which was filled with a nice light compost, I didn't think they would all germinate but most of them did, so I have just thinned them out.  My aim is to try and get some nice straight show carrots, not long, long ones, just as perfect looking as possible.  We'll have to see if it works. As they grow I will thin them out a bit more, giving us some hopefully tasty young carrots to eat and leaving the healthiest looking ones behind to grow on.

There you are then, June's guided tour of the polytunnel, I need to get out on the hillside and photograph the veggie beds they are nearly all planted up now and looking very neat.  We need a good downpour to water everything, overnight would be fine if someone could arrange it for me please, these lovely sunny days are wonderful.

How's your garden looking?

Sue xx


  1. waiting for here for rain too, then I am mulching all the beds with grass clippings after they have had a good soaking, My tunnel is mainly filled with tomatoes, cucumbers melons peppers and more delicate things everything hardy is outside. I experimented with potatoes under cover and outside and the ones outside are stronger bushier plants so dont think I will give tunnel space over to them again. :-)

    1. I think you will be right about the potatoes outside being stronger, although the polytunnel ones are further on and flowering, the stems and greenery are much, much weaker than the slower outdoor ones, and will probably will produce less potatoes after supporting all that lush foliage. I will probably harvest them in a month or so and then use the bed for my cabbage and cauliflowers that I want to trial in the tunnel.

      Once the net tunnel is finished most of this sort of crop would be in there rather than under polythene, purely to keep the rabbits off, but for the moment we haven't got the time to finish it unfortunately :-(

  2. It must be so nice having a poly-tunnel. I am contemplating making a mini version to sit on top of one of my raised beds to give us a longer growing season.

    1. That's a brilliant idea. There are lots of mini versions you can buy, if you're making your own simply copy off them. One year I bought some large hula hoops and cut them in half to use as the hoops just because they were cheaper than buying piping, I think I got them from the Pound Shop. You can cover in polythene OR netting, it works really well.

      Anchor them down if it's windy where you are though, they 'fly through the air with the greatest of ease' ;-)

  3. Not keeping up with you, that's for sure!

    1. Everything just romps away in the polytunnel. As soon as the days are sunny things come on really fast. On the hillside it's much slower growth, although the potatoes have come on recently. But we have had nearly 0 degrees this last couple of nights, so that will slow things down on the hillside for sure.

  4. Well, it's certainly not looking like this! We have inherited a very mature site, with lots of fabulous flowering things, but I wouldn't know where to start to be more practical. I do have a tomato plant in the atrium. I even water and feed it! Maybe if I can keep it alive to crop stage I'll be braver! I love reading your blog. It is truly amazing x

    1. I'll keep my fingers crossed for the tomato plant then :-)

  5. Oh my goodness, that all looks fab!!! A lot of hard work as well :)

    1. I just potter most days and water every day, as long as I get in there every day I can keep on top of things. Lots of potting on to do tomorrow but it's too hot to be in there at the moment, the thermometer is reading 38 degrees .... phew!!

  6. Oh my, I have severe polytunnel envy! I so want one and yours looks absolutely amazing. So productive. Good luck with the carrots. I have never succeeded in getting very straight ones, but they taste good anyway. I think the bread bin is a great idea - keep us posted as to whether it worked!

    1. I was going to put it on the car boot stall and then I had the inspiration, so LH drilled a couple of holes in the bottom of it for me :-)

      I'll show you the carrots when or if it works.

  7. looking good. I would love to see photos of your veggie plot on the hilliside. How many hours per day do you spend in the garden?

    1. I'll take the camera over there after and get some shots, I've been meaning to all week. I guess I'm out there on average two hours a day, but I don't rush around, I just slowly and surely work my way around with the radio on in the background. The dogs love it as they lay on the grass and sunbathe.

  8. We always put some very early potatoes in the poly-tunnel and although they are a treat they're never as tasty as the first from outside. Our best early thing in the tunnel is the French climbing beans always way earlier than outside, very prolific and tasty. We don't grow any winter type veg inside as it gets too hot for them. your net tunnel will be very useful , helping to slow the wind a bit and keeping out birds

    1. I'll remember the French beans for next year, thanks.

      I can't wait to get the net tunnel up and in action :-)

  9. Sue, I'm so excited for you to have all these things growing. Hopefully you don't have anything in there that will grab you when you walk in.

  10. my garden is beginning to look decorative. we have a shed to buy and build as the one we have is far too small. we've a storm heading to us tonight, I hope you escape it.

  11. Looking amazing! I'm sorry if someone has already suggested this but I plant my carrot seeds individually (fiddly but worth it) into loo roll tubes buried in the compost - lovely straight carrots!

    1. I've been doing this for years, the toilet roll tube thing that it, but I thought I'd try a special crop for the show in the breadbin this year as well.

  12. Fantastic, so productive, a poly T makes such a difference :)


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