Thursday, 26 November 2015

Polytunnel Progress - November


It's now late November and in the frost free cocoon of the polytunnel there is still life, and more importantly food for us to eat.  If I needed to I could go out and pick at any time the makings of a good vegetable soup, without depleting any of the plants of too many of their leaves.

To walk you through the plants available to us at the moment.

In the central bed there are :

Radish
Lettuce
Spring Onions
A single Spinach plant
Fennel
Carrots
A single Cabbage plant
A pot of potatoes that are refusing to grow.
.

On the right hand side are :

Curly Kale
Spinach
Radish
Leeks
Celery

On the bench are some overwintering herbs in the big green tray, and an unheated propagator of seedlings that I was experimenting with ... and yes, they all came up, so more tiny Spinach, Radish, Mixed Leaves and Lettuce.  And also my very sad Lemon plant.  I think I may bring it in the house to live with the Chilli plant for the Winter and see if there is anything I can do to bring it back to life.

Funnily enough I've always been unlucky with citrus plants even when we lived down south and it was much milder.  I think a bit of research is called for instead of my usual instinctive gardening ... we're obviously not on the same wavelength me and citrus!!


On the left hand side are :

Beetroot
Cabbage
Kohlrabi
Chilli Pepper
Lettuce
Carrots
Potatoes that are refusing to grow.
Mixed Salad Leaves


and right at the far end my Sweet Potato plant which I should be able to finally pull out of it's pot next week.  I was told to wait until the leaves went yellow and seemed to be dying off before risking tipping them out of the pot.

In the terracotta coloured plastic pot are yet more potatoes refusing to show themselves.   'Grow your own delicious New Potatoes, in pots in time for Christmas Day' said their packet .... nope it's not worked.  So I'll just save a few of our own outside grown and stored big spuds to eat with our Christmas dinner and try again next year with a different variety.  The plant at the back behind the sweet potato is a self seeded Nasturtium.  I left it there to see if can over-winter in the tunnel, but I suspect it might get too cold for it.  In the meantime I can pick one or two of it's peppery leaves whenever we are having a salad.

In the foreground of the left hand side photo are the two pots of Oca given to me by Dawn of 'Doing it for Ourselves in Wales', and she posts about harvesting some of hers HERE,  The pots were only in the tunnel briefly to avoid a really heavy downpour while I was over there, they were already saturated and I though a couple of hours grace from the deluge might be appreciated.  They are back outside now awaiting a good frost ... we were promised one last week and almost got it ... but not quite.  How ironic that in South Wales, where you would expect it to be a tad warmer, Dawn has had a good frost and here on our North Wales hillside we haven't.  Hopefully we'll get to taste them soon.

So that's this month's round up of Polytunnel Progress.

I'm pleasantly surprised that in this year of experimentation there is still so much life and potential food in there, it bodes well for next year.

Sue xx


17 comments:

  1. A lovely selection of produce, just spotted the mouse, I hope it's not a real one :-) x

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    1. Well spotted :-)

      It was bought a joke to fool Rosy ... it didn't work, she walked past it with a look of such disdain. It now moves around the polytunnel as a reminder that you can't fool a Jack Russell.

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  2. I am making some little tents out of fleece to try and protect some of the chilies as an experiment see if they will go through the winter in the Poly tunnel, Have you switch over to a winter citrus feed with the lemon, I switch when the clocks change, it might be the poly tunnel air is a bit too moist for it, they like a dry air environment, pop it in your conservatory.

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    1. I'll try that for the lemon plant, thanks.

      We are about to add an additional layer of protection in the polytunnel and have purchased a roll of blue water pipe from the builders merchants.. Holes will be drilled in the raised bed edges and the pipe 'hooped' over, this means I will be able to drape fleece over the plants in the depths of any cold spell. I love all this experimentation :-)

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    2. Potash saved our lemon tree. For years it did nothing no matter where it was then the local nursery man said try a sprinkle of potash an no we get lemons, about 20 with more coming on.

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  3. This polytunnel is an absolute credit to all your hard work and diligence. There looks enough there to keep you going food wise for quite a long time. I am now going back to see if I can spot the mouse that Simple Living suggests!

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    1. Thank you,. I do find I work better and enjoy working in there when it feels and looks tidy, so I make an effort to clear up after myself at the end of each session.

      I'll just tell you the mouse is in the top photo ..... good luck. (The pictures will enlarge if you click on them.)

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  4. A polytunnel certainly does extend the season doesn't it. It still looks like summer in there!

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  5. I am so very, very envious of your poly tunnel. I just cannot wait until we get ours in the Spring.

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  6. Looks amazing! Puts my little tub of Chard and yoghurt pot of cress to shame lol
    X x

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  7. Its really encouraging to see what can be grown into the winter months. I'm definitely going to try and extend my season in the greenhouse and get more greens growing under netting next year. Those pesky cabbage whites ruined my crops.

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  8. It must be nice standing in there among your plants, especially if it's raining.

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  9. Bet it's lovely in there! I need something like that, but just big enough to sit in lol

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  10. A tip for growing citrus from seed, wash the pips before laying on soil, leave in warm sunny spot and they grow.

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    1. I'll give this a go, I have some lovely lemons in the fridge, thanks.

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  11. Wish I had room for a poly tunnel, you still have so much going on in there. My citrus plants are in my kitchen & touch wood they seem to be doing fine x

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  12. I am confused regarding poly tunnel veg in the winter. Frost protection is a given, but how big a part does day length (or lack of) play?

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