Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Polytunnel Progress

It's looking more and more productive in the polytunnel.

Sally Scarecrow is still there, only because I forget to look for the ties that will fix her to the post on the hill over and over again.  When I'm in there I think 'I must find those ties' ... when I go out I forget.

I think she's just wanting to live in the warmth of the tunnel all the time and has me hypnotised!!

The pea plants are on the edge of the water trough because my first job of the day is to put them outside and my last is to bring them in.  They are being hardened off ready for planting in the tyres outside the door of the tunnel.

To the right are all the seedlings, a lot of them now are a second, successive planting.

Below the bench at the far end is the Radish bed, now with a second flurry of Radishes appearing through the soil, we are eating our way through the first crop.  Lovely tasting and mildly peppery, they are adding something special to every salad and sandwich.  Next to them in the centre bed are the Leeks, standing firm and short and finally giving us hope that now they have been rescued from the hillside where they were so unhappy, they will grow tall enough to feed us.

On the left hand side, nearest the door are three potato plants, they were over from the ones I planted on the hillside,  I thought I would experiment and watch the difference in growing time to the ones outside the tunnel.  

The plastic upturned bottles you see in the bed next to two of the plants are for watering.  By pouring water into the bottles it goes straight below the surface of the soil and therefore is less likely to evaporate.  Again a bit of an experiment in not giving the middle plant one of it's own, but I think enough will seep from either side for that not to matter too much.

At the other end of the bed is a Sweet Potato plant in a bottomless plant pot, I do this a lot to give added depth to my plantings.  Simply slice the bottom off an old plant pot and sit it on top of the soil, half fill with compost and then plant in it.

Nearer to us in the picture, now in larger plant pots are my spare Courgette and Pumpkin plants.  As usual I planted far too many.  A couple of the ones I planted outside were slightly frost nibbled so two or three of these might be needed to replace them, but the others are to be a cash crop and will be sold when I do a car boot sale.  Even charging 50p a pot they will give me back enough money to more than cover the price of the seeds I have actually purchased this year.  Every year I try and choose at least one crop that will do this, it means we eat for free .... I don't charge for my labour I enjoy it too much :-)

I have updated the Live Below the Line page at the top of the Blog if you are interested in seeing a round up of the meals I ate last week, and my final musings.  It is HERE too ... for those lazy oinks amongst you who don't want to scroll back up  ;-)

You know where I'll be if you need me ..... in the polytunnel of course!!
Sue xx


  1. It must feel good to have so much protected space. I am busting out of the greenhouse, I don't think there's room for one more pot! If only the rain would stop so I can get out there and plant!

  2. Things are looking very green. And I love the scarecrow inside!

  3. I washed some small plant pots out yesterday then forgot about them. Have all been scattered around our street in these strong winds. Only found 7 out of the 9 so not too bad.

  4. I used water bottles like your beside all my tomato plants for years. I haven't used them for a couple of years and there is a definite difference. The plants seemed to be far more lush with the bottles. Think I'll use them again this year. Thanks for the mental jolt!

  5. My courgettes have been a nightmare not one germination! trying another batch fingers crossed I get two plants thats all I wish for.

  6. Loving reading what you've been up to xx

  7. My little boy has that scarecrow in his veggie bed. I feel bad when it rains and he's soaking wet, best leave Sally inside.

  8. Hi Sue, it's looking great in there. I just had a question. I read back over your blog pretty much from the beginning if I remember correctly. Are you planning on selling your produce and making it part of your livelihood or is all this hard work and toil to grow what you need with a view to becoming self-sufficient? Just curious. Anna

  9. Great blog, oh to have that much space undercover, both my greenhouses are bursting at the seems and we are still having frosts, so plants go out, and some have had to come back in, frustrating, its nice you take time out to just be to :) people don't do that enough.

  10. That is looking good! I should get the girls to make a scarecrow - I think they'd love that!


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