Monday, 2 May 2016

I Love My Polytunnel

In the polytunnel at the moment is a lovely green mish mash, a delightful mix of new seedlings, old over-wintered plants, things being shifted around and new life springing up either planted by me or self seeded from last year.

The young Leeks at the front of this bed have just been moved over from a larger bed under the work station.  They were taking up far too much room and water spread out as they were, so I decided to re-locate them ... they seem to have survived the trauma!!

A top view of the same bed ... Leeks to the left, spring greens at the top and a spinach cluster at the bottom.

I seem to be making more and more mixed beds at the moment.

 I think I like a bit of variety, and I love the mix of the greens and the difference in the  leaves and stems.  It's not really seen as the right thing to do in growing circles as you are supposed to rotate where you plant things and this makes any rotation harder to do.  But I prefer to rotate less and look after my soil and compost more and let the plants mingle.  I may live to regret it one day ..... but hey that sums up life in general, right  ;-)

This bed has a row of onions (a trial polytunnel/net tunnel thing) a few rows of late planted spinach from last year and some garlic, which is also being trialed in the polytunnel to see how it compares to the net tunnels garlic ...

.... and in the pots in the back corner some potatoes (Estima) taken from last years crop.

Yes the supersonically chitted potatoes are thriving ;-)

In the very back corner on the other side, under my workbench are last years celery plants.  

Instead of pulling up some of the bunches by the roots I chopped them off just above soil level and as you can see they are growing into another bunch of celery.  This is proving to be a useful thing to have learnt as having this second early batch of celery growing is helping to fill what is known by growers as the 'hungry gap', that annoying time of year when you have eaten most of last years crops and although you have tray after tray  of lovely young seedlings of all your favourite vegetables coming along,  there just isn't anything tasty to actually eat now, something I really don't need to happen on our journey to self sufficiency.

There are quite a few vegetables and salad crops that will do this - cabbages, lettuces, spring onions  and as you can see celery, I think I am going to experiment some more this year with this phenomenon, an extra crop from one sowing of seeds is always welcome.

The weather fluctuations of this week have seen the temperature in the polytunnel plummet to just 4 degrees and then rise in less than twenty four hours to 35 degrees.  When I'm working in there I peel off the layers as it's gets warmer and warmer, usually ending up working in just a T shirt even when the temperature outside is still jacket weather.

Can you tell I love my polytunnel  :-)

Sue xx


  1. Even 'I' love your polytunnel. And I'm envious of anyone owning one.
    Still, I'll have to wait and see if there is room in our budget for next year for some sort of greenhouse-type-thingy.
    In the meantime our 'goats', erm volunteers, have build hoops over a couple of raised beds and we're just waiting for the plastic to arrive.
    By the way, I also mix up my plants. It seems a shame to leave a corner of bare soil when you can perfectly fit another specimen in.

  2. I'd love a polytunnel, but would have to give up about half of the back garden to have one. We make do with a 12 x 8 ft greenhouse and a few raised beds.
    Of course, raised beds aren't a lot of use in weather such as we have here today, they're starting to resemble swimming pools!

  3. Everything looks so healthy! I don't think it will be long before you have lots of home grown veg to eat.
    I tend to pick the stalks off my celery and use them as I do spinach - it just keeps growing back :)

  4. I don't blame you for loving your polytunnel, as it is really fabulous. Always fun to see what you have growing there.

  5. For the first time in days the sun is out today, so it will be nice and warm growing weather in your lovely poly tunnel.

  6. That looks ideal for my allotment, cut & come again celery! What variety is it?

  7. Those leeks are huge! Mine are like grass stalks ATM, must pot them on in the next few days

  8. Wow I love your ply tunnel and that all looks just fab. I like that you are trying not masses of a few things but lots of different planting. This has given me hope for my greenhouse. It is a bit more like a poly tunnel I feel because it is covered in polythene not glass. I only have one raised bed at the moment but I'm looking for more deep containers that I can grow in, too. Can I still grow things under my two work benches?

    1. Yes you can :-)

      I have a workbench that runs almost the full length of the tunnel on one side and grow lots of things in the beds underneath it. Just remember not to grow anything that gets too tall ... I currently have a couple of very tall PSB tops that are peeking through. ;-)

      I also make good use of space with a few hanging baskets of Strawberries and tumbling tomatoes.

    2. Oh thanks very much for the tips.x


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