About my garden

Saturday 20 May 2017

Adventures in a poly tunnel - May 2017

The dry month of April has given way to a showery May which is much more normal. Today we are getting the April showers. 
The water butts are full and I don't need to worry about watering things planted outside for a while, at least. Everything has burst into life and I need to spend more time wandering round looking at it all. Instead I'm head down weeding, planting and inspecting for pests. 
I've hardened off many things which involves moving them all out in the morning and then back in at night. It doesn't really take long but it's not worth losing the carefully grown plants if you don't harden off properly. Last year beans and courgettes suffered with wind damage so I am keeping them inside for a few more weeks. 
Although we've had some very warm days it has still been down to 2०C at night this week. 

It's been a wonderful month in the tunnel. The warm days have meant things growing fast and I've kept on top of the watering. 
We've got enough kale to give away and our iron levels should be very good. Rocket has gone to seed in the background and beans are on the hanging shelf. 

 I hope I've reached and passed Peak Seedling but I still have plenty and have just been pricking out some more. This is my overflowing bench and this is only half of it. I'm aiming to get things outside as soon as they are big enough. At this time of year I can never believe that the tiny flower seedlings will grow fast enough to produce flowers but they really take off in May and June. 

Strawberries have taken over a corner. The fruits are forming so I try and water well. I hope we get to eat them. I have more outside but they are a stage behind. 

A marigold which overwintered. Tiny french marigolds are popping up everywhere. I grew them as pest control last year. Spinach, lettuce and rocket behind. Broad beans at the back. Still standing but I think they need some more tying in now. Tiny beans are forming. 

Overwintered spinach going to seed but still plenty for us to eat and the hens are getting their greens too. 

Here are some of the tomato plants. These look very green and healthy and are the second sowing. Some courgettes or squashes are in front. They have been in the tunnel for a week and I cover with fleece at night. 

The first sowings of tomatoes are looking slightly yellow but are flowering. My plan to treat them mean is working. Last year I had lush plants with few flowers so this year I'm growing them harder. I'm planting them out today into large pots with the bottoms cut out so they get a good start but the roots can go out into the compost below. I'm planting into grow bag compost and I know they will green up quickly. Behind is a fleece windbreak as the wind is sometimes vicious through here. 

The dahlias have been hardening off but I'm reluctant to plant them out too early. I think I'll wait another week. My plant is to tuck the pots in right by the tunnel wall but outside so they get some protection. The bed for them is, at least, ready 

Harvesting in May:
Cavolo Nero
Red Russian kale
Chinese chives
Purple sprouting broccoli - outside
Spring onion
The odd radish

1 comment:

  1. Oh I'm most envious of that polytunnel Alison - they offer more scope than a greenhouse. It looks as if you will be munching well for some time to come :)


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