Posts Tagged ‘polytunnel’

Droplets of rain on the Curly Kale

The full data for 2012 isn’t in yet, but it looks like it will be one of the wettest years on record for the UK. At the time of writing, only England had broken the previous record set in 2000. But 2012 still isn’t officially the wettest on record in Wales, with 2000 remaining the wettest ever. We weren’t in Wales at the time, but if 2012 is anything to go by, then 2000 must have been awful! Read the rest of this entry »

Golden yellow sweetcorn

There haven’t been many successes in the vegetable garden this year, but thank goodness for the polytunnel. One example of where the polytunnel has really helped this year has been with the sweetcorn. In the polytunnel the plants can get started so much earlier, and the warmer environment means they grow a lot bigger. The pictures show the difference in height between the indoor and outdoor plants, and subsequently the indoor-grown cobs are a lot bigger. Read the rest of this entry »

A hint of what (hopefully) is to come!

The forecast is not looking good. As I write this it has started raining, again, and there is little hope of it stopping for any significant amount of time for the next few days. I shouldn’t complain, as we haven’t had it as bad as some parts of the country, and we kind of expect to be wet in west Wales (maybe just not this much). It has also turned cold again, and while the garden is quietly thriving in all this damp weather, it will not like the cold. Read the rest of this entry »

A good harvest of weeds!

Back in the winter I covered the beds in the polytunnel with manure, hoping that the worms would do some of the work of incorporating it into the soil. But I know from past experience that the manure I get from the local farmer has all kinds of weed seeds in it. To help alleviate some of the weeding that I’ll inevitably have to do in the summer, I decided to try to get some of the weeds to germinate early before I plant up the beds for the summer. Read the rest of this entry »

A bountiful harvest!

The first frost of the autumn has been forecast for this week, so to avoid a repeat of last year we decided to pick all the peppers now. We didn’t realise quite how many we had, as pepper plants have a surprising amount of foliage that disguise all the green peppers. The sweet peppers I’m cutting up and putting straight in the freezer, and they can be used directly in stews and soups. The chilli peppers we freeze whole and then cut them up as we need them. I’m also on the hunt for a recipe for a chilli sauce, as this would probably use up a large quantity at once. Read the rest of this entry »

Sweetcorn in polytunnel

The year seems to be flying by, and the veg garden is in full swing. I’ve been busy picking the gluts of peas, mangetout and broad beans and getting them into the freezer. Any that have gone over, along with the pods, we’re giving to the pigs, adding a bit of variety to their diet. The tomatoes have at last started to ripen in the polytunnel, and so we’re now able to enjoy proper salads and tomatoes in our sandwiches. This year I’ve tried growing climbing French beans and sweetcorn in the polytunnel, and both have proved very successful. They are weeks (if not months) ahead of their outdoor counterparts. The sweetcorn is twice as high as those outside, and have produce lovely fat cobs that are covered in kernels. They’re very sweet as well, particularly when they’re cooked within a few minutes of picking, before the sugars start to turn to starch. The French beans have grown all the way to the roof and are sending out new shoots and producing new flowers and beans all the time, despite being watered only twice a week. Read the rest of this entry »

Strawberries galore!

We’re in the middle of the first glut of the season. The warm weather is doing wonders for the strawberry crop, both inside the polytunnel and outside. I’m having to scour the internet for strawberry recipes (I’m not a big fan of strawberry jam so can’t use them up this way) but one solution may be to try making some strawberry wine (more on this another day). However, despite a good crop, the strawberries inside have got whitefly (Trialeurodes vaporariorum). Every time we go to pick some fruits clouds of little white specks come flying off the leaves. I’ve planted French marigolds as a deterrent (but clearly this hasn’t worked or I was too late), so my next option was to try a biological control. Read the rest of this entry »

Lush new grass...but for how long?

I don’t know where the time has gone. May is always a busy time in the garden, but it seems more so this year. I think the main reason is the amount of watering I’ve had to do. This dry weather couldn’t have come at a worse time for gardeners when lots of seeds are relying on damp soil to germinate. Our water butts (including our two 1000 litre tanks) had almost run dry, until a few days ago when we at last got a deluge of rain. However, even with a few hours of rain the soil was still pretty dry underneath. It looks like the dry spell is coming to an end (at least in this part of the country) and we’ve had a few days of rain. Read the rest of this entry »

Potatoes in bags

We’re still clearly in winter, as we managed to get down to -3C yesterday. However, generally the days seem to be getting warmer, as well as longer. So it seems about the right time to plant some early potatoes, albeit in the polytunnel. I’ve had my seed potatoes chitting on a cool window sill, and sprouts are beginning to emerge. I didn’t want to put any potatoes directly in the polytunnel beds, as potatoes are the same family as tomatoes, so don’t fit in with my polytunnel rotation plan, so I thought I would give them a go in bags. Read the rest of this entry »

What can we find here?

The chickens have been on top form recently, continuing to give us eggs right through the cold snap and into the new year. However, we mysteriously got 5 eggs today (although 2 of them were soft-shelled). We can only assume that Ginger, who always lays soft-shelled eggs, was trying to lay a double-yolker and it came out as 2 eggs instead!

The chickens continue to be a source of pleasure, but they have become a bit of a pain and a danger to themselves in the garden. They’ve now learnt that whenever I get the spade out goodies may be available. So today they were trying to “help” me dig in the polytunnel, and getting very excited when I put down a layer of well-rotted maure, full of all sorts of worms and wiggly things. I expect another 5 eggs tomorrow!

Modified version of the Summer Polaroid Pics template