Clicking on any of the pictures will open them at full size in the browser window, which means you will have to use the 'back' button to return to the main pages, whereas clicking to the left or right of any picture will open them in a new window, if you fancy a closer look at any of the piccies we've posted! We've included a Google Earth satelite picture of our plots and this years planting plan at the bottom of the page, next to each other. If you choose the Earth view on the satelite image you can rotate the image until it is lined up with the planting plan, then use the arrows in the plan to scroll from Plot 2 to Plot 1.

Monday, May 24, 2010

20th May 2010 - A 'wannabe' polytunnel!

Ok, piccies and update from last weeks 2 days on the plot!

As we lost all our outdoor tomatoes last year to blight (the damp british summer stuck again!), we decided that although we have 3 greenhouses (2 on the plot and 1 in the back yard at home), we still wanted more protected space to grow toms and chillies/peppers/aubergines in, safer from the ravages of blight! The chillies/peppers and aubergines have gone into the 'hothouse' we constructed last week, so all that was left to find a home for was the rest of the toms that Lee planted ('they wont all germinate, will they?) and that we havent been able to fit nto the greenhouses or the back yard!

Although we'd love a 'proper' polytunnel (the bigger the better), they arent allowed on our allotment site, so after successfully seeking permission, we got ourselves this 3.5m x 2.2m x 2m plastic ploytunnel! Its easily big enough for me to stand up in, and holds another 16 tomato plants around the sides and back (I wanted to put a further row up the middle, but Lee was worried we'd get lost in the jungle like foliage if we did that!) Around the outside (on the rain flap and to aid in holding it down) we put large pots of lavender and lemongrass, as its located next to the second apiary the bees should find the lavender of use, plus it looks and smells divine when in flower!

The area we chose to put the ploytunnel in is the last uncleared area of plot 1, the only space we arent already using for growing (or keeping bees!), and is where the compost bins have been for the last 2 years (so there's some lovely soil thereabouts!), so our first job was to move these to the walkway at the right hand side of the plot!

The 3 new compost bins fit nicely on this path, and also have the benefit of looking a lot neater (and being more out of sight)!

So, as can be seen from the front of plot 2, we've got the beanery (peas and all the beans) in this row of beds, with the hothouse behind, and the polytunnel beyond that, next to the apiary and in the most sheltered area of the plot!

We've grown 3 types of lavender from seed this year, and this has been planted in the large planters along the rainflaps surrounding the polytunnel!

Inside the ploytunnel we've laid down weed control fabric, then planted the toms in 'ring culture' thru the weed control fabric, supporting them with string from the frame of the polytunnel to direct their growth upwards!

Thought I'd also include a couple of piccies of the pepper 'hothouse' that we constructed from the frame of the plastic walk-in greenhouse (the brackets and cover were damaged beyond repair this past winter)! Its 9' long, 4' tall and 4' wide, and again we've covered the ground with a couple of layers of weed control fabric.

We've planted peppers, chillies and aubergines through this using the 'ring culture' method, lets see if growing away from the shade of the tomatoes in the greenhouses gives us better crops in here!

So, things are beginning to take shape on the plot, we've lots of plants ready to plant out this week (41 squash and pumpkin, 141 sweetcorn, 24 sprouts, and a lot of cabbage, broccolli, cauli and assorted other brassicas), all hardening off in the back yard, so we face a big job to clear the last 4 brassica beds and the 6 pumpkin/sweetcorn beds, which we are hoping to make big inroads on this week, weather and bees permitting!

I hope you're planting and clearing is going well, and that you havent fallen behind like we have thanks to the poor winter weather and the late frosts!

More updates to follow soon!


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