Thursday, 9 October 2014

All Change in the Polytunnel

Posted by Rosie

It's very much all change in the polytunnel - summer crops are disappearing fast and there is rather an air of abandonment there.  However, far from being abandoned there is much going on and as one crop goes another soon replaces it. 

October in the polytunnel

The Three Sisters planting of sweetcorn, round cucumbers and climbing beans has finished.  It was a 2/3 success with the sweetcorn and the cucumbers doing well but not the beans.  I think if I were to do this again (and that is very likely) I would need to sort out timings - the poor beans, planted at the same time as everything else could not compete with the fast growing cucumbers and there was not enough sweetcorn for them to initially climb up. Next year I will sow the sweetcorn and beans earlier, with the beans in pots.  I will transplant the beans next to the sweetcorn when both are a bit bigger and sow the cucumbers later. 

With these 3 plants gone the space has been manured and replanted with late leek seedlings.  The man I buy the seedlings off at the market thinks I am daft wasting polytunnel space with a winter crop but I did this last year and it worked.  In previous years when I have planted leek seedlings outside in October they have come to nothing.  But when I planted them late in the polytunnel last year I ended up with a nice crop of small leeks in mid to late spring, when the larger outdoor ones had finished.  They were only 3€ for over 50 seedlings and I got enough small leeks for plenty meals.

I will need to plant overwintering onions soon as like th elate leeks, these do not do well outside here.  The bulbs are not in the shops yet which may be just as well as I want to put them where my peppers are and they are still cropping.

Peppers galore this year ... and they've gone red!

Outside there are still a few flowers to cheer my heart.  The dahlias are beginning to look a bit raggedy although these nasturtiums have self seeded on the compost heap and obviously love it there.  The final flower is the unassuming head of a parsley, gone to seed. It may not have the colour of other flowers but I love it's shape.

October Dahlias

Nasturtiums

Parsley Flower Head

How is your garden looking in early October?  Still full of floral and vegetable beauty or looking ready to close down for winter?

For more gardening blog posts do head on over to Annie's weekly gardening blog linky over at Manneskjur.  


Manneskjur

14 comments :

  1. My garden is a mud bath, full of rubble *cries* Still it makes looking at everyone else's posts all the more pleasurable :)
    I wish I could channel your knowledge and energy - you must be very organised and busy sorting the polytunnel and planting out!
    Loving the flower shots too- especially the parsley head, like fireworks exploding in the sky.

    Thanks for joining in again xx

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    1. But soon your garden will be wonderful (and your kitchen too!!). I am fairly organised although there are often things I do not get round to doing ... which is why we had no sweet peas this year and if I don't get my act together we won't have any early mange-tout next year and the beans for podding will get mouldy if I don't harvest them! Happy garden planning, you!

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  2. I'm having serious garden envy this week, I love the walk in polytunnel. Those peppers look good parrtcularly :)

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    1. Thank you, Iona. It is the first year the peppers have gone red, no doubt thanks to a hot and sunny September (and the fact they were sown very late made me wonder at one time if I would get any peppers at al this year!).

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  3. It's all about the leaves with us at the moment! That's where all the colour is :) You sound very organised, I have done no winter planting... Need to get started really, don't I?! #HDYGG

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    1. Our leaves are a little disappointing this year although the odd patches of colour are all the more welcome because there are less of them.

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  4. I am jealous of your polytunnel, but I am not quite ready for one. I am just attempting my first fall plantings with lettuce, spinach, and cabbage. and proud to report that my peppers are still producing too!

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    1. Excellent - my US geography is rather poor so I have no idea what sort of climate you have in Tennessee. Can you grown things all through the winter. I struggle with things outside here but the polytunnel gives me a longer season in Autumn and Spring and in a mild winter, like last year it is a huge advantage all year round!

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  5. My potted plants are doing well! I am surprise that I am still getiing tiny eggplants! I thought that when autumn would arrive they would just vanished like the sunflower but they are still there =) #hdygg

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    1. I have had a late flush of aubergines (eggplants) too. I was going to harvest them at the weekend but as we have good weather forecast for this coming weekend I may leave them a bit longer! With one bowl of tomatoes left, the peppers and a few courgettes maybe I will make just one more batch of ratatouille!

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  6. I had no luck with beans either this year and unusual success with peppers, so snap! :) but I'd love a poly tunnel...

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    1. Ah, now my outdoor beans did OK and I am am about to harvest my podding beans which are looking good from the outside! Lots of people seem to have good peppers this year :)

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  7. I love how adventurous you are, the results really pay off even if learning some things don't work, brilliant!
    I really want to grow peppers next year, yours look great

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    1. Thank you Amanda - I do like to try something new each year, even if, as you say, some don't work! It'll be interesting to see next year if I can get the Three Sisters Planting to work on all 3 plants.

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