Thursday, 21 January 2016

Polytunnel Progress


Since writing about coming out of hibernation last week I could quite easily have headed back to bed this last week and not surfaced.  The temperature dropped below freezing and we woke to a light covering of snow on 2 mornings and frozen hail on a third, none of which puts me in the mood to garden.  BUT, having posted my polytunnel to do list last week and concious that time waits for no man or woman, I ignored the call of the warmth and got on with that list.  "How did you get on?" I hear you ask.  Well ... 

  • Clear dead plants - YES
  • Weed through onions and other crops -YES
  • Water sparingly as necessary- YES
  • Manure cleared areas, dig in and water- YES
  • Tidy up cold frame- YES
  • Tidy work station- YES
  • Set up my new min-max thermometer - NOT YET
  • Clear the central path - NO
  • Wash the polytunnel plastic - NO
  • If the weather permits sow mangetout, spring lettuce, broad beans - TOO COLD
  • Keep harvesting what's in there - calvolo nero, chard, parsley, oriental greens - YES

Most of that "stuff" is now out away in my working station

A much tidier polytunnel than I had last week!

Weeded onions behind cleared and manured soil

A tidy work station next to my broad beans

You know what, I'm pretty pleased with what I've achieved and as the weather is set to be less cold over the next few days I may well get those seeds sown.  I also went through my seed stash, chucking out those which don't keep well and starting to decide what to grow this year.


Seeds

I still have no idea what was munching my chard except to say, it is now us (very yummy it was too) and it looks like very soon we will be eating one of my all time favourite vegetables - Purple Sprouting Broccoli.  Usually this is ready much later as I don't plant a very early variety, preferring to have it crop in March when other winter veg is finishing.  Looks like Mother Nature has different ideas this year.

Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Despite the frost and snow my brave English marigold is still flowering and there is even a new flower bud.  I'd like to think I've managed to grow the first frost-hardy, winter flowering marigold that will make me my fortune but as I have seen others around locally, I suspect it is more to do with the overall mild weather than a freak of genetics.  Oh well, back to the drawing board then!

English Marigold - Calendula vulgaris

Other signs of Spring are out there too.  Catkins are dancing in the breeze, reminding me of lamb's tails and bluebells and orchid leaves are peeping through the cold soil.  The snowdrops are in flower under the hedge and those daffodils I planted so late last year are just peeping through.  Winter may yet bring us his worst weather but Spring is stirring.

Leaf whorls of Early Purple Orchids - Orchis mascula

How has your gardening week been or are you still hibernating?   Annie from Mammasaurus was in Poland so I am hopeful for garden pictures from there this week on How Does Your Garden Grow. 


Mammsaurus HDYGG

16 comments :

  1. glad to hear you're getting on with all those jobs in the polytunnel, still looks like you've got a lot to do

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    1. There is always something to do when you have a polytunnel or garden!

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  2. Wow you've done so well with your to do list. I love your poly tunnel and those orchid leaves are amazing! I'd wanted to get on with sowing this week too, but the frost here was just too hard. I've just been out now digging and it is still very hard even though the white frost has gone. I think I was lulled into a false sense of security by our mild winter! x

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    1. You might not want to dig too much if the soil is frozen as you bury frozen soil which then takes longer to warm up in the spring.

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  3. Hi Rosie, the cold weather hit us too this week. You've managed to do a good amount of stuff on your list, I am no gardener (I don't think that sticking some cauli and purple broccoli that I bought at the nursery counts as gardening), so your list is quite impressive to me - I really wouldn't know where to start.

    xx

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    1. None of us were born knowing how to garden. Most of my gardening has been learnt through trial and error and reading a few good books.

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  4. You have been busy, I'm impressed with how much you've got done.

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    1. So am I :) ... putting a list out for everyone to see is quite motivational.

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  5. You've made good progress with that list, despite the weather I'm impressed. And I'm guessing it's been a good way to keep warm too :) x

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    1. Definitely and even when it is raining I can get out and garden in the polytunnel - I've still not cleaned it though and keep putting that off!

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  6. Alas no garden photos from Poland - there was too much snow and we didn't see any gardens at all (concentration camps yes, gardens no).
    Impressive amounts of 'YES', especially considering the frost and cold! Always good to see some cheery marigold orange still about - I think this year is going to be constant colour :) I can't help but think Winter is going to kick in late Feb. and cut Spring off in it's stride.
    Thanks for joining in again Rosie x

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    1. I really hope winter has no nasty surprises but quite often we get a spell of bad weather after the NE part of the US has been hit hard. Hmmmmm - not a good thought.

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  7. I'd love a polytunnel but I have to admit I wouldn't want to clean it out! I hate washing down the glass on the greenhouse each winter. I've just found some more seeds this week which we bought in a sale. I think I need to have sort through!

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    1. That's the job I keep putting off. I think I may try and get the boys to help me as they love a hosepipe and the job is a lot easier if one person is squirting water and the other is using a soft broom.

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  8. i would have easily gotten back into bed. you are good! hope it bets warmer for you so it's not as hard to get out there.

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    1. Ha ha - it has gone milder again so I have taken a chance ans sown some seeds today.

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