Monday, 21 February 2011

Completion grows ever nearer!!

  This weekend was hardly suited to doing anything outside, as unfortunately the ground was completely saturated from all the rain through friday night, but I have so many things to do (and never enough hours to do them), I just decided to put my good old wellies on and find the jobs with the least impact on the soil.
 The first job that sprang to mind was covering the polytunnel, although I had been waiting for a glorious sunny day without a breath of wind for that. Today was far from that mythical day!! Instead, it was overcast, dull, gloomy, grey, damp, and still drizzling with rain... at least there was no wind though. Nope... I decided to wait and see what happens later.
 Anyway, later on, after a trip to the supermarket, some jobs in the greenhouse, and lunch :) the drizzle stopped, so I decided to get the cover on the framework. I dryed the frame off (with one of our bathroom towels... sorry Sarah :) and then applied all the anti hot spot tape to the metalwork, and taped up the ends of the ridge tube and crop bars to protect the cover, then at this point I realised that I needed an area larger than the size of the polythene covering to get it all unfolded and then folded back up the other way so I could just lay it along the side of the frame ( I don't have a lot of space either side of the frame at the moment, but the front field will be ideal ) and then drag it over..... I need a second pair of hands!!  Luckily I persuaded my dad to give me a hand with that, so that sorted that problem. The cover was pleated up nicely, layed along the side of the frame, and pulled over!! 

 As it was getting late now, I just popped a few of the plastic strips into the aluminium base rails to hold the cover on overnight, and waited until sunday to finish it off.  Sunday morning I jumped out of bed hoping that the Met office were wrong, and I was going to have that sunshine I was hoping for after all..... not a chance... grey again, but at least it was dry and still no wind... that will have to do! :)
 Well, after pulling the top of the cover tight, and then pulling all the sides down onto the base rails tightly, it looked brilliant!!!!  This is soooo exciting! I started to pull the polythene onto the door frames next and pleat them up, which went surprisingly well on my own, and then nailed the battens around to hold it.

The covering did take quite a while from start to finish, but I was in no hurry, and just wanted to get it as neat as I could. I think I pulled the cover too tight onto the rails to start with, as the instructions tell you to leave a gap under the base rails so that you can push them down to the ground to tighten it all up afterwards.... but mine would hardly move... that may be due to it being a cold day though, and the polythene not being flexible?? I will have to wait and see when it warms up a bit. It is easy to re-tension it if I need to however, as it's just a case of undo the clips, push the base rails down, then re-tighten. Well, that just left the doors, which took a little messing around to get right, then trim off the excess polythene, and a general tidy up around the area at the end.  My polytunnel is now useable, but not quite finished... although I am absolutely delighted that the cover is on now! This only leaves me a few slabs to put down and a gravel bed to put in the empty area you can see on the left, and then the irrigation systems. I'm not in so much of a hurry to get those jobs done, so I can concentrate on getting more of the urgent garden jobs completed at the weekend from now on.


  1. Hello! I'm enjoying your blog. I think we must have shared a New Year's Resolution - my own tunnel from First Tunnels arrived in early January and is nearing completion; I hope to get it covered this coming weekend. Your tunnel looks great; you must be very happy with it. I'm itching to get growing in mine.

  2. I want one!!! Smart job there!

  3. That looks brilliant, Simon! Well done to you and your dad.
    Your tunnel is more 'see- through' than ours - can you see out whilst you are inside working?

  4. Hi Mo, thanks for the comment! :) I love the polytunnel now.. the framework and beds were cool.. and it's taken me a while to get there, but now it's covered it is a great feeling!!Well, i don't think my dad can take much of the praise, as his input was just 10 minutes when i needed to get the cover over the frame.... although it would have been a nightmare without him at that stage! :)
    It is relatively 'see through' so it is lovely and bright inside. I'm hoping to get my first few seeds in it this weekend.

  5. It looks lovely and bright in your tunnel. Lots of work but well worth it, it looks great. Well done you!