Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Gardening under plastic

 I love this indoor gardening malarkey!! I wish I had taken the plunge and got this polytunnel last year instead of being indecisive about it for twelve months or so. Even when I now arise to a wet and miserable day, I know that I can go and get on with something in the polytunnel (listening to the rain on the plastic is great...but watching it out of the open door is even better) until the weather improves enough to move outside, or vice versa... work outside if it's nice, and move inside if the weather goes a bit downhill.
 Anyway, here is a quick catchup on what's exciting me in there already...

 It's got pretty crowded in there quite quickly. The left hand bed is already full of seeds and plants, and the right hand one is just plant storage at the moment.  It has been a huge help having all the extra storage space for the plants in the tunnel, as my little old greenhouse was nowhere near big enough for everything I want to grow this year!

 Pretty boring I know.... but how excited was I when my first seedlings came up in the polytunnel!! These particular ones are Rocket, but i've also got Radish and mixed Lettuce leaves coming up aswell.

 I've also put my Lettuce little gem plants in the polytunnel bed to give me some early crops from an early sowing(they probably won't make it to maturity as i'll no doubt start nicking leaves off them as soon as they are big enough)

 The polytunnel is coming in handy for propagating space too. This is an Iris that I have just divided into three and am now growing on before putting them into the garden in a month or so. I've started potting up a few other plants too.. Kniphofia's, Zantedeschia's, Peonies and one or two Alliums, so I should have a nice selection of plants to put in my couple of flower borders in the veg garden soon.

 These are my pesandor shallots that i'm growing for the village show.... we will win some firsts this year!! (hopefully more than last year anyway :)

 Some summer purple broccoli waiting to go in the ground. I think I shall put half of these inside the tunnel, and the other half in the garden and see what difference it makes to the crop.

 So all in all it's going quite well I reckon. The planted crops in the left hand bed so far are Peas, Carrots, Radish, Rocket, Beetroot (Sarah planted these and was most impressed with the little cluster seeds), Lettuce leaves, Spring onions, Lettuce little gem and Early greyhound cabbage. It's amazing how well everything is growing in there already, the plants are all romping away in their new surroundings. The right hand bed will hopefully get attacked this weekend if I can rehome some of the plants in pots (maybe that second polytunnel will need to be here sooner than I thought). I still have a few other jobs to do (don't I always have "a few jobs" to do) like finishing the paving down the centre, attaching all the crop growing wires for the taller plants, making some opening windows for the mesh doors, plumbing in the mains water supply and putting my gravel bed in at the far end, but none of this is desperate so it can be done during the next wet weather spell I guess. :) I can now just enjoy my gardening inside and outside of my new polytunnel (Sarah would probably already call it my new home :)


  1. Wow impressive stuff. I love our poltunnel and am totally with you on the sound of the rain on the plastic. I have even been known to rig up lighting and plant by night
    sad I know but when there's work to be done!
    And it is amazing how quickly you can fill the space, always the need for another polytunnel!

  2. Again, I am very jealous! I am just posting on the blog about the fact that it is cold, grey and wet - and that I'm not all that inclined to be outside in it today! You clearly made the right decision on getting the tunnel - good move :-)

  3. It's looking great and has filled up very quickly. It's good to have somewhere to put all the seedlings too without having to resort to windowsills.

  4. Very nice! I wish I had a little more space right now too... the seedlings and plants under lights are really crowded. What are your outdoor temps this time of year, and how much warmer is it in the tunnel?

  5. What a professional looking establishment! Crickey, the more seedlings I see on all the various blogs, the more it dawns on me, that I need to get on with it!

  6. That's not a polytunnel - that's a palace! But of course it's already too small, isn't it? Plant collections expand to fit the space available... However much space you have, it will never be enough!

  7. Gosh, Simon. Are you supplying Sainsburys? I didn't realise you were gardening on such a scale. Very impressive.

  8. Hi Simon, I can't believe how much you have on the go, and it all looks very smart. I've only managed broad beans and mangetout to date, very behind with everyting else (because the wife keeps making me build more raised beds!). You'll be having quite a feast before too long.

  9. Wow! How far ahead are you? ;) It all looks beautifully organised.

  10. It's all looking very good indeed! Flighty

  11. Wow... thanks for all the comments everyone!

    Flighty, thanks for that. It won't last, before long it will all get on top of me and go downhill rapidly i'm sure :)

    Mo, thanks, i'm not sure i'd call it beautifully organised, but it's working out ok so far :)

    Jason, it's not that much really.. the photo's make it look like more :) I can't wait to start harvesting though! I'm going to have to have a word with your wife and tell her to stop forcing you to build more raised beds! :)

    Dave, if all goes to plan i reckon i probably would be able to supply a supermarket (i've got a potential outlet at a farm shop if i get to that stage :)

    Mark, i can't believe how quickly i've filled it up... i didn't even realise i had until it was too late! :)

    Petra, don't worry.. you have plenty of time yet! :)

    Alan, at the moment it's pretty mild here.. tonight is about 6 degrees, and today was about 12. The tunnel seems to stop about 2 degrees above outside at night, and in the day today it was up to about 22 degrees as the sun was out.

    Jo, thanks for the compliment. It's the best thing i've done in the garden yet! :)

    Stephen, the weather will pick up soon, and then all of your stuff will get done... and you'll probably overtake me aswell :)

    Katherine, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I can't believe both you and Jason have such great blogs!! I'm going to have to rig up some lights in mine now :)Oh, and you need to stop making Jason build raised beds all the time :)

  12. Goodness, the joys of a new polytunnel! Tidy and organised, everything in it's place and it looks great! The greatest treat in my greenhouse - sadly very untidy but still very productive - is a radio. If I had a kettle in there too I'd probably never leave! Found you via blotanical where I shall add you to my 'faves' list. Happy growing!

  13. Hi Harriet. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.. and for adding me to your faves too! I'm glad you liked reading my blog :)
    I need a radio in my polytunnel i think... i have one in the greenhouse, which is great to have on, but the polytunnel is a bit quiet at the mo.

  14. Oh wow fantastic! I want a polytunnel too! :) Your veggies poking up look fantastic.

  15. Oh! I so so want a polytunnel! Green with envy. I think that, in my climate, I could grow tomatoes in winter! Now wouldn't that be something.! Thanks for dropping by the blog...come back won't you!