Well then, if I cannot get onto the gardens, what can I do?? Ah yes, I now have a polytunnel that is somewhat less saturated inside as it's had a week to dry out!! As Del boy would say.... Lovely jubbly!
|Soaker hoses (with peas planted at end)|
Right, firstly I can put most of the irrigation pipework in. I have decided that both of the raised beds are going to have soaker hoses in them, three runs up and down each bed will do nicely.
I purchased the hoses, corners and stakes to hold it all down from GB Plastics ltd . They delivered quickly, and it was all at a reasonable price. The hoses were easy to cut and join to make all the corners (once I had untangled the mess of hose from around my legs, where it sprang out of the packet after cutting it open) , and the stakes just clip over the top and do a pretty good job of keeping it all flat. I think I will connect them to a water timer at some point, so I don't have to worry so much about the watering when i'm at work.
Secondly I had overhead sprinklers to install. These came with the polytunnel as an option from First tunnels when I purchased it. The system has a main pipe running along the ridge tube down the centre of the tunnel, with sprinkler heads inserted into it at regular intervals. The main pipe has a stop end in it at one end, and terminates at a valve on the door frame at the other end, and then your supply just pops onto the bottom of that.... voila.
I also decided to put two standard taps up, one either side of the door frame, as I don't think one would be enough. One of the taps will then be connected up permanently to a ten metre coil hose with a spraygun on for spot watering, and the other tap will be set up to supply the soaker hoses and sprinklers on some sort of timer system (yet to be totally thought through).
|Watering cans strategically positioned|
I have to say it, but my best idea for automatic watering in the polytunnel so far is my two little watering cans. As you can just about see in the photo, I hung one up on either side of the frame as I thought they looked good there (oh what a sheltered life I lead!!) but once I had admired them for a second (more like five minutes) I thought of the idea of attaching a string to the handles which then leads back up to the house... then when the sun comes out, I pull the string from the comfort of my seat, and hey presto... the polytunnel gets damped down :) Do you think I should try the Dragons den with this idea for automatic irrigation?? (maybe not giving up my day job at the moment would be a wise move :)
I had better get some more seeds and plants in there quickly!
How satisfying was it though to be planting in the polytunnel for the first time!!! The rain lashing the polythene, the dog sat in the doorway keeping dry, the plants excited to put down roots in their new luxury country retreat, and me like a kid at Christmas with is new toy!! I think I still have a smile on my face now!!!