Winter Update

IMG_20160225_130213
Peas start waking up
IMG_20160225_092814
Snug in the module tunnel

Well if January turned out to an oddly busy month due to the milder temperatures (still picking outdoor leafbeet mid-January, weird); then February was also a funny month in terms of lots of things on the go. Today however, following the freezing hail thunderstorms, I’ve decided to hide inside and have a breather, while planning all the next batch of monthly jobs.

I’ve been turning the hotbed – which has now really dropped in temperature, so I’m hoping there’s enough energy left in it to

IMG_20160225_100332
Hotbed: manure well colonised by white fungi

keep my poor tomato seedlings warm enough in these coming cold nights. Horticultural fleece is currently my friend during this cold spell (reclaiming piles of it from under the tables in the propagation tunnel, where it had been colonised by sneaky mice), and will hopefully do enough to keep the tomatoes going; as well as bringing on all the seeds now sown in the module tunnel: lettuces, spinach, spring onions, rocket, micro leaves, kales, kohl rabi and peas for shoots.

 

I’ve drilled a few rows of early beetroot in the Little Tunnel too, which started to come up nicely last week, but now seem to have been razed to the ground by something or other: could be mice, could be slugs – yet there’s not many hiding places for either in the tunnel. Where’s the CCTV cameras when you need them?

IMG_20160224_160607
Grump toad
IMG_20160222_154357
Compost delivery

I’ve also taken delivery on another truck-load of green waste compost: over 5tonnes of this lovely black soil conditioner was dropped off next to the polytunnels, and I’ve already shovelled around 20 barrowloads onto some of the herb beds, raised beds (disturbing a very cross-looking hibernating toad as I did so); and into the Vole Tunnel (having cleared out the salad there) – then wheel-hoeing it in before drilling early carrots in there (Purple Sun, White Satin & St Valery – Yellowstone seed was unavailable but apparently is on its way now and will go in asap).

IMG_20160226_133849
Carrots drilled in the tunnel

I’ve also squeezed in a couple of rows of coriander next to them too. This tunnel has been pretty much decimated in the last year due to the storms, and needs re-covering desperately: I’m just hoping the plastic stays on long enough to get the carrots established, so I can them cover them with more fleece when I have to take the plastic off. Then it will be a case of waiting for a still, sunny day (HAH!) to re-skin it. The skinning of the tunnel should only take a few hours, and will be a fun volunteers’ day, probably in early April, with free yummy lunch from the café for all my lovely volunteers. If you’d like to come along and join in, and also learn how to cover a tunnel, email kate.collyns@gmail.com, and I’ll keep you posted about when the likely day will be!

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s