Saturday, 15 March 2014

POLYTUNNEL NUMBER TWO FOR THE SMALLHOLDING. ("It's on the web?")

I went on the old Tinternet and T'web the other day and ordered a brand new poly-tunnel.  It's our second one.  The first one was destroyed by a mighty gale one winters day, a few year a go.  People asked me if  I shut both doors or whether I'd left them open.  In the same way that old farmers use to leave the front door and back door of their houses open to let the lightning in and out.  Any road.  We decided to get a new poly-tunnel and site it in different and more sheltered location.

The poly-tunnel duly arrived a few days later and we asked the delivery man if he had any written instructions (preferably not written in German or Mandarin Chinese)

"No it's on the web."

He then told us in great detail how to rake the soil, dig the trenches and how to assemble the polytunnel.  At the end of each sentence.  Delivery man said:

"It's on the web."

I don't know what site he was talking about.  But:

"It's on the web."

It was a bit like a scene from one of my favourite English films:The Railway Children.  You know the one with Jennifer Agutter in?  No not  when she plays that fit nurse and her American boyfriend/patient goes on his holidays to Yorkshire, goes for a pint in the 'Slaughtered Lamb' "Stay on road,Keep clear of moors") in ,  and turns into a Werewolf.  An American Werewolf in London is the film in question. Both films both feature Yorkshire and Jennifer Aggutter.  So what's this got to do with putting up polytunnels, Dave?  Nothing.  It's just that there's a scene in the film (The Railway Children) when they have just moved OOP North and the cart driver is taking Mrs (posh) Waterbury and her children and her belongings via horse and cart to their new humble abode.  You must remember the scene when Mrs Waterbury says:

"May I borrow your lamp please?

Cart man:  I dare say.

Mrs Waterbury:  If you say: "I dare say" once more.  I shall have hysterics, "I dare say,"

The man's instructions seemed to be correct and number one son showed his Mecca-no skills yet again.  Whilst me, myself and I dug the trenches.  Luckily number one had dug the site over thoroughly with our Smalley digger last week.

We are going to attempt to offer the plastic to the poly tunnel today (Saturday) and then it's sowing time.  I also hope to get my fist early new potatoes in this weekend.  Potatoes are traditionally planted around St Patrick's day.  It's also time to put the cattle to pasture.  I am not though.  Give them another few bales of silage and see if the grass grows.

March is a strange month and it is said to: "come in like a lamb and go like a lion".  We could still get snow yet.  Are you working on your vegetable plot this weekend?  How do I protect my tunnel against gales?  Are you growing anything different this year?  Will post latest pictures tomorrow.  Enjoy your weekend.

New frame and trenches dug with my long handled shovel and trusty Azada.



8 comments:

  1. Good luck with the new poly tunnel. Nothing doing garden-wise here at the moment and too scared to put the cover back on my freestanding poly-tunnel as I've no way of bolting it down. Still pretty cold out there and like you, I'm not convinced the snow won't appear like it did last year.

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  2. Hi NYK. Yes March is a very strange month. I am just wearing a T shirt today working in the vegetable plot instead of a jumper. I think we could still get snow. It's far too mild. Thanks for your comment.

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  3. Yes, everything seems to be "on the web" nowadays, wonder what would happen if we didn't have the web? Or is it just assumed that everybody in the whole wide world has the web?

    Looks like a fair sized poly-tunnel, is it only for potatoes or a few tomatoes and other things?
    Wouldn't know how to hold it down, might be the best idea to keep all doors shut? Yes I've heard the way some of the old school believed in leaving both doors open, "it's gonna get in so let's get it out", but modern thinking seems to say that it's better to keep it out and close both doors.

    Cattle not out here either, ground's still very wet despite a week without rain, but there's a few lambs starting to appear. been very foggy for a couple of days, freezing fog, but it's gone today.
    Growth's started, lots of daffodils out and grass looking a bit longer in the garden.

    Raggy cat spending a lot of time outside, the hunting must be good.

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  4. Hi Cumbrian. Yes it seems to be assumed that everybody is computer literate and uses the web. The polytunnel suppliers delivery man's verbal instructions worked and we have a new hobby even when its raining.

    It's 20 foot long by 10 foot wide. Hopefully all the soil we placed back over the plastic to fill the trenches, should hold it down. If the plastic lasts a few years, we will be more than happy.

    Potato planting today. Will also make some more seed beds. My garden centre is is Aldi. The seeds and gardening equipment are really cheap.

    Went to Dublin the other day (Thursday) and it was fog all the way.

    All the lawnmowers have started again. My Camelia bush is flowering for the first time. I planted it over five years ago.

    Just told Domino to get off the new polytunnel.

    Thanks!

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  5. I need to get my second greenhouse built but really I'd love a polytunnel as well! Just think of everything you can grow in there! I'm a little jelous!

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  6. Is it 'side-on' to the prevailing wind? I've never owned a poly-tunnel, so know nothing of positioning etiquette.

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  7. Have a look on the Internet, Kev. There are prices and sizes to suit everybody. If you dig over the site first. You will construct your tunnel in half a day. Sent off for a polytunnel book the other day. It claims to tell you how to harvest crops every day of the year. No long do we gardeners have to rely on good weather. There's even talk of maybe putting a washing line in our tunnel. I don't think so. Thanks for your comment.

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  8. Yes it's 'side-on' to the prevailing wind this time, Cro. We live on a peninsula so even that isn't always the prevailing wind. If we get a few years out of the plastic cover. I will be more than happy. Thanks!

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