Wednesday 31 January 2018

Poly Tunnel part 3

Getting growing. 

So we have decided on our layout laid out all the beds paths, got something sorted for water next up is the planting and growing, but just hold yourself back, I would really suggest you compile a list of what you want to grow and what you will really eat, there is no point in growing cauliflower is no one eats it, you really don't want 50 lettuce all coming ready at once, the real beauty of the poly tunnel is succession growing, you have your own mini micro climate and can grow all year round, although yes some things will grow better during the warmer months, so makes some lists and do a bit of planning, here is a links to pdf you can down load, a month by month growing guide in the poly tunnel. From First Tunnels

 I draw out growing area plans for each poly tunnel, also different plants have different requirements, if you have filled all your beds with well rotted manure and you sow carrots you are going to be disappointed, look to see what the requirements are and try and meet them, the same goes if you don't add nutrients to the beds you will get disappointing results, 

IF YOU DONT FEED THE SOIL IT WONT FEED YOU, I don't grow green manure crops because my poly tunnels work at growing all year round they are not standing empty to grow these crops, I use the compost from the compost bins we have, 

I use what comes from the wormery I also add alpaca poo, 

I have added spent mushroom compost every two years just had a delivery last week, another bonus to the mushroom compost is you get some mushrooms popping up, we have very little soil here as we are on shale lucky to have 4 inches and what we have is poor quality nutritionally starved so I have had to add everything, even nettles dandelions and brambles didn't grow, the soil I now have is just getting to were I want it. I don't dig the beds over I pile on top and let the worms do the work for me, this way I am not damaging the structure of the soil, I do hoe to keep down weeds. 

I personally don't direct sow into the ground, I start in trays and trays I get for free from a local nursery, so check out yours, seeds like peas and beans I sprout first I also use this method to check the viability of seed, just sprinkle them on damp kitchen towel seal in a plastic box or bag place it somewhere warm and in a few days you should see signs of life, then pot them up. Label every pot tray and row of young plants its surprising how similar they look and you wont remember what you have planted were,

 I also keep a diary/notebook just for growing, I make notes on what I sown and when, what variety I am growing and what my harvests are this way I know if it worth trying that one again. When you go to plant make sure that any climbing structures are in place, canes etc there is nothing worse than tying to get these things in when you are surrounded by plants.


  1. Our garden is long but fairly narrow...dare I try fitting in a poly tunnel? x

  2. I love poly tunnels ever since I saw Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall sunbathing in there with his veg.

  3. Great post Dawn. Yes about Poly tunnels, but so much more help, advice and info, too. Thanks as ever.

  4. Great post, very informative. I can't wait to start sowing more things.

  5. We so want a poly tunnel but it's not yet in the budget. Still, we have big garden plans this year and long lists of what shall go where. Helps fill the cold days here in Illinois until we can get our hands dirty again. Can't wait.


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