Sunday, 27 March 2016

The small tunnel becomes smaller.

To make a change form the usual posts of blue skies, bees and flowers, or of baskets laden with fruit, here are a few reality photos of the effects of winter storms, and endless rain on our frayed 18 year old polytunnel!

 Even so, this post Will have light at the end of the tunnel.

December 20th.
The small tunnel plastic lasted 18 years until last December's storms...

.... and when the time came to replace it...

The idea came to move it back and have access to the East side of the barn.

Doing any moving or replacing plastic was delayed... record breaking rainfall. 

In early January we removed the old plastic, took 3 hoops from the front and put 2 on the back, Hence the small tunnel is now 5 hoops long instead of 6, so only a little smaller.
We also moved one of the peach trees!

On January 19th Angus and I, with help from Tivon, put the new plastic on.

I saved what I could of the old plastic to make cloches with or to keep rain off compost heaps. The scrappy bits are in a bag hoping to be recycled. 

A couple of weeks (of work) later. February 10th.

February 24th,

Alfie digging holes...

  for planting... 

 the early potatoes.

March 10th, Shemmie Sheep wandering past ... Alfie is digging outside the small tunnel.

The hens want to be in on the act too.

March 20th Peach tree in blossom, first shoots coming through on the early potatoes, tunnel filling up with plants, all is settling back to normal, ready for a new growing year.

Wishing everyone all the joy of spring.


Renovation in Galicia said...

18 years for the polythene, that must be some record. Do you hand pollinate the peach trees Kim?

Kim said...

18 years is a good age for the polythene, I know of older ones locally though!

I've never had to hand pollinate the peaches, the bumble bees were enough before we had honeybees. Now that we have honeybees the problem is that Every single flower is pollinated! and there is a colossal quantity of fruit thinning to do! Our best tree can only carry about 200 peaches max, any more and the fruit are smaller and not so good to eat. last year there must have been about 2000 fruit set and although the tree will drop some they really do need to be thinned earlier and thoroughly for the best fruit.

The younger the tree the shorter the flowering time and this year I did pollinate a few flowers on the young almond tree, it flowered about a month earlier (February) during a cold/wet week.