Polytunnel Progress, Hardening Off and Other Outdoors Work

Today has been a really busy day in the garden. Spring is most definitely here and we are entering the busiest time of year for growing your own. There has been plenty of progress.

– Baby beetroots pricked out and in the polytunnel.

Beetroots in the polytunnel. I will plant more outside in a month or so.
Beetroots in the polytunnel. I will plant more outside in a month or so.

– First of the first early potatoes in the polytunnel are showing sprouts. Soon, when a few more appear, it will be time to earth them up.

One of the potato sprouts. I am amazed by how early I could plant the chitted potatoes in the polytunnel.
One of the potato sprouts. I am amazed by how early I could plant the chitted potatoes in the polytunnel.

– Carrots have germinated on a cooler windowsill and soon I will prick them out into the polytunnel bed. I do not seem to have much luck getting them to germinate in the ground.

Carrots - not quite ready to prick out yet.
Carrots – not quite ready to prick out yet.

– Radishes (a little nibbled) are growing in the polytunnel. Broad beans are also a little nibbled but still growing and the pak choi beneath them are coming along. The peas are growing, if slowly.

Radishes - some have been a bit nibbled but I hope some will make it through.
Radishes – some have been a bit nibbled but I hope some will make it through.
Broad Beans and Pak Choi
Broad Beans and Pak Choi.
Polytunnel peas, growing slowly.
Polytunnel peas, growing slowly. Mixed salad is just beginning to sprout in front of the peas.

I have also done a little weeding in the polytunnel – there is still some to do (As you can see there is some grass between the radishes) but I like to do a little casual weeding as I go along as I know how out of hand things can get if you let things get on top of you. It is better to do little and often.

– I set the brassicas in the open polytunnel for their first day of hardening off. I hope to plant them out in a week or so if the weather is okay. I have not built the cold frame yet so this method will have to do for now. I will bring them back indoors this evening.

Brassica hardening off in the open polytunnel. Everything in the polytunnel will, I am sure, have been enjoying the gentle breeze with the door open.
Brassica hardening off in the open polytunnel. Everything in the polytunnel will, I am sure, have been enjoying the gentle breeze with the door open. 

– Since I know from the allotment last year how destructive the pigeons can be for brassicas I also spent some time today banging together a very rough frame to put netting on to give the calabrese, cauliflowers and romanesquo some protection when I do plant them out.

A very rough frame for the brassica netting, made from some old wood taken from the outbuilding.
A very rough frame for the brassica netting, made from some old wood taken from the outbuilding.

– I then cleared a section dead material from a section of edge bed and started to clear a space to plant a few runner beans against the wall.

Finally, a little more planting indoors – some nasturtiums for use as companion plants and a few other bee attracting flowers.

I do hope that at least some of this hard work will give us a good yield!

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