More Planting, Pests in the Polytunnel and Wood Burning Stoves

Apologies for not providing a proper update after the snow. We still have rather unseasonably cold weather but nothing dramatic. Fortunately so far there has been no more snow. Aside from a fair few herbs and the marigolds planted in more exposed places, most things seem to be struggling through.

Brassicas seem to be doing okay in spite of the cold weather.
Brassicas seem to be doing okay in spite of the cold weather.

Direct sown peas, salad leaves and radishes are popping up.

Peas popping through

Salad leaves appearing.
Salad leaves appearing.

And everything in the polytunnel seems to be thriving.

The polytunnel is beginning to fill up nicely. Newly sown flowers and more kohlrabi have filled up the space on the hanging shelf.
The polytunnel is beginning to fill up nicely. Newly sown flowers and more kohlrabi have filled up the space on the hanging shelf.

Radish, carrots, beetroot, onions

New potatoes and peas

Peas and bread beans, with salad leaves, spinach and pak choi (from which we have already been taking some leaves).
Peas and bread beans, with salad leaves, spinach and pak choi (from which we have already been taking some leaves).

We do however have rather a large number of what I think (from looking them up on the Internet) are St. Mark’s flies, Bibio marci. I have read that they eat the roots of, amongst other things, lettuce so having so many of them is probably not a great thing. We will have to put our heads together and figure out how to deal with them.

Is this a St. Mark's fly? There are hundreds of them in the polytunnel!
Is this a St. Mark’s fly? There are hundreds of them in the polytunnel!

Today, in hopes that the weather will soon improve I have sown another batch of seeds. More kohlrabi, french beans, various flowers, basil and summer squash.

Basil and summer squash sitting in a warm spot to germinate.
Basil and summer squash sitting in a warm spot to germinate.

One of the reasons that I have not updated this blog sooner than now is that it has been rather a chaotic week. The two wood burning stoves have finally been installed!

The dogs have been wondering what on earth is going on. There was quite a lot of noise and of course things had to be moved out of the way.
The dogs have been wondering what on earth is going on. There was quite a lot of noise and of course things had to be moved out of the way.
The second stove. Just a bit of painting and these rooms in the main house will be much improved.
The second stove. Just a bit of painting and these rooms in the main house will be much improved.

Some wood has been ordered, since of course the wood we have chopped here and that acquired from my husband’s workplace will not be useable for a year or so. We were glad to be able to find a supplier of naturally dried wood. You may or may not be aware that much of the wood on the market is kiln dried – negating its carbon neutrality. Seems crazy to me.

We are glad to finally have the stoves in place. They mean that next autumn and winter we will not have to rely on the oil heating. It is a big step towards our more sustainable way of life.

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2 thoughts on “More Planting, Pests in the Polytunnel and Wood Burning Stoves

  1. So has your fruit blossom survived? My precious grafted plum tree has suddenly stopped in its tracks – I think it might have died but can’t work out why when it was in leaf and blossom bud. No frost here. Your woodburning stoves look fantastic. Good luck with the flies – could you open the tunnel on warmer days so birds can get in and eat them?

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    1. The trees do seem to be holding out so far. It has bucketed down all day and is still pretty cold for the time of year but I am glad to say that, so far at least, the orchard looks relatively healthy. There was some blossom fall but most of it seems to be holding on. I am sorry about your plum tree. Most of the trees are quite established. I do have one tiny damson sapling that was looking a little the worse for wear at the allotment last year but I transplanted it when we moved in here in October and it looks a lot happier now. I think the comfrey planted next to it is helping. The polytunnel has been open all day on warmer days as it was getting rather warm in there – we do have a lot of birds in the garden so perhaps they will help with the flies.

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