This weekend has been a bit of a mish-mash of weather, with beautiful sunshine one minute and then wind and rain the next. We have managed to clear out the last two beds in the polytunnel and transplanted 48 strawberry plants back into pots for later transplanting.
The polytunnel is surrounded by a 3′ high wall made from hollow concrete blocks (it was done like this by the previous owner to avoid any conflict with the neighbours regarding the view!) We had filled each ‘hole’ with soil and planted strawberries in each one. This was quite successful but the problem arose when the weeds started to take over. Also the hard winters decimated a lot of things, the strawberries included.
This year we will be re-filling the holes with proper compost so that weeds should not be a problem. We have also planted up two collapsible planters with 11 strawberry plants each which we will keep in the garden next to the house. These will be in addition to the planters we use for fresh herbs such as parsley, sage, rosemary, dill etc.
We have managed to tidy up the polytunnel path, but the weed supressing membrane needs replacing as it went down ‘in pieces’ rather than one complete piece, and its starting to fall apart. We also need to get another watering timer so that we can use the overhead watering system to water the plants automatically at night time ensuring the sun doesn’t evaporate the water before its had a chance to soak in.
Due to the very windy winter weather a couple of splits/holes have appeared in the polytunnel cover so these need to be repaired soon otherwise they will just get worse.
We’ve had another delivery of haylage bales from a local farmer. These have been a godsend as our paddocks are just not large enough to produce a hay crop for us, and we don’t put the horses out when it’s really wet to save poaching the fields, and it’s been very wet this year! Fortunately the farmer and his wife are very helpful in that they deliver to us when we are both here and help with the unloading and moving of the bales which, with our mobility problems, we would just not be able to manage. We will not be needing such big bales soon and will go over to small bales of hay for the goats and nightime haynets for the horses.