One of the reasons I moved from London to the country is so that I could have a proper garden. This is my first garden EVER so I’m trying to keep it small and manageable. My initial plan was to have only a few plants – tomatoes, peppers and potatoes – all planted in containers. But the more I sprout, plant, dig and grow, the more ambitious I get.
A couple weeks ago I put in a raised bed, and I now have loads of seedlings on the go, ready to be planted out: tomatoes, jalapenos, serranos, tomatillos, pumpkin, and cucumber. Unfortunately, aside from the pumpkin, I’ve chosen about the least UK-appropriate vegetables for my garden. And though they might be ready for the raised bed, they are not ready for the morning frosts that we’re STILL getting in Wiltshire.
So I decided to build a mini polytunnel over my raised bed out of a few simple, and very cheap, materials:
- 25mm MDPE water piping (salvaged from a construction site)
- polythene sheeting (a few quid from a garden centre)
- bamboo (already had this around)
- bricks (leftovers from the clay oven)
I got my inspiration from around the web, particularly
The Door Garden and Alan’s polytunnel.
This was soooo easy. I simply cut the tube to length, cut 6 stakes out of the bamboo and stabbed them in the ground, fit the tubes over the bamboo, covered it with polythene, and used the bricks to secure the sheeting.
I’m not sure how well the brick thing will withstand the wind, and I may need to come up with a more secure way to fasten the sheet, but so far I’m pretty pleased. I’ll put a few plants out there this weekend and see how they survive.
The real trick will be to get the garden in a state so that it’s easy to take care of while I’m in the States for three weeks ( I’m leaving this Monday and there’s so much to do!). Tim’s taking care of things while I’m away and he’s not nearly as obsessed with this gardening stuff as I am.
So if anyone has any suggestions on prepping a garden for a babysitter, I’m all ears. And any other tips on polytunnels, cloches, tomatoes, peppers, UK gardening, or anything else that this inexperienced gardening noob should know would also be appreciated. =)
Speaking of plants that are climate-appropriate, the native wildflowers that grow here on Clattinger Farm continue to blow my mind. I know the fritillaries were supposed to be “the business”, but these purple orchids are my favorites so far. Their color is like a dream: