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The Polytunnel

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Post by Dandelion on Mon Jul 11, 2016 6:10 pm

freebird wrote:That looks absolutely amazing

Just what I was going to say!

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Post by Jaded Green on Thu Jul 14, 2016 6:00 pm

Wow
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Post by FloBear on Sat Jul 16, 2016 8:57 am

Wow from me too, Ploshkni. You'll be going into business soon selling off all your suplus produce!
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Post by Ploshkin on Mon Aug 08, 2016 2:38 pm

One of my main reasons for wanting a polytunnel was my inability to grow tomatoes in my greenhouse any larger than cherry size that had a flavour. I'm not holding my breath for great flavour as we have had so little sun but these are my toms so far. It's interesting what Freebird said about spacing because I realised that my plants are quite a bit further apart than 3 in a growbag which is what I have always done in the greenhouse. My fruits are twice the size of any I have had before.
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Post by Ploshkin on Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:29 pm

I see I haven't bored anyone with my polytunnel since this time last year.
It going well again. The strawberries had more of a big flush than last year when they ticked along continuously. They have produced lots of runners this year which I need for new plants but they are now fruiting again. Nothing seems to be struggling but we have had some really good weather - too hot in there sometimes. My experiments for this year are melons which are looking extremely promising and sweet potatoes. They have healthy growth but I won't have any idea of success or not for a few months yet. My peppers seem to be much healthier than last year - I've got them in bottomless pots on the bed and they seem happier that way. They were in the soggy corner last year.
The area surrounding the tunnel is naturally acquiring a nice collection of wildflowers. I just keep a couple of paths through the grass. Anyway, pictures from last week.



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Post by FloBear on Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:52 pm

Lush! Very Happy
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Post by Chilli-head on Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:16 pm

Your polytunnel pictures could be used as an advert, I reckon. Everything always looks so enthusiastic in there !
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Post by Ploshkin on Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:46 pm

The answer is shit Chilli Head, unlimited quantities of it.
My neighbour started a polytunnel last year too but she grows too many things, too close together and they are all rather weak & don't produce much.  I keep telling her to bring a trailer up and relieve out muck heap of some of its contents but she hasn't. She was here the other day on bee business so I took her over to my pt and she was quite astounded.  There was only solid clay in there which is why most stuff is in bottomless pots but I was really pleased to see that, after only one season, the beginnings of some decent soil are already apparent.  All down to my army of worms I think.
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Post by freebird on Fri Jul 14, 2017 6:09 pm

Wish I lived nearer, Ploshkin. I would relieve you of some of your muck. Polytunnel looks fab.
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Post by Chilli-head on Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:34 pm

Ah yes Ploshkin. I have to slip a local farmer £30 for a trailer load of good shit ! I've been using it more generously last autumn and this spring, and the squashes certainly like it !
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Post by Ploshkin on Sun Aug 06, 2017 2:48 pm

My squashes are doing well again this year - in the polytunnel, I decided last year to stop trying them outside.
Uchiki Kuri doesn't have quite as many fruit as last year but they are bigger - the aerial ones are about football sized (there are some melons behind)

I love growing those because the flowers have the most glorious perfume and the bumblebees love them. Every day I find bees asleep in all the flowers. As the number of flowers is getting fewer there are up to half a dozen bees in each flower now. They don't go for the other squash or courgette flowers.

The other squash I am trying this year is Butterbush, a 'compact' butternut that can apparently be grown in pots. The vines are not as rampant as other varieties I have grown but they still wander quite a long way. In the pictures they have quite dumpy fruits but all of mine are long, crookneck ones. The bigger one here is now about 15" long (and there are the surprise melons I found when I took some foliage off to help the squashes ripen.
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Post by FloBear on Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:53 pm

Bees dozing in squash flowers, how gorgeous is that!
I have to say the only squash I've ever eaten and liked is butternut. Those ones with squiggly stuff inside are fairly nasty in my opinion and others have seemed a bit insubstantial and more like marrow type flesh.
Surprise melons Laughing
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Post by Ploshkin on Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:55 pm

It is best to grow UK bred butternut like Hawk or Hunter because they are bred for our shorter season. Uchiki Kuri (aka potimarron or pumpkin squash) isn't marrow like or squiggly. It's got a nice dense orange coloured flesh. It's a reliable one to grow - even I have had success with it outside. It can be grown up a structure so doesn't have to be too space consuming and the bumbles do their impression of Swansea on a Friday night outdoors too.
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Post by FloBear on Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:38 pm

Sounds like one for the list, then.
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Post by freebird on Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:44 pm

Mmmm, think I'm going to give Uchiki Kuri a try next season, too. Do you have a favourite seed supplier for that, P, or do you save your own seed?

My mum's gardener gave me some butternut squash plants, which I have planted and they are huge now. Having read your comments on growing butternut, and from the little I know of him, I suspect he has probably taken seed from a bought squash, which may be entirely unsuitable. I have some tiny squashes forming, but not convinced that they will grow and mature by the end of the season (they're outside).
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