Polytunnel Spring Clean

Polytunnel Tidy Up

Sunday made the effort to spend a few hours at the allotment. It was gale force winds again so decided to do a spring clean on the polytunnel – not that it needed it – much. Over the weeks it seems that everything has been dumped in there so set to to get it organised. I was also given some tomato plants from a fellow allotmenteer so needed to get those planted First task – move as much outside as possible . You can see from the image the trays etc outside .

outside the polytunnel

outside the polytunnel

Next task was to de-weed the ground in the polytunnel ( i wish i could grow vegetables as well as i seem to grow weeds!). Soon all was nicely dug over , added a bit of compost to the soil and started work on the tomatoes.

I am trying different methods this year to see which works best for me – not a true scientific experiment as they are different types of tomato plants but i will still monitor the results .
Method 1 : Directly in the ground . 2 plants put straight into the soil with compost etc . i have put modified plastic bottles next to each plant for watering – apparently this will encourage the roots to search for the water and make them stronger – hence better fruit .

Method 1 - growing in the ground

Method 1 – growing in the ground

Method 2 – For this one i have built up a shelf for the grow bag and inserted the plants into the grow bag with a central watering pot in the bag. These are Tumbling Tom plants, they are a bush variety so dont need support at all. tried these last year and they were very good , lots of nice juicy fruits.

Tumbling Toms in grow bag

Tumbling Toms in grow bag

Method 3 – Moneymaker variety. These have been planted in the grow bag but i have put pots around them (bottoms removed) and filled the pots with compost, growbag contents and vermiculite. These will need supports so thats all in place.

Money Maker in pots in growbag

Money Maker in pots in growbag

Method 4 – I am using Robella for this , Plant into a bucket that has Growbag compost and vermiculite . Using the bottle method again for watering .  Robella was one of the ones i was given , again has a good reputation for the fruit so looking forward to trying those.

Robella in buckets

Robella in buckets

Amongst these i have planted the sacrificial Marigolds
(Quote 1:  Marigolds The genus Tagetes is well known for it’s qualities to repel garden pests. They produce a substance called alpha-terthienyl, which helps reduce root-knot nematodes in the soil.
Quote 2 :Repels nematodes, tomato worm, slugs, general garden pests, Some gardeners recommend French marigolds as best deterrents. Till marigolds into the soil at season end to deter nematodes further)
After that moved the various plants i have back into the polytunnel on the staging i have , so all in all a good 3 hours work . End result

Tidy polytunnel

Tidy polytunnel

Hopefully it will stay that tidy – but who knows !!