Saturday, 10 April 2010

I love the smell of poly tunnels in the morning…

A couple of weeks ago I built a double-decker raised bed in order to kick off my new growing-stuff-to-eat regime. It is cunningly fashioned to utilise exactly one 5 pack of Wickesgravel boards and one fence post and cost me less than £25. Within 5 minutes of filling it with a combination of compost and sieved soil there were 3 cats fighting over who was going to crap in it first – I only own one cat.
After that I bought some nice bendy hoops, polythene sheet, hoop clips and clever clingons and built a huge poly tunnel to enclose it, which probably cost another £25. It is now cat proof.

When I poked my head inside this morning I was hit by a wave of hot, damp air that was like being catapulted straight back into the jungle*, except that nothing was trying to eat me and nobody was shooting at me. The poly tunnel/raised bed project is currently home to Shallots , Garlic, Garlic Chives, 3 varieties of beetroot, 3 varieties of carrot, 2 varieties of radish, wild rocket, and a load of mixed cut and come again French salad leaves. I think I could happily live in here. Unlike the greenhouse, which hit 33 degrees C by 11am (even with all the windows and door wide open). I think I may have got a touch of sunstroke in here whilst planting out my next batch of seeds as my head is splitting right now. This is probably why the potting shed was invented.

*It is just possible that I may go on about the jungle too much, get used to it.


  1. Good luck with your kitchen. We've been waiting for the joiner since January, but he is so good and our old house needs someone who can work around it's quirks and, of course, my quirks!

    Enjoyed the 'cat' element to your post, I can really relate to that lol!

  2. Cheers Janice - I think it may take me a while to grow the fifty-quids worth of salad leaves and beetroot needed to make this pay for itself :) Probably should have planted asparagus instead.

  3. It looks like you really know your gardening stuff! I need to get busy with my garden very soon!

  4. Don't let my clever use of horticultural nomenclature fool you, I know nothing, I'm just making it up as I go along. In fact there is a distinct possibility that I may poison myself at some point - stay tuned.

  5. Hi Alex, welcome to garden blogging. Is that an Elite greenhouse I spy in your photo {smile}.

    Cheapo anti-cat measure which works without damaging the moggies (and thereby upsetting their people) is a very large pack of the cheapest hot chilli powder you can buy. Sprinkle a little on freshly dug soil - makes the little darlings sneeze like crazy which they don't enjoy. Re-apply after rain.

    You could also try old coffee grounds - stinks of nicotine so might put them off and a great excuse to make lots of espresso.

  6. Cheers for that Bilbo, will give the coffee grounds a go as it ticks all the boxes for me and as my own cat already seems to have a permanent runny nose I don't want to make things any worse in the ‘nasal discharge’ department.

    Yup Elite greenhouse in background shot currently operating as pot store and highly effective huge bumblebee trap. Hopefully it will soon be filled with edibles and will feature more prominently in photo sessions.