It’s been a busy few weeks, but sadly not all on the plot. A combination of increased workload, illness and other commitments have once again limited the time available to me.
I have however managed to make some progress, and have still visited the plot regularly – though not as frequently – or for as long – as I would like.
Staging in the polytunnel has been erected – a full 3m x 1m bench that cost only £18 in materials. I put it together using 0.9m & 3m lengths of timber, avoiding the need to do any cutting. It’s perhaps a little taller than is ideal, though certainly workable. Around 10cm lower and it would be perfect, and probably a little less ‘wobbly’. With that said, I’m happy enough with it and trust it enough to fill it with seedlings.
When I put this staging together, it was assembled in such a way that the top ‘shelf’ could lift off – allowing grow bags to sit on the bottom shelf, with the top lifted away when plants reached that height. In reality, the top shelf is a little too heavy to make this ‘manageable’. It can be done, but it’s a 2-person job. I’ll redesign this in future versions.
Aesthetically, as it’s in the polytunnel, it isn’t all that important. I intended to see whether this was something I could do, with eventual greenhouse staging in mind. While some cutting would be required for the greenhouse version, I’ll likely go ahead with the same overall idea in there. The alternative, to achieve what I want, would otherwise cost more than the greenhouse itself.
Speaking of planting, I added some compost to one bed and planted onion sets – only for them to be promptly removed by (presumably) birds. Further sets were purchased and are now safely planted in modules within the polytunnel. I’ll let them grow there for a while and plant out in March or April, as I’ve done in the past.
I’ve also purchased three bare-root blueberry plants. I’ve previously purchased blueberry plants from the well-known online stores, usually costing around £20 for 3. The 3 I’ve bought so far, however, can from Poundland, and cost me a total of – you guessed it – £3. I’ll likely buy more from a trusted supplier I’ve bought from before, for the sake of security if nothing else. I’m keen to see how well the £1 plants do though. I’ve heard lots of positive things about them before, and a 99p blackcurrant bush I bought from B&M for the old plot performed exceptionally well after the first season.
18 of the 24 beds are now fully positioned and filled with manure. The remaining 6 beds still need aligning and levelling, along with the fruit and flower beds, which I hope to have in place next Monday.
I have a dozen posts in drafts at the moment. Hopefully, in the coming days, I’ll get to finish and publish those too!