Plastic cloches

Been pondering about making some cloches to accelerate the growth of my seedlings and to protect plants against the hordes of bugs wanting to gorge themselves. Saw a video by Geoff Hamilton on the Allotments 4 All forum on how to make one easily... to view click here. Cue Chris, my son in law carpenter, to work some magic and I'm now the proud owner of plastic piping as shown here (click to enlarge). The groundsmen on the building site where Chris was working were about to throw the offcuts away, so now I just need plastic sheeting or fleece for cover.
Went and bought the Gardman digital max/min thermometer after checking up it did record maximum and minimum temperatures both inside and outside. But I've spent the week puzzling over the results. It's recorded as high as 20 degrees celsius outside, which is probably down to me not giving the probe enough protection from the sun. It's also recorded a whopping 48 celsius inside the greenhouse... that's 118 degrees Farenheit! Much activity this afternoon to put netting over the greenhouse to give it some shade. See the photo at the foot of this posting. Even stranger... I'm getting lower overnight recordings inside the greenhouse than out! Think I'll bring the traditional max/min thermometer into the greenhouse and check it against the new technology.
Good news is I'm really getting the hang of the rain gauge I bought... we've not had a single drop of rain all week! It's been so warm and sunny I've broken out the shorts, much to the disgust of my wife and daughters. So if anyone thinks they've seen strange lights over Hill Rise it's not alien spaceships but the sun reflecting off my kneecaps.
At long last the tomato seedlings have started pushing their heads above soil level in the greenhouse. The radish and lettuce are popping up from an outside sowing a couple of weeks ago. It's spring tomorrow, hurrah! But the chickens are teasing me with a full house of four eggs on some days, as few as one on others and any variation in between. I'll give it a bit more time but may have to consider introducing a couple of new characters to keep the egg production up to requirements.
Started writing a childrens' book this week called 'My grampy says he's got a spider up his nose', based on one of the tales I tell my grandchildren to amuse them. Drawing the cartoons is proving an interesting exercise... here's an image of the main character. A couple of weeks ago I realised I probably need to be careful about the tales I tell... in the middle of a story to Paige, Connor (aged 6) popped up with 'Oh, just ignore him Paige'!
I'm not going to mention the squash score, being 3-0 down in months and without a single match win in March. Son David also walked off with the pub games cup on Monday, having beaten me in a tie breaker. At least I again hold the tennis cup... Barry could hardly haul himself around the court yesterday following a tea of roast pork and six vegetables with cheesecake for afters made by Becky. I've had a couple of bits of the cheescake today and won't be going anywhere in a hurry. Nice though!
Many thanks to Richard from the Hill Rise Allotment Association for getting the average temperatures and rainfall since 1978. I'm still playing around with the information to judge how best to display it... watch this space.

Scaffold netting over greenhouse to provide shading (click image to enlarge)
The digital thermometer in situ with outside probe going to the plant pot stuck on the side of the greenhouse
Barry trimmed the vines this week, cuttings potted up to expand the vineyard.
Got so fed up of accidentally tripping over my raspberry canes I've put sticks in to show where all the fruit plants are. Hopefully have it tidier and in a fruit cage this year.
Indoor radishes are doing well.

1 comment:

  1. Great Blog. Lots of useful information. Thank you John!


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