Grow­ing un­der cover – a win­ter check­list

Country Smallholding - - Resilient Growing -

As ev­ery­thing slows down be­fore win­ter, gar­den­ers can as well. There are just a few es­sen­tial main­te­nance ac­tiv­i­ties re­quired over the com­ing weeks to keep tun­nels and over-win­tered plants in­side in tip top health. A quick once over

Once the leaves have fin­ished fall­ing, it is worth giv­ing your plas­tic cover a wash in­side and out to re­move any de­bris that has set­tled or mould that has started form­ing. A hose pipe, an ex­tra pair of hands and some old kitchen clean­ing sponges will soon make short work of this job. You can eas­ily use a cou­ple of old bed sheets tied to­gether and em­ploy in a see-saw man­ner for the tricky top. Re­move old plant­ing pots

It is worth clear­ing these out and stor­ing them else­where to scup­per the over­win­ter­ing of any op­por­tunis­tic pests-to-be for 2019. Ro­dent watch Your tun­nel will pro­vide a wel­come abode for mice and rats, so it is im­por­tant to be vig­i­lant to pre­vent them mov­ing in. Mice aren’t such an is­sue, but you re­ally don’t want rats mak­ing them­selves at home as their urine presents a health risk and they have the po­ten­tial to make an ab­so­lute nui­sance of them­selves given half the chance. Munched pro­duce and holes in the ground are ob­vi­ous tell­tale signs, and it is im­por­tant to block any holes or pos­si­ble ro­dent en­trances to help keep them at bay. If they con­tinue to per­se­vere, ro­dent traps are rec­om­mended in an or­ganic grow­ing sys­tem as the most ap­pro­pri­ate op­tion. Air­flow

Even though the ther­mo­stat has dropped, it is im­por­tant to open the doors and win­dows to al­low air to flow through on the most cle­ment of days: even just for an hour or so, a few times a week should help to pre­vent mould build up around and on your plants. Wa­ter­ing

Once a week is nor­mally suf­fi­cient at this time of year. If the tem­per­a­ture re­ally plum­mets... En­vi­romesh can be used to pro­vide that vi­tal pro­tec­tion. I also use a makeshift cold frame for more sen­si­tive plants, or you have the op­tion of heat­ing your tun­nel to take the edge off the chill.

Clean­ing the poly­tun­nel

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.