With the September days getting shorter and the nights chillier, I thought it was getting near the time to take the shading down from the greenhouse and put bubble wrap insulation up. The changeover is a biannual task which I don’t particularly like. Pegging the insulation to the frame should be a doddle, it probably is for most folks, but as usual I make life difficult.
I would really like to be able to clear out the greenhouse and give it a good clean, as recommended by the experts. Besides that it makes me feel better if I’ve done everything I could to prevent anything nasty getting spread from one year to the next. My big problems are, my greenhouse is seldom empty and the staging with stored contents would have nowhere to go if I did empty it, so it often has to make do with a quick spray from the hose and if it’s lucky, the floor gets scrubbed with disinfectant. This stage will come later though, I still have tomato plants and assorted other plants not ready to go anywhere else yet.
I have inadvertently started clearing the tomato plants. We had a cold start to spring this year, then a sudden hot and sunny couple of weeks in which my small but healthy looking tomato plants, which were already established in their forever homes, took a spurt of growth leaving tall lanky stems with stretched out sets of leaves. It also meant the flowers didn’t appear low down so I had to let them grow as they pleased or I wouldn’t have had any tomatoes. The hot, sunny spell was followed again by cold, wet weather so it halted or at least slowed the growth of the stem a bit. When the trusses developed so high up, the tall slender stems couldn’t support them so there were strings going in all directions to keep them upright and I also found out that the trusses couldn’t be supported by the stem and had started to split. I couldn’t lose what tomatoes I had so I bound the wounded stems to the main trunk with string and it seemed to work. As long as there was some of the branch attached, there would be a chance it would stay alive.
Since today was warm and sunny, I decided that now would be a good time to perform my biannual ritual of changing the roofing material. I had very carefully rolled up the bubble wrap from last year but I hadn’t marked which bit belonged to where. It would have been useful as out of four roof vents, two have automatic openings so I need to make sure they are clear to let air and insects in. Because I chose to have a high greenhouse, it means I have to use a step-stool to reach the apex of the roof. Every attempt I made to take down the shading and peg up the bubble-wrap often meant climbing. The shading wasn’t so bad, it’s a fairly soft mesh but putting up the large pieces of bubble-wrap must have looked as if I was practising for Hallowe’en and anyone looking out of the window would indeed have seen a spectre rising and falling as I went up and down the step ladder draped in bubble wrap. It took several attempts but in trying to work the bubble wrap down the back of the tomato plants, the silence was broken by the clunk, clunk as another tomato was knocked off the vine. I also managed to break some branches, losing yet more tomatoes.
I put them all in a box and weighed them, I had managed to knock down almost two kilos. I couldn’t use them all right now so posted an offer of our local page on Facebook and now they are going to be made into chutney and sold for charity. It’s good to know that they won’t be wasted. As for the greenhouse, I’ll finish bubble wrapping it tomorrow.
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