Monday, May 14, 2007

Juggling glass

I have two greenhouses. Yes - I know, it's a bit much. The worst of it is, I have a secret yen for a third one, too.

One greenhouse is at home - that's currently stuffed to the gunwhales with bedding and cutting flowers for the garden, but also raises all my veg seeds (I prefer to have them where I can keep an eye on them). Outside it are also two rather ramshackle coldframes, soon I hope to become one very large and less ramshackle one, where I eventually evict all the baby plants when the pressure to use the borders inside the greenhouse becomes too great. The process has already started - today I took out one of the benches and planted my cucumbers out. They're "Cum Laude" - an F1 female-only variety which cost a small fortune but I hope will be worth it. They've formed some great little plants, at least.

The next bench will come out once I've evicted my tomato plants. They're currently growing into small monsters in 3-litre pots, waiting for the automatic watering system to get itself sorted out up at the allotment greenhouse. I've just bought a dripper system from Two Wests - great online greenhouse/watering/gardening site - which connects up to a water butt. So far, so good. The plan is to feed the hose through a hole in some marine ply which I've replaced one of the glass panes with. However - if you've ever taken a close look at water butt taps, you'll know they're not exactly standard. So I've had to order a new connector - one of the ones with a screw thread to fit any size tap - and an in-line filter as they don't supply them with the dripper kit (to their shame - there's nothing more infuriating than realising you've got to search out another bit of kit to make the first bit work).

Once they've arrived and I've got it going, off go the tomato plants and I can free up another border for the aubergines and peppers. I did also want to grow melons this year - but the slugs have taken a good munch at the growing tips so I'm not sure the plants will make it through.

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