As the UK is hit with a blast of hot air and sunny skies, we’re now harvesting so much produce from the plot, I’m wondering if there’s a vacant fruit and veg stall out there with my name on it.
Whilst I’d never complain, it does mean I’m having to make more frequent trips to the allotment to check on the polytunnel. Whether I’m up with the lark before work, or racing out of London after work, I have to make sure my plants aren’t drying out, and the water levels are topped up.
As soon as the sun steps out from behind the clouds, I have a passing worry for my tomato plants left to fight for themselves in the burning heat, while I’m trapped at work itching to get away.
Without a doubt, in the short time I’ve had my polytunnel its been a great success, but as it’s plastic, the high temperatures can be extreme sometimes. At this time of year, there’s always a risk of scorching my plants.
Therefore, I tend to leave all polytunnel vents open, including the entrance which I pin back, in a ‘MacGyver‘ like fashion, so the wind doesn’t catch it and blow it away. That way, not only am I pulling in the cool air, but the hot air can escape, preventing the polytunnel from becoming a sauna. I mean, no one likes a sweaty plum tomato. With good ventilation, it helps reduce heat excess and can keep disease at bay.
As well as watering the plants, I also water the floor, not only to deter red mite, but the moisture reduces the overall temperature and helps my peppers and chillies to thrive.
Although we’re now enjoying our tomatoes, they can’t ripen fast enough. I mean, there’s nothing more enjoyable than biting into a freshly grown tomato straight off the vine.
But for now, we’ll harvest what we can and wait for the rest to turn red.