The polytunnel is now erected and within a fortnight of the cover going on it was tested by storms Ciara and Dennis. The tunnel has an 80cm tall mesh screen all around the bottom instead of plastic to the floor to increase ventilation and keep the temperature down in the summer. This helps us to maintain a healthy growing space by keeping down the diseases and growing stronger plants that will be less attractive to pests.
The tunnel will help us to achieve our goal of providing scent in all our arrangements. We will grow scented pelargoniums, earlier mint crops (pineapple and chocolate) and lemon, cinnamon and red basil – a favourite of mine – for beautiful fragrance and foliage. I can’t wait to open to doors and be enveloped by all these amazing smells. Having a tunnel also helps us to have earlier crops; for the spring, a large proportion of the tunnel will be put over to sweet peas. They will be replaced by dahlias, chrysanthemums, zinnias and more.
The first crops to get planted in the tunnel were anemones, ranunculus and Iceland poppies. The anemones are loving it and already throwing up flowers. I would also have planted out the sweet peas but sadly a mouse ate the entirety of the early sowing, nipping them off at the base when they were about 5cms tall. Before any of this happens, I will be getting my head down and sowing nearly 100 different varieties of flowers.