Tuesday, 15 April 2014

P Day

P Day = Putting Plastic on Poly-tunnel.

The plastic and frame of our middle tunnel were damaged in the gales on December 24th.
The plastic was taken off straight away so the frame wouldn't get more damaged.
 Then the trench all around the bottom where the old plastic was held down, was dug out. C repaired the frame and new plastic was ordered from a poly-tunnel supply company and arrived safely. We put the hot spot tape on the metal frame yesterday. This will be the second time this plastic has been replaced on a secondhand frame first erected in 1995.
 We were just waiting for the right day - a bit of sun, no wind and both of us at home for several hours.
When you get proper poly-tunnel plastic it is folded and rolled to make it easier to find the middle and to unfold both sides. Here it's over the frame and roughly held down with clods of the dug out soil.
Then starting at one corner put more soil in the trench and stamp it down. After taking this photo I then went round to the back to pull it tight as he back filled all the trench down one side.
One side done.We then left it for a while to get warm in the heat of the sun. The heat helps the plastic expand so we can pull it tighter.

The other side with spare plastic being cut off. We had to buy slightly wider than we needed. Which is better than not having enough!
After side two trench was filled and stamped in we pulled the back tight and held that down in the trench in the same way. Later the oblong will be a window covered in mesh, with plastic inside that can be rolled up and down.

C at the front with both sides and back finished. The door frame is there and he will make a door to fit which will be covered in plastic and hinged on one side.
Considering the frame was secondhand and not particularly even to start with, we've done quite well to get it nice and tight. Ideally it should have been done in warmer temperatures but we needed it finished to get the tomatoes in ASAP.

C said that if we had the proper frame with the proper fixings what we would do after putting the plastic on would be to adjust the hoops up from the inside to get everything tighter. 

After shoveling in dirt  and bending at a funny angle for several minutes while pulling the plastic tight my back seized up! Time to sit down for lunch.

Thanks for chicken and egg comments yesterday to Out My Window, Pam, Paid in Chickens, Kev, Stephanie, Gill, Cro, and Sue also Dawn who has a blog called Doing it for ourselves. I was fascinated by Dawns blog as they are REALLY self sufficient. I thought we were pretty good but what we do pales into insignificance compared to all the interesting things on Dawns Blog. I hope she will continue to write regularly after her house move too.

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