Saturday, 13 April 2013

Return to Eden

Jacks beautiful heather and daffodils with cherubs arse in view!
It has been a frustrating few weeks. Day after day of beautiful sunshine but bitter cold borne in on an Arctic easterly breeze.Cold frames were packed, glasshouse shelves heaved, conservatories and tunnels ovverrun with plants stuck in a three week holding pattern waiting for the cold wind to die down so the job of hardening off could begin in earnest.Most amazingly my first time veg growing students have managed to keep most of their plants alive and well throughout all of this pain and aggrivation.They all complained of course about having to bring plants in and out, cover them with fleece and uncover them, but what can you do when the weather is so unforgiving? Still I'm so pleased and proud of them all, and like I said a bit amazed too-how the feck did we get them through it?!!
This week we are rewarded for all that hassle, the wind has changed direction, the temperature rose and the rain (last piece of the puzzle) has finally arrived.

coming through the bad weather and looking good the ever reliable Tigerella Tomato
Of course I lost a few plants, a tray of brandywine tomatoes turned almost white on a particularly cold day outside under plastic. Dwarf french beans planted for an early glasshouse crop snapped and shriveled in the breeze sitting out one day on an otherwise warm, sheltered area! Other people lost plants when they got sick themselves. Eileen spent 5 days in bed with a raging flu, losing tomatoes in her greenhouse because she couldn't go out to cover them with fleece. Jack lost plants in his tunnel becuase temperatures dropped so low at night he got frost even under cover! I put up a maxium/ minium thermometer in my own glasshouse to find that night time temperatures were dropping dangerously low even after a sunny warm day when the mercury could reach 20-30c under midday heat. Bloody weather!

So now I haven't thrown in the towel (came very close) it's back to business.

First use of this beautiful tool! Thank you Mary J, Maudie, Paudie, Tom, Denise, Miriam, Mary and Paudie x

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