Will it ever stop Raining?

The last few months have been challenging for all gardeners with the relentless rain and wind. When we were building down in Cornwall last week one keen gardener said it had not stopped raining since last September!

Certainly, the weather has been a challenge building and re-covering tunnels this winter, but through some careful planning we are still on track. Over the next six weeks, we will be travelling from Inverness to Truro before the show season kicks off in Yorkshire with the Harrogate Spring Flower Show on 25th April. Do let us know if you are planning on coming!

The flip side to this wet period is that polytunnels allow you to work around nearly all the bad weather. We re-covered an 8 year old Garden Tunnel last week on the edge of Bodmin Moor. It was a particularly exposed, windy location! Inside there was the most amazing array of winter salads, including spinach, lambs’ lettuce, Swiss chard, beetroot, garlic, lettuce and several different varieties of kale. This would not have been possible without a tunnel but shows that all year round growing is achievable.


Haygrove Garden Tunnel with 8 year old cover in need of replacing.


Newly recovered Garden Tunnel growing winter salads on Bodmin Moor

When will do I need to replace my Garden Tunnel cover?

Although our Garden Tunnel covers are guaranteed for 5 years against UV degradation, they generally last about 8-10 years before the UV begins to break down the polythene reducing the light transmission, and material becomes brittle and more susceptible to damage. If your Garden Tunnel is in need of a new cover you can buy a complete recover packages here.

Looking on the positive side, more and more of our customers are installing gutters so that they can harvest the rainwater water into tanks. The Haygrove Garden Tunnel has a neat and strong gutter system that allows you to collect the water and use it to irrigate your plants.

Haygrove Garden Tunnels with rainwater gutters collecting water into two water butts.

Why is rainwater good for plants?

Rainwater is great for plants because it’s naturally soft, slightly acidic, and contains nitrates.

It lacks harmful salts and chemicals found in other water sources and may contain organic matter beneficial for plants.

Collecting rainwater saves money and can be efficiently used with automated irrigation systems for better crop growth. If you’re water is metred, you will be paying around 0.18p per litre and so you could be saving 0.18p for every watering can you use! If you use 5 watering cans per day for 6 months of the year this can cost £165 per year if on a meter. Scarily a hosepipe can use 1000 litres of water very hour!

So opposed to making hay while the sun shines, make resevoirs while it rains. It’s better for your plants, your purse and the planet!

March really sees start of the new season, with loads of crops to start planting and sowing. We highly recommend taking a look at No Dig Norfolk Gardener on YouTube. Barry has put together a fact filled video titled: Boost Your Veggie Garden in March with These Tips. The Best Tips for growing vegetables in March. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6E1w7m4XEQc

Here is to a drier and warmer March!