Summer has finally arrived and it can be an exciting time in the polytunnel. If you have been organised your polytunnel may now to beginning to yield a wealth of edible crops. It is now time to make sure you are ready for the season that lies ahead and to prepare your polytunnel garden for summer. Here are some tips to help you make sure you are ready for the warmest season of the year.
What To Do To Prepare Your Polytunnel Garden For Summer
There are many things that you should do now to prepare your polytunnel garden for summer. Most of the things you do this month are all about preparing for the season that lies ahead and will involve making sure that you are making best use of all the natural resources at your disposal. While it can be tempting to simply sit back and reap the benefits of the hard work that you put in in the spring and the preceding seasons, it is a good idea to stay on top of things or summer can quickly see your polytunnel get out of hand.
Clear Out Winter Crops
One of the important jobs for early summer is making sure that you clear the way for your warm weather crops to be transplanted into the polytunnel. By now, many winter and spring crops will be harvested, or will have bolted and gone to seed. Clear these out to make way for the warm weather crops. Eat what you still can, or store for later, and place whatever cannot be eaten on your compost heap, to feed crops in the months to come.
Protect & Enhance the Soil
Another important thing to think about when preparing your polytunnel for summer is protecting and enhancing the soil in your growing areas. In addition to leaving soil as undisturbed as possible, organic polytunnel growers should always be thinking about how to maintain the soil over time, so that it can continue to provide for you and your needs for years to come. Neglect the soil and over time, it can become degraded. It is important to continue to return nutrients to the system, so plants you grow remain happy and healthy. Care for the soil in your polytunnel by:
- Creating and laying compost top-dressing in your polytunnel growing areas.
- Laying organic mulches in your polytunnel beds.
- Create liquid plant feeds for your edible crops using comfrey, nettles, or other weeds to create nutrient rich feeds and use these on your plants.
Increase Ventilation & Watering
Another thing to think about when preparing for the warmest months that lie ahead is how you will keep temperatures down in your polytunnel. Make sure you are ready to ventilate your polytunnel well, by opening doors and/or opening other additional ventilation that you may have opted for when purchasing your polytunnel.
It is also important to remember that the watering needs within a polytunnel will be dramatically increased over the summer months. Make sure that you are harvesting rainwater for use on your plants, and that you are ready to water or irrigate crops sufficiently as the weather continues to warm.
Are you ready for summer? Let us know in the comments below.
Elizabeth Waddington is a writer and green living consultant living in Scotland. Permaculture and sustainability are at the heart of everything she does, from designing gardens and farms around the world, to inspiring and facilitating positive change for small companies and individuals.
She also works on her own property, where she grows fruit and vegetables, keeps chickens and is working on the eco-renovation of an old stone barn.