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30th April

At Long last I managed to get the tunnel re sheeted, on Monday I hired a digger in and I dug the trench out around the tunnel for the polythene to get trenched in, then it was a waiting came for some calm weather.
The forecast for the week didn't show calm enough weather for sheeting a tunnel, but the weeks before had been showing the same, but there had been a day here and there that the wind had died down just enough for a couple of hours that I could have managed to get the sheet over and safe.
To give you a idea of the problem, It’s a 66 meter long by 14 meter wide bit of polythene that we need to pull up and over a tunnel that is about 4 meters high, if the wind gets up over 6 mph we have a huge kite on our hands, and the wind always wins.
On Tuesday night I was out in the field in the tractor bed forming more ground for us planting, it was around 8pm and I noticed the wind had stopped, quickly I phoned Jacqui and asked her to check three forecasts and see how long the would stay calm for, Luckily for Rab and Rory the forecast gave us till 9am the next day, otherwise I would have had to give them both a call to come in now so we could get the tunnel sheeted.
The forecast was spot on we came in extra early and had the tunnel sheeted and almost finished by 8am and the wind did come in at 9am and it was a strong gusty wind.
The tunnel is now looking braw with a new sheet on and we planted seven thousand five hundred little gem lettuce in it.
Last week I had been talking about my home made garlic spray to help fight against our yearly battle with slugs and aphids, every year they seem to always win the battle of eating our plants before we can harvest the whole crop.
I started googling homemade organic slug and aphid deterants, and came across loads of sights saying Garlic and washing up liquid was the trick, last week on Thursday night I mixed up 20 litres and rushed down to do the pak choy tunnel and put it through the irrigation, well I have to say it seems to have done the trick, not a slug in sight, it's been a wee trial but I will keep going with the crops that the slugs love and see if it really does work, if it's a success I'll prepare loads and spray the brassicas crops at the end of August and hopefully stop them getting attacked by white butterfly, seemingly I'ts the smell that really puts them of, and I can confirm after spraying the tunnel I could smell the garlic from a long way of.
This week we are hoping to start planting out in the field, last week we took out all of the brassicas, onions and Leek plants out of the tunnel and they are sitting outside hardening of , and all of the ground I managed to get bed formed anfter some long days. So weather permitting all we will be doing for the next week or so is planting in the field, at the moment we have around five hundred thousand plants sitting oustide with about the same still in the tunnel waiting to come out.

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