tinyⒶllotment

Growing as much food on as little land for as little money as possible


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Guttering and a vent in the far end of the polytunnel

Spent an hour or so at the allotment this lunchtime. Yesterday was the Allotments Association Open Day and I met a lot more plot holders and spread the word on no dig gardening. I’m not too sure they were all that convinced but time will tell. They have asked me to give a talk on the subject at one of the committee meeting so I can’t have bored them too much.

I met Pete from the plot next to mine. He had some old guttering down the side of his shed that he no longer needed and a piece of pipe I could use as a down pipe. This was really handy because the rain has been coming into the tunnel off the roof and flooding the seedlings.

I used some old shelf brackets I had in the shed to support the gutter -or launder as we call it in Cornwall- and attached the down pipe with a screw as it was not a tight push fit. Everything was just the right length and nothing needed cutting. It just went together in minutes.

Wombled Guttering for the shed at the allotment

Wombled Guttering for the shed at the allotment

Here is a picture of the down pipe going into one of the water butts

Down pipe into water butts

Down pipe into water butts

I have three water buts in the polytunnel. They take up a lot of room but I am hoping they will help regulate the temperature both day and night.

Water butts in Polytunnel for watering and temperature regulation

Water butts in Polytunnel for watering and temperature regulation

I need to find a way to link the three butts together so they all fill evenly but at the moment I just use a bucket to transfer water from the filling one to the other two.

Cost of the guttering and water catchment system = zero pounds

Next job was to put some sort of vent in the far end of the tunnel to get a through draft and safeguard the tunnel from being blown away in the high winds we get around here.

As always I didn’t want to spend any money if I could help it so decided not to use hinges, catches or stays and to just work with what I had on the plot

I started by building a framework for the vent and then cutting the plastic and stapling it around the frame. Looking at this picture I may have pulled the plastic a little too tight and I have deformed the blue plastic hoop a little. Not to worry it will still perform OK

Vent in far end of polytunnel

Vent in far end of polytunnel

Next I built a window frame to go in the hole and covered it in plastic. This was then fixed in place with just one screw half way up each side acting like a hinge pin.

Vent closed

Vent closed

I then added a baton to the vent surround near the bottom to act as a stop and a baton to the vent to act as a handle and stop

Vent open

Vent open

So that’s that another couple of jobs finished

I also planted some onion seeds and started thinking about the next project of fixing the leaking roof on the shed. More on that in another post

aman

 

 

 

 

 


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The shed and the lean to polytunnel

We needed a shed for the allotment because I mainly visit the plot by bike so carrying tools etc is not an option. It is also nice to have somewhere to get out of the weather and make a coffee. Jules put out a call on Network Cornwall and we were offered a shed for free if we dismantles it and took it away. The shed is in a bit of a state and needs a few repairs but it will be fine for a years or so. I do need to replace some roof felt  as rain is coming in but I was given an off-cut of felt that should cover it so not much else needs doing to the shed for now. We were hoping to build a Geodesic Dome Greenhouse over the  winter but the weather and our finances got in the way and we didn’t achieve that particular goal so as a temporary solution we decided to build a lean to polytunnel off the side of the shed.

We wombled a load of roof battening from an old house that was having a new roof fitted and I found a load of blue alkathene pipe that some kind person had fly tipped by the side of a country lane. We needed an offcut of polytunnel plastic to complete the project so it was back to Network Cornwall. We were offered a good size off-cut of brand new plastic. A farmer had recently re covered his huge tunnel and has some left over. We travelled up to Par Market to pick it up and after a £10 donation to the farmers favourite charity we cam back to the allotment to start the tunnel build. By the end of the day we had the hoops erected and the the cover on albeit in a slapdash fashion and by Sunday we had it looking pretty good

I ran out of wood to finish this side and build a door but I knew we had some more old roof batten at work so the door would have to wait another day.

Monday evening after work I carried on with the build and finally finished about 8 o’clock but it is now a usable polly tunnel. Cost so far about £15

I made a minor cock up with the door and covered the wrong side with plastic so ended up covering both sides of the door so now it is double glazed so to speak.

Next step will be the guttering and repair the shed roof so we can collect rain water in the water butts inside the tunnel

 

aman