Batten Down the Patches!

Get your wellies ready and your raincoats out, we’re in for a rough ride, or so the weather forecast tells me. We’ve had some pretty heavy rain showers the past two days and it’s very blustery out there. We’re due some very strong winds tonight and tomorrow and there’s a gale warning in effect.

I’m quickly learning that a lot of my time gardening is spent putting preventative measures in place to protect my plants from extreme weather, slugs, pests and birds. The wind seems to be my greatest foe at the moment. My rhubarb has been all but destroyed by the strong gusts and my artichokes have some snapped stems too. I was trying to figure out a way to protect them from the strong northerly winds. I toyed with cloches, netting, fleece, with no joy, until I had the idea of making a barrier around that section of the plot by extending some windbreak netting out from the fence. I drove a stake into the ground as with the perimeter fencing and used wire and staples to attach the netting. Not only does it protect my fragile plants, it breaks the plot up and gives it a bit more structure. I extended the flower bed around it too. It looks much better than before and my rhubarb, artichokes and fruit bushes are now well protected.

Simple but effective wind barrier

Much improved, hopefully my rhubarb will be safer now

I also covered my strawberry plants up with some of the windbreak netting today to protect them from the wind tonight as they’re doing so well so far, I’m not sure if it will be of any use but it can’t do any harm and I’d be disappointed if the wind was to snap them. I have my peas and asparagus covered with some fleece too, just in case the temperatures drop again. It’s been all systems go in order to protect my plants from the gales.

If you’re reading this and you have one of those plastic greenhouses, on your plot or in your garden, I strongly suggest you tie it down, weigh it down or do whatever you can to secure it to the ground, I spotted one about to take flight this afternoon!

Strawberry

There’s been a growth spurt on my plot the past week. My early potatoes are growing very strong and very fast! My strawberries have a few white flowers in bloom. I noticed quite a few pea shoots the other day too, I had been concerned about these as there was quite a bit of frost last week and I feared it might have killed them, thankfully, covering them with horticultural  fleece seemed to have been a good idea and most of them have germinated. I also noticed a tiny asparagus spear poking it’s head above ground the other day, I nearly jumped for joy, I wasn’t entirely convinced these would grow so too see one was a nice surprise.

Pea shoot

It’s not all good news though, my poor little tomato plants are suffering, from what I do not know. They are getting plenty of sunlight, I’ve been watering them regularly (but not too much of course) but somehow, the leaves are simply turning limp and dying. This has happened to three of my six plants now so I’m starting to think I’ve done something horribly wrong to them. I was concerned they had been overwatered but it doesn’t seem to be the case. There’s not much I can do really, I just hope they perk up a bit. At least the other three seem to be healthy.

It’s hard to believe how much the plot has changed since I first laid eyes on it a few weeks ago. It seems there’s always new plans afoot and I’m never short of something to do. I’ve set my sights on getting a shed sometime in the next few weeks. We began digging and leveling the area where it will go as I’d been neglecting that section of the plot. I also hope to put in a compost bin, water butt and a small seating area too. There’s a good bit of planting to do soon and It’s looking like it will be another busy few weeks on plot P26; once the bad weather passes, that is. Until then, I’ll be snuggling up with cups of tea and watching the rain from the comfort of the sofa.

Calm before the storm

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6 thoughts on “Batten Down the Patches!

  1. Kate says:

    Love your photos; your patch looks so beautifully organised and structured! Mine, alas, looks like the horticultural equivalent of someone’s sock drawer…

    • fionadkelly says:

      Thanks 🙂 I’m trying to keep it organsed but there are one or two very messy parts, I just choose to leave them out of the photos lol. Anyway, I like the unstructured look, it’s more rustic and natural, I just don’t have the patience for all that digging, hence the raised beds 🙂

  2. aquariumstarter says:

    Hi, your plot looks great. The raised beds look really nice and practical and I like your idea of a shed and somewhere to sit. You deserve a bit of seat and shelter after your hard work! I look forward to seeing your progress but what an amazing start.

    • fionadkelly says:

      Thanks a million. Yeah, I figure I have to have somewhere to sit and enjoy the fruits of my labour, especially during the summer months, I have visions of myself in shorts, wellies and a straw hat, drinking tea from a flask, munching on my own strawberries, heaven!

  3. Val says:

    The plot looks great, Fiona! I see you have put secondary windbreaks inside the plot… I need to do this as well… pesky wind! The plot could end up looking like a maze. 🙂

    • fionadkelly says:

      Thanks Val. I had to put that extra windbreak up, that part of my plot was being battered, nothing was safe. It seems to be working so far. Might add more but as you said, I don’t want it to end up like a maze. I’ll play it by ear.

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