The lower greenhouse is a low tech affair without power or energy. On the East side more than 50% of the glazing is polycarbonate that is well past it’s sell-by date, crazed and clouded by the elements. But on the brighter side it’s in better physical shape than the upper greenhouse, has fewer leaks and the ventilation still works well. It’s a lovely place to grow things and the newly extended raised bed means we can grow great specimens.
Over the past few years we’ve added a few refinements and some temporary fittings to accommodate our growing plans and that’s what we do in January. This year we’re going to
- Install a sprinkler system over the central bed
- Extend the misting system to the entire length of the central bed
- Line the new section of central bed with polythene pond liner
- Maintain the pea and bean netting
- Remove last year’s signs
Last year’s misting system worked very well for the Edible Jungle but we still had to water and feed the bed by hand. Misting raises the humidity and lowers the air temperature but it doesn’t fully hydrate the compost. The new sprinkler should mean that we don’t need to do any other watering. We hope to run it from a battery timer so that it waters in the early morning and the mister comes on at lunchtime.
We also have a new siphon fitting for the hose which adds a measured dose of feed to the hose water so we don’t need to feed from a watering can. Although we’re going to be adding some manure and supplements to the compost we also need liquid feed as gingers are very hungry for nutrients. We use SM3 Seaweed in the spring and Chase organic tomato feed in the summer and autumn.
The base layer of the ginger border is made from unrotted manure and the raised bed need to be lined to avoid this ‘oozing out’ as it rots… We used the old pond liner in the front section last year and we’re going to line the rear section similarly.
Following last month’s clean up we will be on schedule for planting the bed in March if we get all these fixtures and fitting done on Sunday. We are in possession of or have sources for all the species except the Aframomum.