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Repairs Done, Broad Beans Planted, Back Pulled

The greenhouse vent is fixed, emergency repairs to the polytunnel, over-wintering broad beans planted out but I’ve broken down!

Greenhouse Vent

The repaired greenhouse vent, now fitting snugly.

The first job was to repair the damaged opening vent in the Vitavia greenhouse. When I realised the vent frame was damaged I’d contacted them and they immediately sent the part. It’s one of those 5 minute jobs that too often change into an hour but it only took 10 minutes!

Knowing that it was likely to be a problem sliding the vent out of the channel in the ridgebar, I brought the WD40 spray out. Undo the autovent, lift and slide the vent out. Spray the nuts and bolts holding the vent together because, being aluminium, they do oxidise over time.

Take the vent apart, put in the new top piece and nearly ready but take the opportunity to clean the glass first before re-assembly. Slide back in and reconnect the autovent. Job done, no problem!!!

Broad Beans

Young Broad Beans Plants

Broad beans, Aquadulce Claudia, planted out in the side border.

Up to the polytunnel next. Early this year I sowed some broad beans directly outside and the germination rate was awful. Whether it was the seed or slugs on emergence or even rabbits, I don’t know. Anyway, I sowed these beans in pots in the polytunnel. Germination was pretty fair, a few failures but that’s to be expected.

They’ve been planted out in the side border of the walled vegetable plot. They’re Aquadulce Claudia which are still, in my opinion, the best variety for late sowing. They’re extremely hardy.

In the spring I’ll be sowing some Karmazyn. They’re a compact, pink-seeded variety which crop well, freeze well and taste well. Their harvest should follow on from the Aquadulce.

French Beans

The last picking of French beans (Climbing var. Cobra) – enough for a serving. Then started taking the plants out, unwinding the stems from the strings. Outside I’d have left the roots in the ground to rot down and add humus as well as nitrogen but in the polytunnel, I pull the roots out. This is because I’ll be sowing next year in the same place and I’m part-changing the soil instead of following a rotation.

Polytunnel Damaged

Patches on Polytunnel Cover

Patches on Polytunnel Cover

This was when I noticed the holes in the top of the polytunnel skin. The other day I opened up the tunnel and there was a small bird flying about in there. Obviously it was desperate to get out and tried to peck its way out through the roof.

The worry isn’t the holes as such, a small hole isn’t going to make a significant difference to the temperature in there. The worry is that the hole spreads like a tear, ripping the cover in a storm.

Happily, it’s not too big a job to repair. When I had the tunnel, Firstunnels supplied some rolls of repair tape. It’s just like Sellotape but larger and tougher. Cut to size and smooth it on. Incidentally, if you have a greenhouse with horticultural glass and a pane cracks, this type of tape will hold it until you can get a replacement fitted.

Now it’s all gone pear shaped. I shifted some bags of compost and twisted as I lifted as my foot slipped… I’ve pulled a muscle in my lower back and it’s a bad one. I’m hobbling around at the speed of an elderly snail and bending or straightening is painful. In fact; just sitting, standing or lying down is painful which doesn’t leave many options.

Maximum dose of Ibuprofen and Ibuprofen gel rubbed into the area helps but the cure is rest and time. So, the weather is dry and even sunny and I’ve a lot to do outside but it’s not going to happen. I know the worst thing I can do is push too hard. I’m going for a lie down now.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary
4 comments on “Repairs Done, Broad Beans Planted, Back Pulled
  1. Marjie Kontzle says:

    You really urge me to do more in my allotment ,I have 5 raised beds and a tatty poly tunnel, but I’ve lost momentum with the weather. I hope your back heals quickly for you .

  2. Pat naylor says:

    So sorry to hear you’ve hurt your back. Great advice on replacing the broken window frame. Get well soon.

  3. John Harrison says:

    I thought I might do some light tidying up today.. until it took me 5 minutes to get out of bed! Sitting up was a major task!
    I’ll settle for admiring the sunshine from the comfy chair 🙂
    Thanks Pat and Marjie – appreciate your wishes.

  4. Ellen says:

    Hello John,
    Sorry to hear about your back. I have an allotment and on occasion overdo with my own back. My physiotherapist got me on to MacKenzie exercises. There are videos on YouTube. They seem to work a treat so I can get back to spreading compost and not get too far behind on my ‘to do’ list 😉
    Thank you for all the tips and insights,
    Ellen

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