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- May 2009
Forest Gardens and Polytunnels
   May 18th, 2009, 6:05 am
Presentation to the Parish Council Meeting
   May 11th, 2009, 1:24 pm
Polytunnel
   May 10th, 2009, 12:22 pm
Permaculture - Vine Tree Farm
   May 8th, 2009, 1:44 pm

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We bought a polytunnel a couple of weeks ago, and I thought "Hey, dead easy to put up.... nothing to it..."

Ha!

The first part of the job is to hammer scaffolding tubes into the ground. These are essentially the "foundations" of the polytunnel. Each length of scaffolding acts a sleeve for the main hoops of tubing which make up the "skeleton" of the tunnel.

Now I'm while fairly robustly built, I'm a bit puny when it comes to wielding a sledgehammer. It took me a full afternoon to get the tubes into the ground at just the right angle to take the hoops. Each hoop is made of of two parts, fitting together with a male/female joint. If the tubes are in the ground at the wrong angle, even slightly, the two halves of the hoops either don't come together at all, or they spring apart with a joyous sproinggggg!!!! noise and you have to start again.

Next job; get the ground sheet down. Easy enough, but I discover at this point that the supplier has been very economical with the ground pegs. The sheet is down as I place it there, but the first high wind and it'll be "I don't think we're in Kansas any more Toto....". Memo to self: purchase more grounds pegs.

And today's job: the doors.

One either end (i.e. so that when there's a high wind, we can open both ends and avoid the Kansas scenario).

Of course, when fitting doors, it is a usual assumption that one is fitting the frame and door to a, more or less, "square" structure. i.e. One consisting of right angles, uprights beside which a plumb bob is parallel and horizontal lines which will not embarrass a spirit level.

A word to the unwary: bashing scaffolding tubes into the ground is not an exact science. A degree or so out of true is enough to bugger things up completely. A job that I thought would take about an hour for me and another guy - he's six foot two, got a reach like an orang utan and is good with a drill and screwdriver - in fact took all afternoon to sort out just one door, not two. I'd thought we would have the plastic canopy in place by the end of the afternoon.

Sigh....

Still a task that was difficult the first time should be easy for the second. It's one of those jobs where there's a way of doing it, and number two should take about an hour. Then my multitudinous seedlings can get some shelter.

Watch this space......

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