Growing Things!

At last we have our Polytunnel and it’s going up. It is amazing how many parts it came in. Luckily Alex neatly laid them all out in the barn and has systematically put it all together, adding his own little bits and bobs here and there.

Before the skin was on

Our soil has only had spruce on it in the last forty years, so a lot has to be done to make it ready for our seedlings.

Alex spent the best part of a day digging out the remaining trees stumps, breaking a few chains in the process and all Thora, Ottie and I could do at this point was watch. Next we took all the rocks out and dug and raked and dug and raked! Now the ground is ready for as much muck as we can find. We are thinking a good mix of horse and cow will do the trick. Our soil is very sandy, so it needs lots of nutrients added.

We have started our seedlings off inside. I can’t believe how quickly the squash seedlings are growing, they will have taken over our small living space by next week.

Monday

The final skin is now up, this hot weather was perfect, as we needed it to be hot and dry to stretch the plastic a little when it goes on.

We have mixed about 20 bags of Jess’s horse manure into our sandy soil and it’s starting to look a little bit more bulky, hopefully the seedlings will find it homely. Now we just have to plant them out.

                 Making a dye garden                                         

The skin going on

I hope to make a successful dye garden this year. I have Woad, Ladies Bedstraw, Marigold, Ladies Mantle and i’m just waiting for my Madder and Indigo seeds to arrive. I would need to grow an awful lot to keep up with all the dyeing we do, but just enough to use a bit now and again would be great and to see exactly what some of these plants look like. I quite fancy growing Indigo in Strathglass -as the last time I saw it growing was in Vietnam, so it might have a little bit of a shock when it decides to poke its head out of this Highland soil!

I’m going to start the seeds off inside and then plant some of them out in pots to begin with. It will be easier to look after the perennials if I can bring them in if we get a really harsh winter.

A lot of the plants we use are growing in abundance around us already, including Nettles, Gorse and Heather, so they are easy to forage and in plentiful supply.


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