We had a deluge – more than 100 mm of rain fell overnight and this morning. Major flooding happened elswhere in the region. Yesterday, my concern was the effects of strong easterly wind gusts as they knocked the sweetcorn about. I staked the plants. An easterly here can blow hard and last a few days. At times like this you realise how important it is to have the garden basics right such as protective windbreaks and good drainage. My fall-back gardening plan was to work in the polyhouse and get it cleaned up in preparation for autumn.
The polyhouse (plastic covered) flapped noisily. I counted my worry beads as Himself and I nervously listened waiting for something to give. But we should have more faith – we recovered the roof with storm-proof plastic about four years ago. The upper roll-up vent and side walls still have to be replaced. During in the late 1980s and early 1990s (before our time here), several locals constructed saw-toothed polyhouses (similar to ours) on their lifestyle blocks because of an economic boom in horticultural enterprises. The vendors of our place used to grow Sandersonias commercially for export, but that venture did not last. Others still grow orchids for export – but they have all sorts of systems and technology. One neighbour used her redundancy payout to build up her hobby of growing roses hydroponically and she now supplies the local florists and supermarkets. It’s all go for her on Valentine’s Day with her long-stemmed red roses.
We spent a lot of time clearing the weeds and debris that had accumulated during its years of disuse. Himself recycled the boxing timbers to construct calf-rearing pens lined with sawdust. It’s cosy for the young animals over the winter period. We also store hay. I put weedmat down over the scoria floor base so that I could set up a section to grow plants in the cooler months. Himself dismantled the overhead watering system and recycled the the piping to create a timer controlled dripper watering system so I could grow vegetables in pots. Yesterday, younger adult son and I cleared the last of the early spring-sown beans, courgettes and tomatoes grown in pots in the polyhouse. We’ve sowed seeds in prepapration for growing autumn-winter vegetables both in the polyhouse and in the outside garden beds. I just don’t work or grow things in the polyhouse during summer as the temperatures often climb above 40 degrees C. I have found that aubergines like the heat and do plan to grow more of them next year.