My last monthly post about life in the polytunnel was in June, so here’s a brief spin through the second half of the year in the tunnels.
Scale insect invasion
Until this year scale insects caused no damage, or at least, none that was noticeable or problematic. 2020 was different and they sucked the life out of the cucumbers to the extent the harvest was minimal.
As time went on, black soot developed all over the plants – again something that has never happened to the polytunnel cucumbers. They all came out in October and I gave the tunnel a through clean with Hortisept. Next year, I’ll be on the look-out for scale insect nymphs and will offer a less friendly greeting.
These were up to their usual standard and seemed unaffected by the scale insect invasion. The usual line-up: Cuore di Buo, Rose de Berne, Sungold and Tigerella. Many were used in salads and later in the year, roasted and blended into sauce; combining all four varieties definately added something new and yummy to the flavour.
First time in the tunnel and they appreciated the climate. Definately one to keep for tunnel life. I grew long red florence and Jermor from seed. I harvested LRF as needed but lifted and dried the Jermor, now stored on a shelf in the tunnel, but only 6 left. General consensus is the flavour was much more intense than shop bought, perhaps because they were fresh but not something I’d noticed from shallots grown outside.
These came from a plot neighbour. There was space and I thought why not – it’s good to try new things. I’ve tried them and I’m disappointed; bland and a bit dry. Did I leave them too long? My neighbour maintains they are delicious as salsa but I think too much effort for something pretty mediocre.
Do you see the yellowing on the leaves? Sames as the cucumbers – I blame the scale insects.
By November, the tunnel had been mostly cleared out. These two tomatoes were the last to go. I’ve now lifted the dahlias and buried them in the main bed for winter and sown a few rows of spinach. There’s nothing else going on in there; I missed the last sowing window for cauliflowers and calabrese. I will start some winter lettuce in January.
Right now, I’m enjoying the tidy, swept paths.