Outside, the weather has been alternately, bitterly cold and rainy. The other night we had a violent gale which left us without much sleep. Between worrying about the power going out and having to find somewhere to move the baby chickens in to where it was warmer (it was about 36 outside) and whether the polytunnel would survive the night I don’t think I slept a wink. Fortunately the storm swung away from us and we we didn’t get the full brunt, but gusts were still up to 65mph. The power never went out, or I think we might have lost chickens. However, the polytunnel did sustain some damage. I spent an hour the yesterday moring repairing two broken ribs so they wouldn’t fly apart and tear the covering. I managed a sucessful repair, even in my sleep deprived state. As the weather warmed into the upper 40′s I was feeling much better about our two pet projects–veggie starts and chicks.
With all the wind and cold there hasn’t been as much activity in the polytunnel as I’d hoped. The tunnel usually manages to keep a 10 degree average temperature difference from outside temperatures, and the soil is much warmer than elsewhere in the gardens, but without much sun it hasn’t gotten above 50 for a week or so. The wind also sucks the temperature right out.
Meanwhile, in where it is warmer we have sprouts in all the trays we started. It’s looking like we’ll have to re-start some of the plants because they got leggy as if it were too warm on the heat mat. The cucumbers rotted at the base after they grew to a few inches tall. Our mistake for leaving them too damp I think.
If the weather continues being unseasonably cold, for out here, we might have additional trouble. We always plant peas around St. Patrick’s Day. The weather has been so foul I haven’t been able to get in to work the soil. This weekend is predicted to be sunny however, and perhaps we can get out and prep a bed or two.