Allotment Gardening Advice Help Chat

Growing => Growing in Greenhouses & Polytunnels => Topic started by: Mark's Sussex Allotment on May 12, 2020, 22:01

Title: Dry polytunnel
Post by: Mark's Sussex Allotment on May 12, 2020, 22:01
Hi all,

I didnít do anything last year in my poly tunnel as I broke my wrist and missed the whole growing season.

This year, no matter how much I water it, I cannot seem to get it wet, and itís dry and dusty about 2 inches down.

Any help appreciated.
Title: Re: Dry polytunnel
Post by: DIY GRANDAD on May 12, 2020, 23:41
Well, on exposed land I woud 'dust mulch' it. i.e. Keep hoeing it and the top layer will become more dusty but trap moisture below, which will eventually rise. I can't see why it would not work under cover.

Wearing my farmer's hat, this is what a lot of sugar beet growers used to do before total chemical agriculture took over and cultivating between the rows stopped. Its something I have always done with my veg plots too. DIYG
Title: Re: Dry polytunnel
Post by: Yorkie on May 13, 2020, 08:27
Do you have access to a tap from which you could run a seeper hose (one with small holes along its length) overnight, perhaps?
Title: Re: Dry polytunnel
Post by: mumofstig on May 13, 2020, 10:24
Have you dug/forked it over, so that any water you put on can penetrate easily?
At least get the fork in a wiggle it about a bit, even if it's too dry to dig as normal - the water will get in eventually, but it has had over a year with no rain, so will really need a lot of water before it's anything like normal.
Title: Re: Dry polytunnel
Post by: snowdrops on May 14, 2020, 10:42
I think putting the soaker hose on plus the loosening of at least the top inch should start it off the a large application of a well rotted mulch, perhaps with cardboard underneath & then the soaker hose on top again  & you should be ready to plant after a day or to.
Title: Re: Dry polytunnel
Post by: minipip on June 25, 2020, 15:19
I had a similar problem in my new polytunnel - the top 10" of soil was bone-dry. As we are not allowed to use hoses on site,  I dug holes about 3' apart and 1' deep and filled them with water.

Every time the water had drained away I filled it again and repeated this until the water remained in the hole - it took about 8 watering cans of water over a couple of days.  I then lightly dug over the bed to distribute the damp soil and then repeated the whole thing again.

Lots of work but it worked for me and now my plants are growing strongly.  Good luck :)