Posted By: 23/02/2011 08:41:00
Thanks to everyone for the feedback on using black polythene as a mulch. It sounds like it is going to be a very successful option this year.
A few things I must do to avoid any problems with the plastic will be to treat the ground with a
Nematode first and I'll also sprinkle some organic slug pellets vary sparingly, about 1 every half a square metre. (you don't need huge piles of them to work). The area of ground covered will be raised at the edges and slightly dipped in the middle so when it is covered in polythene the middle section can be pierced to allow water to run into the bed and away from the holes where the vegetables will be growing through. Now I have that plan in place I can rest easy for a few months whilst I wait for Spring.
One job I will look at this week will be cleaning the glass on the greenhouse and raised bed cloches. As the sun gradually returns and starts, or tries to start warming the ground every bit of sunlight is very important so I don't want to miss any by having green algae blocking it on the panes of glass. My preferred method of cleaning is to use vinegar, it used to be normal household bleach but vinegar works as well and is better for the environment. My Nan used to use newspaper to make widows sparkle but I believe this was because the ink contained lead and would leave a residue on the glass, or it could have been an old wives tail. Whatever the reason, so long as the glass will let the maximum amount of sunlight in, the plants will benefit from it.