Friday, June 19, 2015

Another job done

After turning part of Middle Ridge chicken coop, into a new growing area, one thing became clear after a few weeks. The seedlings I had planted, needed more sunlight as the winter days got shorter.


That all changed yesterday, when I decided to take the shade cloth down. It was a dirty job, but it made a huge difference to the new growing area.


Suddenly the run was filled with sunlight for what must have been, approximately seven years, after first finishing the run. As I cut down the shade cloth, all those memories of constructing the whole thing, came flooding back. How can seven years fly by, just like that!


It was all for a good cause though. The thin rubarb with enormous leafs, suddenly received more sunlight. I should see thicker stems emerge in a few weeks, as they won't be starved of photosynthesis, like it was before.


Removing the shade cloth, also allowed the Lacy Lady Peas some sunlight to produce flowers, hopefully. It was also just in time before the tendrils started latching onto the shade cloth too. If I don't get many pods, I would at least like to save some seeds for next year.

There was only one problem encountered, removing the shade cloth however...


Everything growing in the run, suddenly started to wilt. This is my kale. It received some sunlight through the side of the run, but not much during the day. The leafs  hadn't really grown for full sunlight over consecutive hours. Not many of the seedling's leafs had.

Having checked on them today, they seem a little better. I don't know if I've done my dash with the veg growing in here, but time will tell. I suspect they may go to seed rather quickly come Spring, as they spent the early part of their development, adapting to heavy shade. When the sun gets more intense, along with the temperatures, its a given, everything will bolt to seed.

Or at least, that is what I'm expecting. But it would also be a good thing too!

The bones

While I'm loving all the green this new area is producing - abundant tomato seedlings too, as we fed the chickens many tomato scraps in here; it will soon be time to move onto something else - a new transformation.

My tools will come out again, and I'll have more to unveil later. Let's hope I get some sort of harvest in the meantime.


  1. I really must try the shade cloth. I think it would make a difference for many of our veggies that don't do well in our intense summer sun. Anything to extend the season!

    1. Just got back from a small computer break, so I'm sorry for the late reply. Shade cloth will definitely help during summer. I know of some keen veg growers in extremely hot conditions (worse than ours) which grow lots of year round veggies, because of the shade cloth.

      The thing you have to note is, don't get the cloth capable of blocking the most sun. You want your plants to still receive a good dose of sunlight. So maybe experiment with one bed first, to find what kind of shade cloth works best in your conditions. Those I've read about, tend to start with the cloth which blocks the least amount of sunlight first.

  2. Chris, if you water your plants fairly well,they should recover from that wilt but you could always just use a row cover during the hottest time of the day. A worn sheet would do the trick as it sounds like you cut away your shade cloth-but maybe its still usable.
    I love the way this garden is coming out!

    1. I had to look you up, to recognise who you were at first! The name sounded familiar, but it clicked once I was taken to your website. ;)

      Yes, I did cut it away. I would have saved it, if I didn't still need the chicken wire around the area to keep critters out. They were joined together by a strand of wire. I'm glad I cut it away though, because its been up for seven years and as I brought it down, all these tiny fibres (I imagine plastic) were floating everywhere.

      Happy to report though, the plants are doing really well! My rubarb is bursting with new stems and rapid growth. So is the silverbeet. I have some daikon radish which I can't wait to try for the first time either. I'm wanting to try some fermented veg with it. :)

  3. Glad to hear that your plants thrived. They probably just needed a minute to compose themselves:) The new name must of been a part of the cache clearing the other day. I haven't had time to change it.


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