Putting up the Poly Tunnel.
Here goes with the plastic age of Frugaldom...
Why are these things always so sparse? They list the parts with a few numbers and then have a semi-accurate diagram showing you the structure without any indications of where to start. It was fairly straight forward, other than finding it impossible to line up the holes accurately to drop the bolt through the top of the arch, so we cheated - the neighbour came round and drilled them a millimetre wider. Then went home and ordered himself the exact same poly tunnel - that's a good recommendation for it right away, wouldn't you say?
Process of Construction
I thought this would be the easiest way of explaining it and showing just how daft I was to think we could start at 9pm and be done in an hour. Oops! :) It now needs to be well secured so any high winds don't lift the full thing - it'll be rocks around the edges for now. The builders' bags were an ideal size for lining the ground, it took three of them opened out into strip to do this and there's still some left over for laying elsewhere. That's us gained nearly 15' of lovely undercover space, but it is extremely warm in there at the moment.
Likewise, the heat inside the little plastic tunnels is amazing. These were the ones costing £9.99 - not all that substantial but worth the money, I would say, as they are really easy to build and take apart, so can packed away for winter. They're none too small for the price, either, as each one measures a full 2 metres long and a metre wide. I haven't even thought about what will go in these but I suspect they'll be filled pretty quickly, none the less. The space where these will be used in future years is currently filled with potatoes, so they may end p being moved about the place until later in the year.
The mini potting greenhouses are great! I've already turned one of them into a cucumber house by
fitting it over the top of two fish crates containing 4 cucumber plants. Another two crates will be fitted alongside and these will be covered by the second little greenhouse. £12.99 bargains, in my opinion and again, these can easily be dismantled and stored during winter.
I realise that this may all sound a little bit extravagant and expensive, some may even say it doesn't sound frugal, but I have been saving for 10 years to get to the point of being mortgage free with a garden big enough to create my microholding. My entire life was spent wishing I could afford to buy a smallholding but it's just not going to happen and I don't see the point of wishing any more of my life away - this is it and we need to make the most of what we have and create a lifestyle we love. Being completely debt free is the reward for years of scrimping and saving and doing without any luxuries. It will be some time before the house is completed, so still years of frugaling and on top of that, no regular, guaranteed income other than what we can earn from home while developing the microholding. It has to become self-sustainable, especially as I'm going to be working at it fulltime! The spends are investments in my frugal micro-business in the hope that they will reap rewards in the future.