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Making the rain work for us

Posted by sheiladearing on 17 Dec 2009 at 03:08 PM

The above photo is of our ‘new’ vegetable tunnel which is now nearly two years old and is due for a clean along with all of our other tunnels. Cleaning is done at this time of year as it helps to maximise the amount of light available for the plants and so improves their growing conditions.

As this tunnel is one of our biggest tunnels and it has been raining so much recently (though as I write this we are having a welcome sunny interlude!) I decided to get the rain to work for us as there would be no other way of getting the tunnel wet for washing, so we (- it is a job for two people) set to work getting all our waterproofs on.

After a ‘coat of looking at’ as they say round here, we got extra ropes to tie onto the ends of the rolled up piece of shade netting which we use for cleaning. We then tied a large nut on the end of the rope; tying it in a way that the edges were protected by the rope; the last thing I wanted was a hole in the plastic – (I will look out for an old tennis ball next year, which will be easier to throw!))


Once we had got the end of the rope over it was just a case of pulling the rope until the shade netting was in position on the edge of the roof and then we took it in turns to pull the rope backwards and forwards working our way along the roof until it was clean.


You can see in the photos above just how effective this is! And the rain was washing the dirt off as we went; a much easier way of working, the rain even got harder as we went along!

We have found over the years that rolled up shade netting tied on to a rope at either end is better to use than old sheets as there is that gentle abrasiveness that removes the algae, whereas the sheets just polished it!

While we were up there we also cleaned out the gutters which fortunately could be reached from the ladder. We also used a gentle glass washing broom along the bottom edge of the roof for a job well done.

…… now for that dry weather to clean the sides off!! This usually calls for the pressure washer and rolling the sides down so we need the dry weather to finish the job and then on to the next tunnel……

Catherine Norman



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