Monthly Archives: July 2015
A few weeks ago the summer arrived. Goodness, we waited long enough! And the temperature in the polytunnel started to soar. While we do remember to water the plants in here, it can be a bit hit and miss. We decided that the plants might benefit from some regular watering and have installed a Hozelock automatic watering system. It is relatively cheap and it does look like the plants appreciate it. It is set up to water them for 10 mins twice a day (6am and 6pm avoiding the heat of the middle of the day).
We started with the Hozelock starter kit, but within a week had to upgrade the timer. The original timer (Hozelock 2705 supplied in the starter kit) had presets (twice a day for 5mins, twice a day for 10 mins etc), but you couldn’t amend the schedule. The other reason for the upgrade was the original one packed up! I thought it was flat batteries (it uses two C type batteries), but when I opened the battery compartment, it was full of water! Even after trying to dry it out (and with new batteries), it was still dead. Ho hum. I will put it down to operator error, but I thought I had tightened up the back of the compartment properly (it is screwed on and has a rubber gasket to keep the water out).
The upgraded unit (Hozelock AC Pro) while a bit more expensive does seem to do the trick. It was easy to set up and I like the over-ride facility in case you think the plants need some additional watering during the day. It did come with a rain sensor than cancels the watering program if it rains. However, this isn’t of much use in a polytunnel!
We added some bits to the original starter kit – in particular, we add a couple of spray nozzles and these seem to work a treat. When then have drippers that feed the courgette plant and drippers in each of the tomatoes plants. The system has been really quite flexible and B&Q (not one of my favourite stores) does seem to stock a lot of the bits for this system. The other thing that seems to work well is the Hozelock extension bar that means that we don’t need to keep unplugging hoses if you need to fill a watering can or wash the car.
We put the last of the concrete floors in to the outbuilding earlier in the month. We will use this middle shed as a workshop and have decided to dry line and plaster this shed. This will make it a little more free from dirt. Hopefully, we will get this plastered in the next couple of weeks. When we think about the amount of money been spent on these outbuildings, we might have been better off knocking them down and starting again. The upside is that the outbuildings which have probably been here 200-300 years have a new lease of life.
Over the past couple of months, we have been doing odd jobs around the place. We concentrated on getting the work done rather than keeping the blog up to date, so here’s a quick round up……
We finished the dry stone wall along the orchard and top field last month and had quite a bit of stone left over. With the arrival of our new dumper (well, new to us), we were in a position to move the stone out of the way into the bottom field. This means that in time we should be able to mow the grass up to the new wall. All in all, it took about a dozen trips in the dumper.
Turned out the poor performance didn’t have anything to do with the engine – the right hand front brake was seized on! Good job I didn’t go to the hassle of changing the diesel injector!
The brakes have now been sorted together with new oil, new oil filter, air filter and fuel filter. I am proud to say that I managed to do it all myself. It seems to run a bit better although I do wonder if it was worth all that effort.
Despite its age, parts are readily available and I even managed to find a maintenance manual online.