Summer in the polytunnel is hot, like proper hot. There are moments while I am working in there that I am reminded of being in the tropical Glasshouse as a child at Birmingham Botanical Gardens, with the humidity washing over you as you walk in. Very often, you feel that the irrigation system is on for everyone working as well as the plants.
With the hot weather comes a subtle change in the way we work in the Urban Herbs polytunnels, to make sure that the herb plants are as happy as possible now it is a little warmer. Perhaps not surprisingly, the watering of the plants becomes even more important, both in terms of watering them more often to make sure that they are not dehydrated to making sure that you water them at the right point in the day to avoid damaging the plants.
It is at this point in the year where this job takes a lot more time and effort to make sure that the herbs are in the best condition possible, continuously watering and pruning them to keep them healthy as they grow at a much faster rate.
And to be honest, there are times when it can be quite tiring. Sometimes, it is hard to get up early in the morning to make sure that the plants are okay before the sun makes its way around.
But then there are times, when you are sitting in the polytunnel pruning some Lemon Verbena (as I have been today) and you are surrounded by all of the herbs as they come into their spectacular, full-blooming own and you remember why it is all worthwhile. As you breathe in the fresh air with a hint of lemon sherbet, you remember that the polytunnel is full of life that you have helped along before they make their individual ways to our customers, and hopefully spread a bit of happiness along the way. And that is why the polytunnel in summer is hot, but also awesome!