Saturday, 26 January 2013

sowing and blowing

Still lots of snow around, but it is melting now. Drip, drip, drip all over the place.  I haven't been to the plot because I know just what it will be like.  So I stayed home and pricked out a few of the bambino tomatoes, just a few to see how they survive, as they are quite drawn but don't have much root to keep them going.

Sowed some more tomatoes; 100s & 1000s, a small bush type and my fave, Gardeners Delight, cherry cordon type.

Sowed some broad beans in modules, Bunyards Exhibition (free from GYO) and Red Epicure (free from MGG). I have some Aquadulce and some Wikiem Manita which I will do later.

 My new max/min thermometer is working well. It told me that in less than 2 hours this morning, the temperature in the mini greenhouse went from 8.3C to 20.5C, and the tray with the onion seedlings in were getting far too hot. Which I wouldn't have known, and if I had them in a greenhouse down at the allotment I would quite likely have lost them. And that is in January, imagine what temperature could reach on the three sunny days we get in summer! I was dallying with the idea of getting a polytunnel or small greenhouse, but I don't think I will now, I'm lucky I can use the one at home, small though it is.

I took off the wheel of the barrow and when I held it under water, bubbles came out from where the valve tube goes through the rim. Aha! I thought, so I took it all apart, at great risk to the skin of my fingers and the two dessert spoons I was using as tyre levers. Blew up the inner tube again, tested it in the sink again to find the puncture, and guess what? It was as sound as a drum! No leaks, no nothing! So what's that all about? Conclusion: (which I didn't think of until afterwards, naturally) the bubbles must have been from air trapped between the inner and the tyre leaking out through the hole in the rim around the valve tube.
The valve had got a bit bent when the wind blew the barrow over a couple of months ago, so thinking that might be the source of the leak, I took out the valve and hawked it around the town shops, Poundland, Wilko's, Halford's, Start discover that they don't do them any more! Most inner tubes have fixed valves in now, so I would have to buy a new inner tube. The man in Halfords assured me that you can still get valves, but just not there. Mmm. So I bought a can of tyre sealant, charmingly named Slime, as a backup (£4.99 Wilko's), and gave up the search.

As it still wasn't leaking anywhere, I re-assembled the wheel, again risking digits and flatware, put the old valve back, inflated it and I have now left it to see if it goes down.

What a performance! Is that a smirk on it's face?

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