Today I implemented Stage Two of Attempt to Grow a Tropical Fruit in Totally Inappropriate Conditions, for short ATGATFITIC (I’m not sure that is any snappier), by constructing a hot bed. For the uninitiated this involves creating a deep layer of fresh manure, and the straw that invariably accompanies it, and topping it with soil/compost to protect roots from burn and the sensitive from essence de horse poo. The theory is that as the manure decomposes it generates heat (something to do with micro-organisms) and keeps your plants toasty, like a horticultural electric blanket. Before the good stuff I had to remove a thick layer of clinker from an already sunken area in the greenhouse, line with a porous membrane (or the black stuff as we like to call it) for easy removal at a later date (good plan Hero) and then tip bags and bags of the horse manure I have been hoarding for this very occasion on top. Unfortunately I didn’t have quite enough so had to retrieve a couple of bags that I had so generously and with great aplomb donated to Damage, and to add insult to injury Mr Damage wheelbarrowed it over for me. I did leave an IOU.
The fledgling root I spotted yesterday on the pineapple top turned out to be a mirage. It is early days and I will not be disheartened.
Finally a warning: if we fail in this exercise I will launch into my “you can’t fight nature” spiel: if we succeed I will unashamedly bask in the glory.