Cancelled: Growing Undercover: Gardening & Polytunnel Building Course
Dates: 11 November 2023 to 12 November 2023
Time: 9:30 am - 5:00 pm
£175 – £275 per personBook Here
Advanced booking is essential through the ‘Book Here’ button above.
Cost: £175 pp or £275 pp including 2 nights accommodation at Lawson Park (Friday & Saturday) for up to 4 people or more if couples. Contact us to arrange booking for a couple.
If you would prefer to pay by cheque or cash, please contact us and we will make arrangements for you as needed.
Places are limited to 8 people to allow all attendees to get the best learning experience and time with the tutor.
Course fee includes tuition, all refreshments, lunch (including tunnel-grown produce) and tools.
If you do not have the means to pay for a ticket, we have an access budget that enables us to provide free places for people with low incomes, who are unemployed or have other accessibility needs. Please contact us to register.
Lawson Park, East of Lake, Coniston, Cumbria – LA21 8AD
This course has been cancelled, but you can still sign up to our other gardening courses; The Farmer’s Arms Gardening School 2024 or The Complete No-Dig Edibles Course.
Join us at the stunning hillside gardens of Lawson Park to learn how to grow beautiful plants all year round, both for undercover use and for planting out.
Places limited to 8 students, price includes all refreshments, lunch, tuition and tools. There is also the option of full board for 2 nights in the Lawson Park Residency during the course.
During this dynamic weekend course we will extend a garden polytunnel, teaching you all the techniques you need to build your own covered space. This course is also suitable for those with greenhouses & cold frames or who are considering acquiring these invaluable growing spaces.
Building a polytunnel yourself can be an intimidating idea, but if you can handle flat pack furniture you can build your own tunnel! Costing 75% less than the equivalent glass greenhouse space, polytunnels can give you a flexible outdoor space not just for plants – they’re useful for drying your washing in, as a workshop, for giving your chickens an extra run or for your kids to have a dry outdoor play space. This short course will give you the confidence to build your own covered growing space, and the knowledge you need to make the most of the advantages it can give you.
Learning Session 1:
Guided tour of Lawson Park’s gardens with Karen, with a focus on plants which have been propagated on site undercover. A look at diverse plants at different stages of growth, their maintenance/cultivation needs, how and what you can grow to fill your outside spaces too.
Hands-On Session 1:
We’ll begin the extension of one of the Lawson Park tunnels, learning how to prepare the ground and erecting the main framework
Learning Session 2:
Keeping plants going under cover. A look at no dig soil health, the use of heat and light, choosing a year’s plants to grow under cover, troubleshooting pests / diseases, watering/feeding regimes.
Hands-On Session 2:
Continue to build our polytunnel extension, including doors and making up ground/beds & replacing cover (weather permitting!)
About the tutors:
Karen Guthrie, Grizedale Arts Head Gardener & tutor at The Farmer’s Arms Gardening School, is an experienced horticulturalist who has grown vegetables, fruit, herbs and many ornamentals under cover at Lawson Park (where she is a residential warden) for over 20 years.
Matt Turnbull is Head of Veg at The Farmer’s Arms and has a decade of experience growing top quality fresh, organic produce for box schemes and restaurants.
Both keen advocates of the polytunnel, in this course they will demonstrate its many advantages for the gardener – whether you are a newbie or a seasoned old timer you will learn valuable tricks of the trade and see diverse ornamental and edible plants and seedlings growing under cover successfully at Lawson Park, from yuzu and wasabi to dahlias and winter salads.
About Lawson Park
The course will take place in the Kitchen Garden at Lawson Park, the beautiful artists’ residency refurbished by Grizedale Arts in 2009. A former hill farm in an exposed location high above Coniston Water, at 200m above sea level, the site regularly records over 200cm of rainfall per year (around twice the UK average). With a thin topsoil and short growing season, Lawson Park has long relied on its polytunnels for supplying early and late salads and vegetables, cut flowers and much more to its residents and more recently to the kitchens of The Farmer’s Arms. Even in November, the tunnels are full of fresh produce and plants at all stages of growth.
Accommodation at Lawson Park is in double ensuite bedrooms with access to a large lounge and self catering kitchen diner. We’ll provide a continental breakfast and lunches and snacks during the course, and participants are welcome to cook supper in the kitchen or to go out for dinner at The Farmer’s Arms at a 20% discount.