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Are Polytunnels Bad For the Environment?

Are Polytunnels Bad For The Environment

Whether you’re interested in a polytunnel or not, it’s important to know the pros and cons. In this article, we’ll cover the environmental impact of a polytunnel, as well as alternatives to a polytunnel. We’ll also discuss the pests that may affect your crops, and the costs involved with a polytunnel.

Cost of a polytunnel

Using a polytunnel can be beneficial to the environment. They protect plants from harsh weather conditions and pests. They also offer protection from excess heat and humidity. However, they do carry a cost.

The cost of a polytunnel will depend on the materials used and the size of the structure. Larger polytunnels cost more. They can also require a foundation. The foundation can secure the tunnel to a solid base.

Polytunnels can be used for short-term or long-term use. They are also easier to install than greenhouses. They also allow for a more controlled growing environment.

However, polytunnels can have a carbon cost. These costs include the CO2 emissions associated with manufacturing, transporting and installing the structure.

The amount of carbon emissions involved can be calculated by using the following formula. The average CO2 emission factor for steel is 1.83 kg per kg of steel produced. The carbon cost of transporting a polytunnel from the point of manufacture to the site will vary.

Pests that can affect your crops

Keeping bugs at bay is essential to UK polytunnel gardeners. Hundreds of different insect species can directly injure plants, and many more can transmit disease or bacterial infection. While some insects are harmless pollinators, others are a serious threat to your crop.

Wireworms are a common pest, and they can damage plants at several stages of development. They burrow into the plant’s roots, and can also attack the seeds.

Thrips are a common problem, especially after dark. They can be kept out of polytunnels by using ornamental perennials or by removing broadleaf weeds.

Stinkbugs are also an issue, as they can carry a variety of viruses. They can also feed on immature fruits. While stinkbugs do not damage the leaves of tomato plants, they can cause scarring of mature fruit.

Tomato leaf beetles are another problem, and can be prevented by using well-anchored row covers. They can be spotted in large swarms in mid-late summer, and can cause damage to tomato plants in a short time.

Alternatives to polytunnels

Having a polytunnel allows you to grow a variety of plants, fruits and vegetables in a controlled environment. Polytunnels also provide a good climate controlled environment for seed propagation. They are also great for extending the harvest season of vegetables. They can also be used to protect plants from frost, wind and pests.

Polytunnels are ideal for growing cold tolerant vegetables during the winter months. The warmer temperatures generated by the structure help plants to grow. The warmer air also traps reflected infrared radiation. This helps to maintain temperatures in the greenhouse. The higher temperatures also improve germination rates by 40%.

A polytunnel can be used to grow a variety of vegetables, fruits, and flowers. They are also good for extending the growing season, which is especially beneficial to crops that require heat.

Polytunnels can also be used to protect plants from pests. Pests such as silverleaf whiteflies can be controlled by using sticky coils. This is effective without damaging bees or other insects.

Environmental impact

Agricultural polytunnels are semi-permanent or semi-circular walk-in structures. They are supported by metal or polymer rods. They can be used to increase the yield of crops.

Agricultural polytunnels can be placed on soils that seep methane. They are also used for soil fertility management. They also can help to increase the harvest from allotments. They are an eco-friendly alternative to conventional farming.

Agricultural polytunnels may be beneficial for agricultural businesses and for individuals who want to reduce their carbon footprint. They are an excellent way to extend the growing season and increase harvest. Investing in polytunnels is worth every penny.

The environmental impact of polytunnels is relatively high, but this may be offset by the reduced carbon footprint over the lifetime of the structure. Polytunnels also help to reduce other forms of pollution.

Agricultural polytunnels are particularly valuable for soft fruits. The British soft fruit industry employs 5,000 full time staff and 65 percent of soft fruit is covered by tunnels.