It can be difficult to keep your polytunnel warm in winter, but there are several ways to keep it cozy. Garden fleece is a great way to insulate the polythene cover, soil, or mini-tunnels. During the day, you can remove the fleece and replace it with a new one. In addition, you can use traditional heating methods, such as a ground source heat pump, which is ideal for small areas. However, these methods can be expensive and may not be suitable for larger areas.
Heating a polytunnel
There are a number of methods for heating a polytunnel in the winter. These include placing large rocks in regular intervals along the sides. These will absorb and retain the sun’s heat. This can be an inexpensive and effective method of heating a polytunnel.
A hot bed made of decomposing straw or other organic material can be placed over plants that need a warmer climate in winter. This area can be kept warmer than the rest of the polytunnel, which will protect tender plants. Mini polytunnels or cloches can also be used to protect individual plants during the colder winter months. Alternatively, you can cut up plastic drinks bottles and place them over plants to provide a protective cover.
A shade net can also be placed inside the polytunnel. These shade nets can trap the heat inside the tunnel, which will help keep it warm. However, heating a polytunnel is not cheap. In addition to the cost, consider the durability of your greenhouse.
Ground-source heat pump
A ground-source heat pump is one way to keep a polytunnela polyculture space warm in winter. It can be used to transfer heat from the soil to the growing plants. It can also be used to heat water in a compost heap. Compost heaps produce heat as they decompose, and pipes placed beneath them can transfer the energy.
To use this system, you’ll need a well and underground pipes, which are filled with antifreeze and water. These underground pipes will collect the heat from the ground and transfer it to the building. The pipes can be laid out in a horizontal array or a vertical borehole. Unlike conventional boilers, ground-source heat pumps can work all year round, meaning you can use them throughout the colder months.
If you’re looking for a lower-cost alternative to conventional heating, consider installing a ground-source heat pump. This system draws heat from the ground and transports it to the home. This process is called “closed-loop” and is similar to a pipework heating system.
In colder weather, you can use a cloche to keep your polytunnel warm. It’s a simple but effective method that works like a double-glazing effect and protects the soil from harsh weather while reducing heating costs. You can use it to grow plants that can withstand cold weather such as tomatoes, peas and lettuce, as well as perennial spinach and parsley. You can also place one on a flower bed or veg patch to keep the temperature up.
The cloche can be removed for maximum ventilation, watering or picking. It has a slight gap between the roof and side panels, which you can fill with earth during colder weather. You can choose from two different sizes of cloches. The cloches come with a plain aluminium frame, or you can upgrade to a powder-coated Antique Ivory finish if you prefer.
A cloche can protect your plants from harsh winter conditions, extending their life and allowing them to flourish. They also provide protection against sudden cold snaps that can harm plants, particularly the half-hardies.
A polytunnel can become cold during the winter, so insulating it is an essential step. One easy way to do this is by using bubble wrap. This type of material is UV stabilised and hard wearing, and can be attached to the polythene cover with string or cable ties. It also helps to retain heat inside the plant area.
You can also use frost fabric as extra insulation. This type of material is flexible and allows irrigation to pass easily inside the polytunnel while retaining heat. Frost fabric is particularly effective when used for crops that need to be kept moist. However, heating large polytunnels can be costly. Alternatively, you can use space heaters or propane heaters to keep the polytunnel at a comfortable temperature.
Polythene tunnels come in white and green colours, and are highly UV resistant. These tunnels are normally used for livestock, storage, and certain types of mushrooms. The cost of polytunnels varies, but they’re significantly cheaper than a traditional greenhouse. The downside to polytunnels is that they don’t provide much natural light, so they’re less suitable for growing vegetables or fruit.