If you’re planning on growing crops in a polytunnel, this guide will help you choose the right size and build your polytunnel. You can also learn how to protect your crops from damage. Buying a polytunnel is an excellent investment for your garden.
Growing crops in a polytunnel
Growing crops in a polytunnels is a great way to extend the growing season. Many vegetables grow well inside polytunnels, as the protective covering protects them from the cold and wind. You can grow most vegetables year round, from herbs and salad leaves to lettuce and potatoes. Potatoes are a good choice for winter harvesting as they can be sown in the autumn.
Carrots are another vegetable that can be grown in a polytunnel, and are a great choice for overwintering. Carrots are a tough plant that can survive colder temperatures. Carrots are best planted ten centimetres apart in early autumn and should be kept moist for the best harvest.
Building a polytunnel
Before you start building your polytunnel, it’s best to read the instructions. You will need a step ladder to reach the ceiling poles and a garden spade to dig a trench around the tunnel. These tools are easy to use and don’t require much skill. While this project may seem like an advanced DIY project, it doesn’t require much experience.
When building your polytunnel, make sure you make it sturdy and durable. It’s important to get a sturdy frame and hoops and a polythene cover. If you damage your polytunnel, it’s best to repair it as soon as possible. The longer you leave it unfixed, the larger the problem will get.
Choosing the size
There are various factors to consider when choosing the size of your polytunnel. The largest consideration is the ventilation. If the tunnel isn’t properly ventilated, moisture can build up. The best polytunnels have ventilation which keeps the interior dry.
The layout of the polytunnel is another important factor. A typical layout involves a central pathway and plants placed along the sides of the polytunnel. This method works well for crops such as tomatoes, where the plants are spaced along the pathway. However, if you want to grow other crops, the space may not be sufficient.
Protecting crops from damage
Polytunnels are a great way to protect your crops from damage. They act like a greenhouse, and provide a warm, dry environment for plants. This can extend the growing season and increase the lifespan of your plants. Frosts can severely damage plants because they cause the water in their cell walls to freeze. This damage is evident in limp, blackened or distorted growth. Fortunately, polytunnels are extremely affordable and are a great way to protect your crops.
If you want to grow vegetables all year round, a polytunnel can help you. Plants that grow well in polytunnels need more organic matter in the soil. You can buy small polytunnels that are easier to set up. However, these structures can take a lot of time to assemble, so you may want to hire a professional to do it.
Adding covers to protect crops from voles
Voles are an especially persistent pest in polytunnels, which can damage your crops if not protected. To avoid this, use cayenne pepper to deter voles. Also, try keeping the doors open as much as possible during the summer to prevent the rodents from entering.
If you’re growing vegetables or fruit in polytunnels, you should consider buying some covers to keep voles out. You should also be able to grow a variety of crops without heating the polytunnel. However, if you’re growing exotic or tender plants, you’ll need to consider using heating to keep them warm. Alternatively, you can bring your plants indoors during the winter, though you’ll need to protect them from extreme temperature and drying.
Cleaning a polytunnel
If you are considering investing in a polytunnel, there are a number of things you need to consider before buying one. One of the most important considerations is the water source. It is vital to use clean water for your plants and seedlings. In order to prevent water from becoming discoloured, experts recommend using tap water for seedlings and plants. Another important consideration is to fit filters to your rainwater diverters. These can be as simple as old tights, which make for an effective filter. Finally, you should use tight-fitting lids to prevent soil and plant debris from entering the space.
If you’re thinking about replacing the polythene cover, you may be worried about the cost and the impact on the environment. Thankfully, there are some options that are less expensive and more environmentally friendly.