Polytunnels are useful for growing many different types of vegetables and fruits. They are often heated, making them more comfortable for growing in than the temperature outdoors. However, larger polytunnels require a foundation and are often prone to drought.
Larger polytunnels require a foundation
Larger polytunnels require specialized support to stand upright, so a foundation is necessary. A foundation is essential to keep a polytunnel stable even in strong winds. Often, you can use concrete for the foundation and door frame to ensure that the tunnel stays in place. Polytunnels are a great way to grow crops in cool climates, but if you want to maximize their longevity, you’ll need to build a foundation.
To build a foundation, first level the ground on which you’re building. This means clearing a flat spot, and ensuring that the ground is level from side to side. The ground should be level at least six inches from the edge of the polytunnel. If the ground is sloped from end to end, the foundation tubes can be driven in further to compensate for the slope, while the low side should leave the tubes protruding more.
They get warmer than the outside temperatures
Polytunnels are heated by circulating air in the inside. These warm temperatures help your plants survive harsh weather conditions. However, it is important to be aware of a few things before installing one. First, it is important to make sure the structure is secure. Overcrowding can cause problems with air movement and make your plants more susceptible to diseases. A good ventilation system is essential to prevent this problem. Depending on the size of your polytunnel, you can either use a side vent or a door.
Another important feature of polytunnels is their ability to control the temperature. Most plants prefer a temperature of 26 to 30 degrees Celsius, but if there is a strong sun, the temperature can rise well above this. However, too much heat can slow down the germination process, cause disease, and prevent photosynthesis. In extreme cases, overheating can kill plants.
They can be prone to drought
Polytunnels are susceptible to drought, and you need to prepare for this during the summer months. The first step in preparing for drought is to collect and store rainwater. Then, you should mulch your polytunnel with organic matter to make it more resistant to dry weather.
The dry matter content in polytunnels differs from the dry matter content of soil in the surrounding fields. The maximum dry matter content is 17%. Therefore, cowpats from cows exposed to polytunnels tend to contain a higher percentage of E. coli. This is consistent throughout the seasons, but the time of year affects the amount of E. coli in the cowpats. During the summer, cowpat mass declines more than during the winter months.
They require a foundation
To install a polytunnel on uneven ground, you need to first prepare the area. Clear away any weeds or rocks, and level the area. Next, use the appropriate foundation tubes, six feet long and four inches apart. You can use scaffolding poles or water pipe mains as foundation tubes. Drive them into the ground three feet deep and check for level with a spirit level.
If you are planning to install a larger polytunnel, you will need a stronger foundation to prevent swaying. A foundation will also help keep the tunnel in place in strong winds. You can also use concrete to secure the tunnel’s door frames. Polytunnels are excellent for growing crops, even in cold climates.
They are prone to pests
Aphids are a major problem in polytunnels and you need to take steps to control them. Aphids are attracted to plants that are not in good health, so it’s important to take the right measures to keep the pests at bay. The best way to do this is to create a healthy ecosystem with the right nutrients. This will also help the plants resist disease and pests.
The first step to take is to control the aphids. Aphids love the moist, nutrient-rich conditions found in polytunnels. You can easily control them with ready-made sprays from garden centres, DIY stores, and supermarkets.
They require more upkeep than greenhouses
Despite their differences, greenhouses and polytunnels have their advantages and disadvantages. Greenhouses are generally stronger and more durable than polytunnels, which can be vulnerable to wind damage and errant branches. However, polytunnels are much easier to maintain. Polytunnels are also more cost-effective.
Another advantage of polytunnels is that you can expand or make additions. Unlike greenhouses, polytunnels can be easily moved from one location to another, which makes them ideal for people who know that their plans may change over time. If you are just beginning your gardening adventure, polytunnels will make your life easier and will allow you to experiment with different crops and locations.