Polytunnel vs greenhouse.

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Kate and her Ducks

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Polytunnel vs greenhouse.
« on: November 10, 2012, 17:49 »
I have never grown under cover before so a complete beginner from that point of view and was wondering about the difference between the 2 and which to go for in the little area we have put aside for a polytunnel or greenhouse (about 10x15 feet).

What are the pros and cons of each?

Which would you go for pretending that money is no object and in the real world?

Is the ideal to have one of each?
« Last Edit: November 10, 2012, 17:50 by Kate and her Ducks »
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mumofstig

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Re: Polytunnel vs greenhouse.
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2012, 18:17 »
If you can get a greenhouse of that size then I would  :)
I always think that you can grow everything in a greenhouse that you can in the polytunnel, but that a polytunnel can't replace a greenhouse............
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AlaninCarlisle

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Re: Polytunnel vs greenhouse.
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2012, 19:57 »
I have a 10ft x 18ft polytunnel and a 6ft x 8ft greenhouse. The greenhouse would cost maybe 500 to replace and so far it's lasted 32 years and is probably good for another 30 years. The polytunnel cost me 800 two years ago and will need re-covering at a cost of 300 in about 7 years so at today's prices it's going to cost 1700 if It stays as long as the greenhouse.

So doing the arithmetic on a 30 year life-cycle, the costs per square foot are similar.

However, the greenhouse is infinitely more attractive to look at, so if as you suggest, capital cost isn't an issue, go for the greenhouse

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Kate and her Ducks

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Re: Polytunnel vs greenhouse.
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2012, 20:02 »
Thanks. Certainly something to think about. I certainly prefer the look of a greenhouse so will just have to save up a few more pennies I think.

Any votes for the polytunnel?

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griff

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Re: Polytunnel vs greenhouse.
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2012, 15:35 »
I have greenhouse and polytunnel, went into the polytunnel yesterday and the condensation was unbelievable. The windows were closed because of the high winds, so my question is will the condensation rot the polytunnel.  Sounds a bit like the chicken and egg story  So do i leave window open or closed.  Winds or condensation

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arugula

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Re: Polytunnel vs greenhouse.
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2012, 15:50 »
We have a small homebuilt polytunnel, due to cost at the time of building and it still does its job, but we are now seriously thinking of adding a greenhouse as we find there are growing restrictions from the polytunnel plastic being opaque and we feel tomatoes, for one, would do much better (here) in a greenhouse.

So if we were doing this again and there would have to be a lot of space, I think we'd have one or more large polytunnel, something like minimum 40 x 20 feet, for early/late and more "exotic" growing and a good old greenhouse for tomatoes, peppers and chillis.

Hope this helps. :)
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shokkyy

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Re: Polytunnel vs greenhouse.
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2012, 18:38 »
I bought one of the cheapy tunnels from ebay and I have to say I love it to bits. It was very cheap and the cover will need regular replacing. The fabric itself is fine, but the fixtures on it (tabs to hold up ventilation windows, zip on door) have very quickly deteriorated in the weather. But covers aren't expensive and the tunnel gave me 3X6 metres of growing space, which is a very good big area, enough to give me 4 big raised beds and a nice big potting bench/staging at one end. I've had it for 18 months and have done very well growing stuff in it. And all for a cost of just 175. Even if I replace the cover every year, it's still cheap, and the frame itself is very sturdy and strong. There's no way I could have afforded a greenhouse big enough to give me all that growing space, and I quite like the fact that it's not permanently sited and I can move it around if I want to.

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sunshineband

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Re: Polytunnel vs greenhouse.
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2012, 18:48 »
Overall I think greenhouses are easier to keep at a steadier temperature and ventilation, give better light transmission and are more straight forward to insulate in winter.

Large greenhouses are really pricy and so then polytunnels come into their own I think.

We have a greenhouse at home - now 25 yrs old and had the occasional pane of glass replaced -  and a mini polytunnel at the plot - two years old and the cover might do another year.

Digging in the cover for a large polytunnel is d@mn hard work too  ??? (ours is quite small 3m x2m)

If money were no object I would have a large glasshouse over a polytunnel any day, but ......

.... money is usually a consideration isn't it?
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Kate and her Ducks

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Re: Polytunnel vs greenhouse.
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2012, 21:04 »
Isn't it just, especially as we have just moved house which seems to absorb twice as much money as you ever think it is going to!

Will have to have a good look round and save up either way. No rush to do either before next spring.

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John

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Re: Polytunnel vs greenhouse.
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2012, 00:54 »
I'm going for both - the greenhouse is better for tomatoes and for starting things in spring but the tunnel should be less extreme in summer. I'm planning on beans and sweetcorn in the tunnel, amongst other things

Our greenhouse is 14x8 (assuming it's still here next week with the storms) and the polytunnel will be 14x25. I did notice that a 14x50 was only half as much again.

I'd strongly recommend toughened glass for greenhouses, especially if they're at all exposed. More wind resistant.. even the pane that blew out survived a 20' flight. However, since it blew again and we can't find it (going to search again tomorrow) it's 50 to replace!

Anti fog coating is useful on polytunnels to help with condensation.

Incidentally, my wonderwall was a brilliant environment for brassicas.

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