Poly tunnel?

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snowdrops

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Poly tunnel?
« on: January 01, 2018, 14:57 »
As the title suggests Iím interested in having a poly tunnel, Iíve read Johnís articles & his blog but Iím still not sure if itís for me. I think it is but itís a major investment if I donít use it to get to full capacity. Plus what size etc, construction,ventilation,irrigation.
Itís to go on the allotment, Iíve got 2 half plots side by side. The site is on a slight slope running left to right as you look at my 2 plots from the main path, the complete size is approx 66 ft x 44 ft wide.

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snowdrops

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Re: Poly tunnel?
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2018, 15:03 »
Hereís a photo of my main plan, so where to place it, the rectangle in the top left corner is the fruit cage & what is labelled muck is the posh new compost bin, the compost area is now a flower bed & the shed 2 is now a bigger 8x10 shed.
5DCB0C82-2D58-47E2-AA4B-65B602E89C7E.jpeg

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Nikkithefoot

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Re: Poly tunnel?
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2018, 16:31 »
I have invested in a 20ft x 10ft poly tunnel from First Tunnels and have to say its one of the best gardening related items I have ever got, much more productive year round than my greenhouses ever were. BUT mine is at home in my garden. I'm not sure I would have got it if it was to go on my plot due to the risk of vandalism.
A chap on my site has one of the small green walk in type poly tunnels which he erects each spring and removes over winter. He has had to use caravan awning webbing lines to hold it in place due to the winds we get, but it has survived and he does get good tomatoes from it.
I was put on this earth to accomplish a certain number of things; right now I am so far behind I will never die.

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snowdrops

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Re: Poly tunnel?
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2018, 16:49 »
Thanks Nikki, I think it would be safe on our site,itís all fenced in etc(famous last words!)

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Plot 1 Problems

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Re: Poly tunnel?
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2018, 22:00 »
I trialed a really cheap one last year as test to see how productive it was and it was so good I'm building a 5m by 3m one this year on my plot. I had radishes, carrots, spinach and coriander in the ground before March and they were ready just in time for the Toms, Chillies, etc to go in. I even had some 1st earlies in ground in February and got a modest harvest at the start of May.
They're an excellent season extender and of course allow for more exotic heat loving plants and virtually rid you of the risk of blight on your toms :D

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sunshineband

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Re: Poly tunnel?
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2018, 13:31 »
We have a 6m by 3m one from Crocodile Trading:

6m x 3m Pro+ Polytunnel | Strongest In It's Class | Crocodile Trading

The frame is very robust and there is a door at each end, one hinged, one zipped, which we wanted to adequate ventilation. Mesh windows low down each side too.

Inside there are two beds the length of the tunnel with a central path. Here is a pic from November so you can see it. This works well for us as we can divide widthways into four beds for rotating crops.
We like it so much we are buying another one soon!

This year we grew tomatoes, cucumbers, aubergines, chillies and sweet peppers through the Summer and have overwintering perpetual spinach, mustard, Japanese mustard greens mizuna, lettuce, florence fennel & spring onions and will be sowing early carrots, radishes, beetroot etc end of Feb if the ground is warm enough. Excellent for strawberries grown in window boxes on staging too!!

It runs roughly N to S and sideways to the prevailing wind, (which is what we were advised by the suppliers) and the shadow from it does not fall across the whole plot in the Winter

P1180720.JPG
« Last Edit: January 02, 2018, 13:37 by sunshineband »
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Link to my blog: www.alittlebitofsunshine.co.uk

Link to my diary:   http://chat.allotment-garden.org/index.php?topic=111682.0:
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Plot94

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Re: Poly tunnel?
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2018, 14:03 »
Have you tried ebay? I bought a 10m x 3m tunnel about 3 years ago for £96. It was a full days work getting it dismantled and another day to put back up but has been absolutely the best thing I have done on the plot. I get to grow all year round, still picking chillies, cabbage, Kohl rabi etc and it remains largely weed free.
In fact I have recently purchased another one, also on ebay, for £50, a bit smaller (8m x 2.4), because of the unqualified success of the first.

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snowdrops

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Re: Poly tunnel?
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2018, 17:00 »
Sunny thank you, how long are you expecting the cover to last? What made you choose from there & can I ask why youíve decided on 2 over 1 bigger?
Plot 94, thatís a thought but the transport could become a problem, but not insurmountable.
Plot 1, Iím sure hubby could build me 1 but heís got so much on his plate at the moment I just feel like I might be better with a purpose made 1 for ease really

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sunshineband

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Re: Poly tunnel?
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2018, 15:42 »
Sunny thank you, how long are you expecting the cover to last? What made you choose from there & can I ask why youíve decided on 2 over 1 bigger?
Plot 94, thatís a thought but the transport could become a problem, but not insurmountable.
Plot 1, Iím sure hubby could build me 1 but heís got so much on his plate at the moment I just feel like I might be better with a purpose made 1 for ease really

The cover on our previous small one lasted six years before it was beyond repair but this one, being very exposed, I'm thinking three or four. A new cover costs £60 at the moment

As for why two rather than one... well, 6m was the longest we could afford and I was unsure about how easy it would be to manage, but it has been very easy. We left space for a second one in line with the first, and th idea is that the two zip-doors will face each other with only a smallish space between them, that we hope to cover with debris netting so we can leave those open, and the two main doors closed when we are not there. It will help keep the temps down in hot weather but keep birds and passing rodents out. They can still be zipped closed separately if needed. PT1 has overwintering mustards and perpetual spinach, spring onions and mizuna right now, which will be joined by early peas, mangetout (followed by sweetcorn), potatoes, beetroot, carrots, seed sown-onion plants, melons, strawberries on staging in window boxes and PT2 will have the tomatoes, chillies, peppers and cues like PT1 did this Summer past. Gives plenty of space for rotations from year to year like this.

Sorry, I seem to have gone on a bit, but it has been a big decision for us, and must be for you too.

We have run a hose from our borehole tap so watering has been a cinch. The supply is turned off in the Winter so the pumps don't freeze so we have two large water butts in PT1.

Hope that helps  :D :D

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rowlandwells

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Re: Poly tunnel?
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2018, 13:46 »
we to decided to buy a small green poly tunnel a bit concerned that it mite get damaged by the winds so we will be putting a scaffold net over it bracing it to the ground hopefully to erect the poly tunnel in the  spring

we already have larger poly tunnels at the house with clear plastic that have lasted several years now without any wind damage with the same idea but having said all that  two green poly tunnels down the allotments someone has bought and erected this year are still standing no wind damage no extra bracings still look perfect

I have to say  I wouldn't be without our tunnels a very good investment


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adri

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Re: Poly tunnel?
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2018, 22:03 »
I've a 54ft by 14ft one made by premier polytunnels.  no connection to me but it's good.  Don't skimp on the cover.

Love my tunnel and it's really productive.  Grapes, Peaches, Tomatoes, Masses of Cukes (we give loads of  them away or end up composting) all in the very short season here in the high peak district.

Now all I need is some neat way of DIY hydroponics and to banish the slugs and we'd be set.

Go for it!!!
Peak Hives

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RichardA

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Re: Poly tunnel?
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2018, 19:13 »
my happy acre is at home so easier for me. I have had a 30 by 14 foot tunnel from First Tunnels for 10 years and it is superb. I have to move it as we are building a bungalow but I am not only moving and recovering it but also adding a second 25 by 14 foot polytunnel again from First Tunnels. They have been brilliant to deal with. The tunnel not only extends the season allowing early spring gardening but also later autumn cropping but has acted as a superb store and workshop this winter as I have dismantled sheds and moved plants etc. I cannot see myself ever gardening without one and am looking forward to now having two on the go -- no more compromising between sweet potatoes or more tomatoes or can I spare room for strawberries or early asparagus etc. Best of luck with your new venture.
R

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snowdrops

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Re: Poly tunnel?
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2018, 19:19 »
Lovely advice thank you everyone. Just need to consider it all a bit more before I finally decide

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Dev

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Re: Poly tunnel?
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2018, 22:41 »
I would give my eye teeth for a poly tunnel, but gardening on an allotment with a public right of way alongside it, even though we now have a good fence, is asking for some kind soul with a Stanley knife to come and slit the cover. I have had greenhouse glass broken by kids throwing stones from beyond the fence so I think it would be tempting fate to buy one. Mind you, if Plot94 can buy one on eBay for that price it might be worth a rethink!



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