New to Polytunnel Growing

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bobbyt

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New to Polytunnel Growing
« on: June 01, 2023, 14:59 »
I'm getting terrible problem with rabbits that keep digging up my mewly planted seed beds as soon as they appear. I can put netting over them, but it's a pain to weed then. I'm growing mostly root veg there beetroot, parsnip, spring onion, carrot and lettuce. I'm hoping to get permission for either a 5 x 2 x 2 metre or a 3 x 2 x 2 polytunnel, which I'm hoping will stop the rabbits digging holes everywhere, the most annoying part is that the seedlings are just discarded on the side and dried up in the sun  >:( >:(

Are these suitable for growing my veg, would need to water more often I'm assuming? Also do I still need to follow my crop rotation scheme, and if so is it feasible for two people to move it every year without dismantling it. Another concern is how hot it will get in there in full sun, I obviously don't want to open the doorway to let the vermin in. Thanks for any advice you can give me at all, apart from the obvious one about exterminating the rabbits !  :)

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seashell

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Re: New to Polytunnel Growing
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2023, 16:02 »
Sorry can't help you with polytunnel but had experience with pesky rabbits.  They were eating everything in sight so we put in chicken wire around the whole perimeter, you have to put it down at least a foot to stop them digging under it and at least a foot high.  It definetely worked for us.  I suppose it would depend on how large your plot was.  Ours was not huge at about 3/4 acre so in the long run we found it cost effective  8)

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simon hughes

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Re: New to Polytunnel Growing
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2023, 06:59 »
You will defo have to open the doors in summer. They will likely stay open. You could use netting as a barrier tho.

Get the biggest one you can afford / fit. Not sure about crop rotation (I dont) but it takes more effort to rejuvenate the beds in a tunnel. They dont get any rain and keeping them alive is pretty hard work. Some people just grow in pots. I do in summer and then use the beds over winter.

And yes unfortunately poly tunnels need a lot of attention watering wise. And everything wise. Daily attention is the bare minimum in summer. Even though mine has an irrigation system that does the watering for me. Im still in there daily.

Still get one tho. You wont regret it. And as big as possible.

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Hortic

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Re: New to Polytunnel Growing
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2023, 11:08 »
I don't have a poly tunnel preferring a greenhouse but do know people with PTs. They get very hot, the heat can damage the soil, take lots of watering. Best for the semi-tropical plants like tomatoes, peppers, melons. There is the chance a determined rabbit could tunnel under a temporary PT as permanent fixtures have the sides dug into the ground. They usually don't fit into a rotation.
When rabbits showed up at our allotment the local fox took up the challenge to eliminate them and made quick work. As a friendly fox isn't always available, protecting your plot is the best option. Chicken wire buried at least a foot down all along your perimeter fence will deter digging in. Go online and google for more info.  Deterring badgers will use the same options. Have a look or ask someone to look for you.       

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bobbyt

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Re: New to Polytunnel Growing
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2023, 16:44 »
Thanks for all replies, I've since noticed a couple of gaps in my chicken wire fence around the perimeter, have now plugged them. The fence is about 3 ft high and thought rabbits could jump that, but apparently not, so hopefully plugging the gaps should sort it.......fingers crossed. Can't see any diggings under it either.

I'll still think about the PT, but it sounds like it needs a lot of attention, think I'll wait and see what happens this season, then decide. Thanks again for all inputs. Appreciated.

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grinling

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Re: New to Polytunnel Growing
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2023, 22:01 »
I grow tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and sweet corn in mine. Currently strawberries as well. Have grown melons and aubergine in the past.
I grow enough so i can freeze for winter use. I have 5 water butts at home and use them for the blueberries and the polytunnel. Over winter the butt closest has a hose so drains into polytunnel. water at the base of plants is best method I found.
Birds will also go for round lettuce and other tops of things.


 

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