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« on: May 16, 2011, 18:24 »
I've treated myself to an 18ft x 12ft polytunnel. The frame goes up tomorrow and the polythene on the first warm, sunny, calm day. (Could be weeks away here in Cumbria!)

I've decided to have two raised beds running the length of the tunnel with a gravel path in between on top of a membrane sheet.

I'm already growing tomatoes in my 8ft x 6ft unheated glasshouse and am wondering what best to put in the tunnel when it's ready in late May. I intend to get very early and very late crops when it's fully established but what to put in now? It seems daft to fill it with stuff that'll equally well grow outside in early summer so I'm racking my brains as to how best to use it in May/June and July. Early thoughts include melons, squashes, sweetcorn and cucumbers. I also thought it might be good for celery (which gets ruined here by slugs on open ground)

Anyone have any thoughts here?




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Re: Polytunnel
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2011, 18:44 »
I reckon you've answered yourself already AlaninCarlisle. Your suggestions sound good to me.

We put up our polytunnel in Feb/March and i've been wondering how best to approach it this year.

One thing i've found is EVERYTHING does better in there so far!  I know its going to take a couple of years before i really get the hang of it and maximise its use.

I'm including a corner with herbs, most of which i have growing elsewhere in the garden with the hope i'll have them through the winter too. I've also put onions, shallots and garlic in there too, just for comparison (and i couldn't wait to plant out all the hot stuff toms, peppers, aubergines, sweet corn etc.)




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Re: Polytunnel
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2011, 18:46 »
Apart from tomatoes I put butternut squash in mine. They need a longer ripening period than you get outdoors and then they keep all winter. Also sow up some end of season stuff like peas & french beans ready to plant in it. They should keep cropping after the outdoor ones are done. Overwintering carrots, salads, spinach, parsley other herbs. Have not tried but mean to Christmas new potatoes.

Good luck



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Re: Polytunnel
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2011, 20:53 »
towards the end of July/August you need to start thinking about sowing your winter salads, pak choi etc.

Borrow from the Library/or buy Joy Larkcom's book Grow Your Own Vegetables, it has a lot of advice about growing undercover, especially winter veg/salads in a polytunnel and stuff for early crops



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Re: Polytunnel
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2011, 23:43 »
early brassicas is my tip . sow the seed in feb . plant out 2 / 4 weeks or so later ( depends on the size of the plants). we have caulis /cabbage we will be eating in about 4 weeks . we planted out late due to 12 weeks of severe  weather here  , if you know real hard frost is coming then cover the plants with a mini cloche ;) double insulation
still alive /............

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