Buying a polytunnel

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sally10

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Buying a polytunnel
« on: February 23, 2011, 16:52 »
Hi,
Like a few people on here I have only had my allotment for a few months. Last year I only grew beans and peas as I needed to do a lot of work and my first aim was to get my chickens settled in.

I am putting raised beds in but like the idea of a polytunnel to stand up in to start things off.

I see the benefits of sowing from seed  as cheaper than buying plants.
Being able to grow a few bits in winter.

Any more benefits ?

Is a polytunnel better than a green house ? And can anyone recommend good ones to buy that are reasonably priced ?

Thanks
 ::)

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JayG

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Re: Buying a polytunnel
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2011, 17:06 »
For me one of the main advantages is being able to grow plants which are either a bit marginal or a virtual no-no outdoors in a typical British summer, (and of course Lancashire, like Sheffield, is not exactly in the balmy south!)

Can't grow all the heat-loving stuff in the house (even though I don't have an OH to complain!) so chillies, peppers, greenhouse cucumbers, cordon tomatoes and melons will all be on this year's greenhouse agenda!

In more general terms, it enables you to extend the useful growing season by around a month at each end of the summer, which is pretty useful in our rather northerly climate.
Sow your seeds, plant your plants. What's the difference? A couple of weeks or more when answering possible queries!

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mumofstig

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Re: Buying a polytunnel
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2011, 18:37 »
I thoroughly agree that it is worth investing in protected growing space, for the gardener as well as the plants :D
IMO good small polytunnels are as expensive as greenhouses, specially if you can find offers on the at the DIY sheds. That's how I got mine for £169 just before Christmas ;)

most of us on here agree that the sort of polytunnels that you buy cheaply only last about a year or 2 at best.
Lesley x
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sally10

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Re: Buying a polytunnel
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2011, 18:52 »
That's great thanks for your help xx

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Kristen

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Re: Buying a polytunnel
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2011, 08:55 »
I see the benefits of sowing from seed  as cheaper than buying plants.
Being able to grow a few bits in winter.

Any more benefits ?

If you don't mine the faff of raising plants, rather than sowing direct, I think there are some benefits:

Plants are reasonable size when planted out. The weeds are always one step behind (compared to direct sowing)

Earlier crop if you can start tender things off a bit early

Exact numbers, no gaps in the rows. I start 4 Cauliflowers off each fortnight, and half a dozen lettuce. (No neat rows here though ... looks like a patchwork quilt!)

Downside is Faff (time, plus you need a supply of pots, and have to be around to water the "babies") and some cost (multi purpose compost - but that does get added to the soil via the rootballs, so I justify it as "soil conditioning")

Quote
Is a polytunnel better than a green house ? And can anyone recommend good ones to buy that are reasonably priced ?

I prefer a glass house - but they are hideously expensive by comparison.  Mine came off eBay, second hand, and were cheaper than a new same-size polytunnel would have been - they come up on Freecycle too.

You allotment may have a policy on no-glass, or no-plastic for that matter ... glasshouses that fall down / yobs chuck stones though, are a nightmare of glass chards for future allotment owners, and abandoned plastic that has deteriorated into small pieces is not very pleasant either.

Only downside is the need to attend it regularly - watering plants, and opening in the morning to let air in, and closing at night (you can have automatic openers for Glasshouse vents - and you can rig up unattended drip irrigation for either) - that's obviously easier if the greenhouse is in your garden, or the Lotti is not far away - and if you don't go away a lot!

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japagow

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Re: Buying a polytunnel
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2011, 20:27 »
I am in the process of making my own polytunnel and I am looking forward to growing peppers, tomatoes and chilli etc ( see the thread 'Is my heated propogator working?' to see how far I've got!

I have thick water pipes that you can drill holes into - old ones from the garden centre-15 foot long hooped into steel poles - from an old steel rotary drier-with ridge poles- steel rods from a skip- to secure the structure which is 10 foot by 7 foot and 6 foot high.

The plastic sheeting, which is 'anti mist proof' and stops condesnation dripping onto the foliage below(!), cost me £67 inc postage from First Tunnel on the internet. Just plug in your measurements and it calculates the sheet size for you. Mine was 7m square.

Total cost so far is therefore £67.00.

I might get an Autopot watering system because I like the idea of  filling up a 15 litre water tank and walking away- hopefully. It costs £39.

It won't fall down in theory.  I can extend the seasons and grow proper peppers cucumbers and tomatoes with a semi proper poly tunnel at a cheap price.






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sally10

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Re: Buying a polytunnel
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2011, 10:06 »
Thanks japagow and kristen for that it's really useful ! I wouldn't have a problem with the watering as the allotment gets visited two or three times a day it's just across the road from the house and I have chickens there so they are visited to be let out etc xxx
I'm thinking that a greenhouse might be better and might be more sturdy and last longer !
I do like the idea of starting things off indoors first hopefully I will be able to get a greenhouse soon xx
Thanks xx

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Paul Canning

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Re: Buying a polytunnel
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2011, 18:04 »
I have to say Ive been a great supporter of the ebay polytunnel route due to the size and cost vs even a standard greenhouse.

My arguement is that (if you choose the right ebayer) then even if it lasted 12 months, you could buy one a year for 6 years before you are near to the price of a glass greenhouse.

However, and I am still a supporter of the polytunnel route, we did manage to get a greenhouse for free from freecycle recently though I still need to get it up and replace some glass so the money we were going to go on the poly will now go on this.

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japagow

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Re: Buying a polytunnel
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2011, 18:43 »
Sally 10.

The allotment, veg growing bug is addictive.

Within any association there are  the noble SAOPRA (- skip-and-other peoples-rubbish-awareness-) clans. Dedicated hunters. 

You will discover if you haven't already, that several houses in your locality have got old greenhouses/sheds standing idle in their gardens. Skips full of interesting bits of wood, guttering and useful steel rods are about to make themselves known to you.


Manifest the SAOPRA vision by saying after me.

I want a greenhouse for free, I want a greenhouse for free, I want a greenhouse for free
and  one will be made available to you.

You can't fight it. Join us. We are everywhere.


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Paul Canning

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Re: Buying a polytunnel
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2011, 12:27 »
LOL

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stompy

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Re: Buying a polytunnel
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2011, 11:52 »
I got my 6ft x 8ft greenhouse for £10 from a friend of a friend.
The advice i would give is go looking around peoples gardens (from the road) and if you see a greenhouse in their garden go and give them a knock and ask if they still use it.
You find that if they don't and you ask and offer to dismantle and take it away they only ask a few quid for it.
I know of 6 people on my old site that did this and got one very cheap.

A little bit of cheek can sometimes get you what you want!!
« Last Edit: March 07, 2011, 11:54 by stompy »



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