Polytunnel or Greenhouse

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ches

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Polytunnel or Greenhouse
« on: July 01, 2019, 11:48 »
This question has probably been asked a million times before so i apologies if i'm repeating history.

We have a polytunnel that was inherited from the previous owner of the plot. Its probably older than me, its in an awful state, and a lot bigger than what we need, but....at the moment, it serves a purpose.

I plan to pull it down over winter and replace it....i'm not sure what to go with though. A smaller polytunnel or a greenhouse? I'll be using it for tomatoes, peppers and chillies along with the obvious starting of seed.

Any advice or recommendation will be greatly appreciated. (funds are low as usual so i'd be looking for low cost)
Thanks
Ches

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RichardA

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Re: Polytunnel or Greenhouse
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2019, 17:11 »
Hi Ches, my apologies if any of my thoughts below don't help, that is perhaps because my circumstances are different to yours but I did read your question carefully, believe me. I have my veg garden at home, fairly large plot and also a need for bedding plants and baskets. I grow toms, cues, peppers and chillis as well as sweet potato, salad stuff, early courgettes, dwarf beans etc in the polytunnel. In fact I have two both 14 by 25 foot and because I have built on some of my garden recently and I am getting older and want to get ahead and behind the season and the weather I think my main food production will be in the tunnels. BUT BUT BUT and it is a big but I also like to start my own plants and bedding plants etc from seed and the tunnels are no use for this earliest part of the season. I am in process of reassembling my glass greenhouse (after the building work) and will re-instate my home made propagators (because I am at home I have power and security and can water and fuss about every day).The greenhouse is great for bringing plants on, starting pots and baskets and getting such stuff as beans and pumpkins and sweet corn ready safe from frost early than in open ground. Am I making sense ??? I guess I am saying polytunnels let you grow bigger stuff and let you start early and carry on late for many crops (I am also storing logs in one) but for early work on seedlings etc a greenhouse is needed.
Perhaps that is something you have already decided for your situation.
Enjoy.
R
p.s golden rule of greenhouses and polytunnels - it is never big enough!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
pps, You can't paint fences or cut up pallets and logs in the winter in a greenhouse but you can in a tunnel.

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ches

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Re: Polytunnel or Greenhouse
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2019, 17:16 »
Thanks Richard. Your comments really help. I also plan on starting my bedding plants from seed. The reason I say the tunnel is too big is because my plot is currently a half size plot and the tunnel take up half of it so I do need a bit more ground space for beds.

Thanks.

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RichardA

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Re: Polytunnel or Greenhouse
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2019, 18:43 »
could you EITHER use greenhouse for seedling work and then make giant cloches (poly or fleece) over beds for early protection and lengthening autumn season incl outside toms, courgettes, beans etc OR do your seedling work elsewhere and progressively bring to plot with temporary cold frames or cloches. If you do go for a tunnel get as much of the season out of it as you can -- for example I start spring cabbage seedlings in greenhouse or cold frame and then put them in any spare space in tunnel in winter, ditto kale, caulis, even very late or very early peas/beans. Sometimes I get it wrong and have to throw stuff out to make room and this year some seedlings came just too well too early and ended up lanky and soft. All part of the gardening game I guess.
Best of luck
R

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ches

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Re: Polytunnel or Greenhouse
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2019, 18:52 »
could you EITHER use greenhouse for seedling work and then make giant cloches (poly or fleece) over beds for early protection and lengthening autumn season incl outside toms, courgettes, beans etc OR do your seedling work elsewhere and progressively bring to plot with temporary cold frames or cloches. If you do go for a tunnel get as much of the season out of it as you can -- for example I start spring cabbage seedlings in greenhouse or cold frame and then put them in any spare space in tunnel in winter, ditto kale, caulis, even very late or very early peas/beans. Sometimes I get it wrong and have to throw stuff out to make room and this year some seedlings came just too well too early and ended up lanky and soft. All part of the gardening game I guess.
Best of luck
R

Thank you for your advice and comments

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sunshineband

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Re: Polytunnel or Greenhouse
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2019, 08:38 »
Richard kind of sums up what I do too really. I can honestly say that the polytunnels I have (two 3m by 6m, with the space between of 1m joined by a mesh cover in the Summer, closed off with a door in the colder months) have transformed what I can grow and when, with fresh food all year round. They are unheated and our site is incredibly windy but stood up well to this. The cover reduces the intensity of the sun too, so no other shading required.
The greenhouse at home is frost free and great for sowing and bringing on crops to plant both in the tunnel and outside

Works very well indeed for me and is very productive !!
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