Are cheap plastic greenhouses/polytunnels any good?

  • 7 Replies
  • 5692 Views
*

yorkiegal

  • Experienced Member
  • ***
  • Location: York
  • 264
Are cheap plastic greenhouses/polytunnels any good?
« on: April 24, 2012, 20:45 »
At the moment I just have one of those little 4 tier mini plastic greenhouses outside my kitchen door, which I'm using to harden off my plants. It gets quite warm but I can't fit much in.

A proper greenhouse is way beyond my budget at present so I was thinking of getting something similiar to this:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/4-5m-x-2m-Greenhouse-Garden-Alotment-Polytunnel-Bargain-/120723268772?pt=UK_Home_Garden_Garden_Structures_Fencing_CV&hash=item1c1baae4a4

hope it's ok to post that link. I'm not trying to sell or reccommend a product.  I thought it might be good to put it on my allotment and use it to put my toms and cucumbers etc in later in the year. Do these sort of greenhouses/polytunnels actually retain any warmth and is it ok to put a greenhouse heater in them or would I come back to a melted lump of plastic?

*

ilan

  • Experienced Member
  • ***
  • Location: Somerset where the cider apples grow
  • 396
Re: Are cheap plastic greenhouses/polytunnels any good?
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2012, 20:56 »
Whilst I have not used this particular polytunnel The biggest problem with them is the damage caused by wind , the covers tend to tear at the seams or the door , having said that if you can site it so the prevailing wind hits the non opening end and you dig it in a bit and hold it down with bricks  then its worth a go
This is the first age that has ever paid much attention to the future which is ironic since we may not have one !(Arthur c Clarke)

*

yorkiegal

  • Experienced Member
  • ***
  • Location: York
  • 264
Re: Are cheap plastic greenhouses/polytunnels any good?
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2012, 21:04 »
thanks. they have a choice between normal or galvanised poles so i think i'll probably pay a bit more for the stronger version. If I site it next to my plot neighbours big green house I can benefit from it's protection against wind lol. The whole site is surrounded by three storey flats which act as a very effective windbreak too.

*

Yorkie

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Yorkshire
  • 23708
Re: Are cheap plastic greenhouses/polytunnels any good?
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2012, 22:22 »
On your latter questions, I wouldn't put any form of heating in it and doubt it will keep in too much warmth .  You will need to make sure that it is very firmly weighted down too.
I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days all attack me at once...

*

allotmentann

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: California
  • 2076
Re: Are cheap plastic greenhouses/polytunnels any good?
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2012, 07:36 »
Someone I help out has used these, the first was the white framed one which blew away several times despite being weighted down with bricks and ground anchors and a nylon tensioning system, and only having the cover on in the summer. The last two times it buckled the frame, the second time fatally! They have now bought the ones with the galvanized frame - which are far, far stronger. They have also bought some mammoth ground anchors from a specialist company and tensioned the thing with bungee cord. We dug out foot deep trenches all round and buried the cover as deep as we could. Not had a winter yet, so can't really say whether they will weather the heavy winds, but they certainly seem to be holding up much better than the first one. I don't believe the frame will ever blow away as the ground anchors are amazing, but will be interested to see what happens with the cover, although you can buy replacement covers. They do get very, very warm. We have used cheap mini greenhouses inside these and have basil, tomatoes etc all going quite happily in there, even through the frosts. The frost did get some beans I had started that were not in the mini greenhouses so it will not keep plants protected from a severe frost. If you put in the groundwork to make sure you build and site the thing properly they are good value and do work. The alternative was a polytunnel which we worked out, for the equivalent amount of space, would be over 600 and far harder work (and they too need covers replacing at times). If the average life of a polytunnel is 10 years you would have to replace your cheap greenhouse completely once or twice every year for the same outlay.  So they are good value.

*

mumofstig

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Ashford, Kent
  • 49705
Re: Are cheap plastic greenhouses/polytunnels any good?
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2012, 09:32 »
My cover failed in it's second year  :(
Lesley x
I'm not good, I'm not bad - I'm just me, and sometimes I have to apologise for that ;)

*

mceuskadi

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Location: Crawley, W Sussex
  • 9
Re: Are cheap plastic greenhouses/polytunnels any good?
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2012, 11:56 »
bought a 5.6m x 2m x 2m 2 weeks ago.
the cover is ~20-40cm longer than the frame is, hence we decided to trench the lower part of the frame and the cover in. We burried the frame until the first horizontal support poles (approx 20cm deep) and put the cover straight vertically into a trench, then covered it with our heavy clayie soil. Now the cover sits tight and firm on the frame and I can't manage to lift off the frame from the ground. Let's see how long it will last.. At least our plot is in quite sheltered position therefore we have no strong winds on our plot.
With our model the cover was a bit to tight. It was really hard to fit it over the frame and make fit the way so you can close the door. Inside there are velcro straps to fix the cover to the frame. They aren't really strong, anyway having trenched in the ends of the cover 0,2m deep and 0,2m wide across the 2x 5.6m and 2x 2m sides, the cover is covered by around 1,200kg to the ground  :D - that should be enough to hold it down  :)     

BTW I bought the galvanised version, the poles make a quite good impression

*

yorkiegal

  • Experienced Member
  • ***
  • Location: York
  • 264
Re: Are cheap plastic greenhouses/polytunnels any good?
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2012, 14:38 »
cheers. i've bought it. the only downside is that they can only give a general delivery date of 2-3 days and charge you a 15 redelivery charge if you're not in when they arrive. But it's raining too much for me to get down to the plot anyway. We've been left quite a lot of large pieces of rubble which are heavy enough to keep it pinned down once we've dug a trench to sit it in too. I've overdone it with tomato plants so have enough to fill the damn thing anyway.



 

Page created in 0.512 seconds with 37 queries.

Powered by SMFPacks SEO Pro Mod |