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What material for mini polytunnel is best?

I want to grow winter salad leaves on my veg patch and thought a mini polytunnel (about 50cm high) would help protect the plants. But which type is best?  I have found clear plastic, fleece and netting options.

Does anyone have any advice about which type is best? Thanks! 


  • Depends on your location really.  Do you have harsh winters?  In which case, fleece or clear would be the better bet.  Nettiing is not really much use other than to keep insects off in early summer.  Yes, it will give you a bit of protection over winter but if green netting, it will also reduce the light.

    Also depends on which salad leaves you intend growing - some are hardier than others, some need more warmth, etc.

  • Thanks Philippa. I'm in south London so normally we don't have mad winters. Will fleece get soggy if it's wet and/or frozen regularly?

    I also wondered if getting plastic means that I'll be constantly watering by hand?

    Any advice?

  • I think I'd go for the clear plastic Amanda - if you set your plants out and the soil is damp ( not sodden ), the plastic will keep the soil moist enough at this time of year - usually !!  You will need to check tho - if you have exceptionally dry periods, you may need to water.  

    It depends on what the ground is like ( free draining, moisture retentive ? ), the size of the plants you put in the ground ( titchy or well rooted ? ) and exactly which plants you are doing.

    If you use plastic, just make sure that if you have some warm days ( you never know your luck ), that you "lift" the ends of your tunnel to ensure ventillation.

    Sorry if it all sounds a bit vague but if you are beginning in a new location, it is often a case of  suck it and see.

    I'm in the SW UK and whilst I can still have the hardier salads outside with no covering at this time of year, I also do troughs of salad in my cold GH which keep me going, more or less, until I get the spring stuff outside.

  • Brill - thanks for this. I'll try out a plastic one and see what happens....

    Looking forward to getting some fresh salad in the grim months - fingers crossed!

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