Polytunnels

I am looking at buying a cheapish polytunnel for our garden. I do not want one any longer than 1.8 metres. It is just to grown some tomatoes etc for next year. Although the position of it is sheltered by a hedge I do need one that has strong plastic sheeting and does not tear with the first strong winds. Can anyone recommend any companies please? Maybe even one you bought off Amazon? Thanks in advance.

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  • scrogginscroggin Posts: 2,320

    Be aware that with the cheap ones the cover will only last a couple of years before they need replacing. Some are better than others but they all deteriorate.

    Personally I would save up for a small greenhouse or look out for a second hand one.

  • Thank you. I have looked at greenhouses but they I think are too permament for what I am looking for. I will keep looking but all our neighbours have plastic polytunnels...maybe for a reason I don't know?? I think too that polytunnels will not last as well but they are so much cheaper and the ones I have seen locally have the plastic fitted really tightly and surprisingly look really sturdy.

  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 2,500

    I'll send you a private message with a company that I got mine from - not sure I'm allowed to do that on the forum. I have a small (6" x 8") polytunnel - or walk in cloche as a friend rather unkindly called it - because I'd have to buy a super-duper top of the range greenhouse for it to survive our very windy site and I didn't want to wait the 10 years it's likely to take me to save enough for that before I could make a start on growing tomatoes and cucumbers.

    2 things

    The best wind protection comes from building the tunnel the old fashioned (hard) way, digging a foot deep trench all the way around and burying the plastic rather than the quicker and easier ground rails, which are more prone to tearing. I'd advise hiring a mini-digger if you build it yourself.

    And I've not had huge success growing tomatoes in it, compared to people I see with greenhouses. I think probably the higher humidity is a problem or it may be the temperature is harder to keep steady in a small polytunnel (a bigger one probably works better). But I do get some and the cucumbers are marvellous and I grow salads and the like for over-wintering.

    The covers last about 5 years before they become to cloudy and the light level begins to diminish. It's not all that expensive to replace them though, so worth investing in a decent frame.

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time
    Sir Terry Pratchett
  • Ok thank you. So it sounds like a greenhouse I need then! I need something low maintenance and I also live on a windy site so have to bear in mind that greenhouses really haven't last well from previous experience.  Having neighbours with small polytunnels I presumes this may be more forgiving. It may be cheaper replacing plastic sheeting then glass during the winter period??

  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 2,500

    Well my neighbours - who are further down the hill so less exposed - had a greenhouse. Quite a lot of it is still in our hedge. If you do get one you'll need one that has proper full glazing bars rather than 'clips' to hold the glass/polycarbonate. Our polytunnel survived the same storms unscathed so my very rudimentary sample suggests a cheap polytunnel will stand up better than a cheap greenhouse.

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time
    Sir Terry Pratchett
  • Thanks for the PM image. I have looked at the website. They are a little more than I want to pay although look well made. There are some cheaper ones around with good write ups but them presume they may not of had to withstand a mistral wind. I am also not sure then that any warranty will stand up to "weather" conditions in their Ts and Cs. The extras also may mount up to be quite costly??

    Last edited: 13 September 2016 13:22:25

  • Are polytunnels any good in the winter for storing herbs etc and still for winter growing?

  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 2,500

    Yes. You might need to put fleece over tender plants in really cold weather. I use cloche frames over the beds inside the polytunnel and drape fleece over if there's a really hard frost expected. Dahlia tubers all survived in pots the last few winters. I grow pak choi, winter salads and spinach and chard in the tunnel every year and I usually start broad beans and peas in pots in the tunnel over winter to plant out early in spring. I also grow parsley and oregano both of which grow happily in there all winter

    Last edited: 16 September 2016 17:33:16

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time
    Sir Terry Pratchett
  • Thanks for the details. Polytunnels look well made but delivery to France was eye watering. I have just lifted myself off of the floor. £390.... I kid you not! I thought initially that was the price including the polytunnel. Are they for real?

  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 2,500

    Wow image

    I didn't know you're in France. Surely there are French suppliers?

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time
    Sir Terry Pratchett
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