Polytunnel revisited

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Green Aura
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Polytunnel revisited

Post: # 257994Post Green Aura
Fri Apr 06, 2012 2:49 pm

Our polytunnel was out of action last year as the cover ripped badly in the wind and eventually blew off.

Thanks to veggieman's inspiration we've recovered it with something (hopefully) more substantial. It cost a bloody fortune but should last us 20 years, if all goes to plan :roll: We still need to erect a windbreak to give it extra protection but we'll hopefully get some tomatoes this year.

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Maggie

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Re: Polytunnel revisited

Post: # 257996Post Odsox
Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:11 pm

Wow that looks the bees knees Maggie, you must be proud of that and itching to get in there and plant it up.
I will have to try even harder to get my veggies looking good as I have some impressive competition now.

You'll be growing all sorts of exotic (or is it erotic) plants now. :lol:
Tony

Disclaimer: I almost certainly haven't a clue what I'm talking about.

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Re: Polytunnel revisited

Post: # 258000Post Green Aura
Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:37 pm

12 month tomatoes? :tongue: :lol:
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

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Re: Polytunnel revisited

Post: # 258012Post Odsox
Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:24 pm

Tony

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Re: Polytunnel revisited

Post: # 258108Post hedgewizard
Sun Apr 08, 2012 7:50 am

Holy schmoley that's nearly a Keder House!
http://www.farminmypocket.co.uk - polytunnel offers, reviews, and more self-sufficiency information than you can shake a chicken at

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Re: Polytunnel revisited

Post: # 258118Post Green Aura
Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:37 am

I'm hoping it'll be a lot stronger than a Keder house HW! It's covered with twinwall polycarbonate and we built all the wooden support structure, onto the existing galvanised 35mm hoops, which are buried 18".

If this thing shifts I'm packing in gardening! For good. :lol:
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

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Re: Polytunnel revisited

Post: # 258621Post Christian
Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:39 pm

It looks amazing and will probably heat up quicker than plastic sheeting!
Well done! :icon_smile:
Who says I have a short attention spa.....oh look, a chicken!

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Re: Polytunnel revisited

Post: # 258719Post Millymollymandy
Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:38 am

Looks great Maggie. :thumbright:
boboff wrote:Oh and just for MMM, :hugish: (thanks)
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Re: Polytunnel revisited

Post: # 258743Post oldjerry
Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:08 pm

For what it's worth Maggie,I've done quite alot of stuff on windbreaking.In truth there's probably book in it.Tell me if you're interested.

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Re: Polytunnel revisited

Post: # 258748Post Green Aura
Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:00 pm

Any advice would be appreciated OJ.
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

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Re: Polytunnel revisited

Post: # 258762Post oldjerry
Tue Apr 17, 2012 6:13 am

I 've been lookingfor this thing I wrote 12yrs ago,but it could be packed up anywhere,but a few bits from memory,and please excuse me if I start with the bleedin'obvious..

You want to BREAK the wind not stop it ,so a solid barrier is worse than useless(eddies etc).We did a lot of work concerning the height\ effective distance etc and we found that about 4-5X was the optimum obviously the top should not be level if possible.
So if the top of your tunnel is say 10ft high,your windbreak would want to be about the same height and 30ft or so from the tunnel.

The black plastic stuff from horticultural wholesalers has a life on a serious coastal site of 5-8 years,so plenty of time to grow a decent wind break behind.Here,adjust as necessary:
Outside of windbreak always Tamarisk (much hardier than you think,and as you know coastal we shouldn't be talking massive frosts.
Next layer,Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae Rhamnoides)closely interplanted with the unusual but very effective Olearia Traversii.
Inner layer,Eleagnus Ebbingei or even Common Privet or Blackthorn.
I've planted this mix(the inner planting can be adjusted if want) in a few VERY exposed positions and it's been OK.

Obviously ,usual black membrane plant through etc.etc.

Hope this is of use to someone..BW

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Re: Polytunnel revisited

Post: # 258788Post greenorelse
Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:19 pm

Green Aura wrote:Image
Well done. It's a bit neater than ours:

Image

One problem is insects (earwigs, slugs etc) crawling into the 'tubes' in the polycarbonate.

We're growing willow as a windbreak for it.

Here's the inside last year, with the toms:

Image
Image
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Re: Polytunnel revisited

Post: # 258804Post Green Aura
Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:40 pm

Fabulous - I'm jealous at the size, we only had room for a 10'x15'. I'll post pics of the interior when it's finished. We replaced the solar panel (5W) on the heat sink, which got damaged by the wind, and the tunnel is now warming up nicely.

Thanks for the windbreak advice, OJ, we were thinking along similar lines. It's sometimes difficult to work out where the wind is coming from. The prevailing wind is South-Westerly but it seems to blow past our house (SW facing) and then whip back in from the loch. Unfortunately we have 12' wide gates on the loch side so no chance of blocking that :roll:
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

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Re: Polytunnel revisited

Post: # 258808Post oldjerry
Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:55 pm

Well one place I did on a headland near the Lizard we did have to plant on both both sides,but it worked so well Agaves grew there outside.Your gates sound like a pain,maybe a short but permanent fence of the black plastic set nearer the tunnel equivalent to the gate width. (the plastic doesn't give you shading probs like a growing windbreak).

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Re: Polytunnel revisited

Post: # 258923Post Potter's Farm
Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:19 am

OMG....jealous!!! We have a polytunnel, nowhere near as big. Been given a greenhouse frame which we will cover in twin wall polycarb so I can move all the seedlings out of the tunnel, its impossible to walk in there at the moment.

When we bought the poly tunnel my hubby said to get a bigger one but I felt guilty spending so much money in something that was primarily for me, wish I'd listened to him now!!!

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