Polytunnel

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MartinD
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Polytunnel

Post: #285568 MartinD
Thu Oct 22, 2015 8:37 am

Looking at buying a Polytunnel to get me started growing some veg at home, but does the forum thing their worth the money or will I lose it in the first strong wind like scene out of Mary Poppins?

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doofaloofa
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Re: Polytunnel

Post: #285571 doofaloofa
Thu Oct 22, 2015 10:32 am

Definitely worth it, I mean, where else are you going to hang the washing on a rainy Manchester day?

Good assembly and thoughtful location will go a long way to ensure it is not damaged by wind

IMHO it is worth spend the extra cash and time concreting a strip along the base of the rings, and using a clip system to secure the plastic (instead of just digging a trench and burying the plastic) The time you spend will be made up when you do need to change the skin, and you can get plastic a few feet narrower, saving a few quid as well

Clipped plastic allows you to re-tension the plastic on a hot day also
ina wrote: die dümmsten Bauern haben die dicksten Kartoffeln

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Green Aura
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Re: Polytunnel

Post: #285575 Green Aura
Thu Oct 22, 2015 11:24 am

I live in wind central, Martin, and wouldn't be without our polytunnel.

If it is a very windy site I'd suggest going for thicker tubing - the standard is usually about 25mm, we got 35mm (which was all that was available at the time) and it stood up pretty will (it warped very slightly) to the 100mph+ winds we had in January. You can also get storm bracing and crop bars which help to strengthen the frame enormously. I think the given wisdom is to plant it sideways on to the prevailing winds - we couldn't do that for lack of space so it took everything face on.

I can't imagine anywhere in Manc that gets those sort of wind speeds.
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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doofaloofa
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Re: Polytunnel

Post: #285577 doofaloofa
Thu Oct 22, 2015 11:55 am

i tend to open the leeward end door in heavy wind, to allow air/presure out
ina wrote: die dümmsten Bauern haben die dicksten Kartoffeln

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diggernotdreamer
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Re: Polytunnel

Post: #285578 diggernotdreamer
Thu Oct 22, 2015 4:39 pm

I have two polytunnels here, very windy site in NW Ireland, my smaller one is from Ferryman tunnels and is 10 x 35, it does not have cropbars and it stands up very well to the winds here, my other one is from First Tunnels and is 16 x 75, crop bars allow for strength and it has stood up as has the other one to really bad storms here. Buy a good one, the only ones that fly away are the cheap crappy ones, my small one was 550 quid and I don't think the prices have changed much, the first cover was on it for 6 years and it only came off because we moved, I reckon it would have lasted longer, these ones have been on 7 years and still going strong

MartinD
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Re: Polytunnel

Post: #285582 MartinD
Thu Oct 22, 2015 5:16 pm

Thanks for the information, the polytunnel will be in a back garden with either fencing or buildings on each side so I should be OK, thanks again.

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Odsox
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Re: Polytunnel

Post: #285591 Odsox
Thu Oct 22, 2015 8:49 pm

I also have two tunnels as well and wouldn't be without them. I also live in a pretty windy spot, my tunnels are about 500m from the sea on a peninsula in south west Ireland.
If this year's weather is anything to go by I think a polytunnel is just about essential if you are going to grow seriously. It's heartbreaking to watch plants that you nurtured from seed being killed by excessive cold, rain and/or wind, when you could be growing them in the somewhat cocooned atmosphere of a warm dry tunnel.
Plus you can extend your growing season to the whole year.
Tony

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

InfiniteDreams
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Re: Polytunnel

Post: #285877 InfiniteDreams
Thu Nov 19, 2015 7:20 pm

diggernotdreamer wrote:I have two polytunnels here, very windy site in NW Ireland, my smaller one is from Ferryman tunnels and is 10 x 35, it does not have cropbars and it stands up very well to the winds here, my other one is from First Tunnels and is 16 x 75, crop bars allow for strength and it has stood up as has the other one to really bad storms here. The bathmate from Hydromax is the best. Buy a good one, the only ones that fly away are the cheap crappy ones, my small one was 550 quid and I don't think the prices have changed much, the first cover was on it for 6 years and it only came off because we moved, I reckon it would have lasted longer, these ones have been on 7 years and still going strong


Polytunnels are great but some of them can tear so you'll need tape to patch them up before the holes get too big.

Oh and a barrier on the ground to stop animals getting in and eating your stuff is a must.
Last edited by InfiniteDreams on Mon Feb 29, 2016 4:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

tosca
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Re: Polytunnel

Post: #285922 tosca
Wed Nov 25, 2015 6:58 am

Been wanting a tunnel for a while as fresh veg in winter is not viable in open ground over here, the temperatures get too low for too long and everything (except lettuce and chard) goes soggy on thawing and keels over. A neighbour has given us his as he can't be bothered with it so well pleased. It may not be top of the range but plastic is cheap here so as long as the frame copes it will do. We rarely get wind being inland and protected by mountains, but when we do they are bad, but short lived. The plastic will be removed for the summer, tomatoes cooked on the plants in the heat last year so they would be worse in a tunnel.

Just in time to protect my sprouts, broccoli and kale this year. Looking forward to more variety next winter.

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Green Aura
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Re: Polytunnel

Post: #285923 Green Aura
Wed Nov 25, 2015 8:53 am

Wonderful. It will make a huge difference.

Have you put the plastic on yet? It's a real pain in the wotsit. Of course it may only be a PITA here as we're always trying to do it in some sort of wind, although I'm sure it's fiddly even without. I've seen tunnels where they roll up the sides in summer - it may be worth investigating if there's a special way of putting it on to facilitate rolling it up.
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

tosca
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Re: Polytunnel

Post: #285924 tosca
Wed Nov 25, 2015 9:20 am

Not yet, OH wants to get it properly anchored with metal spikes round the base frame first. It has come with a slightly damaged fitted cover so it should be OK with a bit of patching for this winter. We don't get much winter wind, main problem is cold and snow. Ideally we would like to do as you mention and which is common here, have a cover that will be rolled up in summer. It will need band of some description over the top. I think a visit from our nursery owner friends is due...I'll make a cake to entice them over haha They are old hands at plytunnels

tosca
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Re: Polytunnel

Post: #286341 tosca
Sun Jan 17, 2016 2:44 pm

Well, the tunnel went up, was temporarily repaired and a new cover ordered. Peas and broad beans sown, brassicas doing well.

Then it snowed...a lot! I now have a very long and wide cloche! Bah!

Lost a third of a pear tree and half an apricot tree too.

Feeling miffed :(

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Green Aura
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Re: Polytunnel

Post: #286344 Green Aura
Sun Jan 17, 2016 3:33 pm

Oh dear. Is the frame plastic tubing? I've seen them and wondered how they stand up to the elements. Could you salvage it with an internal wooden frame?

Sorry about the tree - maybe you can fan train them of something.
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

tosca
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Re: Polytunnel

Post: #286349 tosca
Sun Jan 17, 2016 3:59 pm

No, it's metal tubing. The snow was just too much, about two feet of the heavy wet kind. A friend with professional tunnels has been spared. We will have to wait for a thaw (couple of weeks, temps are due to drop to -20 ish for a week) to find out if it's salvageable.

As for the trees. they are both large, old but much loved specimens. I hope we can save them though the apricot does get a bit of disease and the pears are very small summer ones, ideal for bottling. I'm not a superstitious person but hopefully three things is enough!


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