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Polytunnel location

Posted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:29 pm
by Cassiepod
Hello since we've moved, I haven't quite been able to decide where the polytunnel should be placed at the new house. I have 2 options:

1. in a un-used space to the side of the garage, covered in nettles but will be fertile I'm sure once it's clear it BUT this space has the garage to its east and to the south west and west mature broad leaved trees that shade it through the summer.

2. to the east of the house, beside a a single row of pine trees that surround the house. Much sunnier and more open position, but on ground that is dry and completely full of tree roots which will always be there, and drawing the nutrition I add back out of the soil.

I'm inclining to the first location on the thoughts that a polytunnel provides most benefit in the winter up here and during the winter the trees are leafless and don't shade the plot anywhere near as much.

Thanks! :grouphug:

Re: Polytunnel location

Posted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 6:26 pm
by diggernotdreamer
Firstly, what do you envisage growing in your tunnel, if the answer is tomatoes, peppers, beans in the summer months, then you need to have plenty of light coming into the tunnel. Using a tunnel in winter, you can grow things like oriental salads, some brassica's, salads, until the hard frosts come and kill off anything that is a bit tender, but low light levels tend to stop things growing to any degree in winter. If it were me, I would make the choice of the area that gets the best sunlight. You can deal with the dry ground by making raised beds in your tunnel and fitting it with soaker hose watering system and using mulches. My first tunnel was surrounded by various trees, limes, cypresses, cherry plums and I overcame all the roots and hard ground with the raised beds. There is little point putting a tunnel up that is permanently shaded in summer

Re: Polytunnel location

Posted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 7:12 am
by Green Aura
I'd agree, especially in Aberdeenshire where sun can be a precious commodity :wink:

I'd also add thinking about the prevailing winds - ours got shredded by the winter south-westerlies we get up here.

Re: Polytunnel location

Posted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 12:33 pm
by wulf
I agree too. You are going to have to water your polytunnel anyway so it would be better to let it have more light and include some raised beds. Not having tree roots underneath won't make up for not having rain falling on the ground from above. You would also potentially find the plastic made sticky by tree sap in the summer and then damaged by falling branches in the winter in the first position you describe.