Home Page
   Articles
       links
About Us    
Traders        
Recipes            
Latest Articles
Polytunnel? Validate me please.
Page 1, 2, 3  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Downsizer Forum Index -> Grow Your Own
Author 
 Message
Chez



Joined: 13 Aug 2006
Posts: 35818
Location: The Hive of the Uberbee, Quantock Hills, Somerset
PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 17 3:02 pm    Post subject: Polytunnel? Validate me please.  Reply with quote    

Should I get a polytunnel? I can irrigate it with the run off from the roof, via the duckpond and it would be really nice not to have to trek up and down to Ma's to look after stuff and be in control of our own destiny. I've got space for something eight foot wide by about fifteen feet long.

I'd want to grow peppers, squash and sweet potatoes, in the ground rather than in pots. I've also got a small eight by six greenhouse that I can use to start things off.

Slim



Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 4450
Location: New England (In the US of A)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 17 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Sounds to me like it'd be worth doing

Edit: Just go as tall as you can. If you're going to put one in, maximize the volume of air space to the greatest extent possible. Helps retain heat better, and makes it a lot easier to walk around in.

sean
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 41591
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 17 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Not sure about the control of your own destiny argument: One, a polytunnel doesn't guarantee that. Two, how often does your mother actually hold your half-hardy vegetable crops to ransom?

Chez



Joined: 13 Aug 2006
Posts: 35818
Location: The Hive of the Uberbee, Quantock Hills, Somerset
PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 17 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

It's a complex, emotive ransom system based on guilt, duty and the Lutheran work ethic.

onemanband



Joined: 26 Dec 2010
Posts: 1449
Location: NCA90
PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 17 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

you could keep a kayak in it.

Green Rosie



Joined: 13 May 2007
Posts: 10490
Location: Calvados, France
PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 17 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

You'll need some-one to water it every day in hot weather if you are away.
If you do get one and succeed in growing sweet potatoes please tell me your secret as I have never managed to get anything worth eating.

OtleyLad



Joined: 13 Jan 2007
Posts: 2737
Location: Otley, West Yorkshire
PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 17 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

There's a host of crops that grow more reliably in a polytunnel (as it keeps off cold winds and a little frost). Certainly your peppers and squash. Toms do well too. Earlier early spuds (then followed by your squash). All the broccolis. Its a big list.

I've had no luck with seet potatoes though.

Watering can take up a lot of time - it never rains in a tunnel (my 2 tunnels would take 45 minutes each day). After 5 years I got a drip watering system rigged to a hose pipe. Watering is now just turning on the tap and turning it off an hour or two later (much easier on whoever is watering if you are away!). So wish I'd done it before - they are cheap too (under 20 for a tunnel).

Lastly polytunnels are the place to be gardening when its cold and wet outside!

Chez



Joined: 13 Aug 2006
Posts: 35818
Location: The Hive of the Uberbee, Quantock Hills, Somerset
PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 17 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The outflow from the duck pond runs in land drain pipes that run down the slight slope I'm thinking about siting it on, currently watering raised beds. When the duck pond tap gets turned on every day, it would self water to an extent. I can also rag a shed load of the old drip watering pipe from Ma's commercial tomato houses and set that up from the water butt.

We have permission from the Parish to stay in the house now, and I've got more options to explore than before. Also, a gardener who comes to help me

Slim



Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 4450
Location: New England (In the US of A)
PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 17 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

OtleyLad wrote:

Watering can take up a lot of time - it never rains in a tunnel (my 2 tunnels would take 45 minutes each day). After 5 years I got a drip watering system rigged to a hose pipe. Watering is now just turning on the tap and turning it off an hour or two later (much easier on whoever is watering if you are away!). So wish I'd done it before - they are cheap too (under 20 for a tunnel).


You could throw a timer on there and then you wouldn't even need to come back out to turn off the tap!

Shan



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 6910
Location: South Wales
PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 17 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Go for it and automate as much as possible.

roobarb



Joined: 15 Apr 2008
Posts: 132
Location: Carmarthenshire
PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 17 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

If you are considering getting a PT then there are a couple of good books by Mike Gatter and Andy McKee, including How to Grow Food in Your Polytunnel, which is invaluable for getting the most out of your tunnel, including sweet potatoes....

Not usually one for bragging, but here is my success with sweet potatoes in the PT from 2015. Not quite so good in 2016, which I put down to a cooler and duller summer. (apologies for the large images)


I believe the key to growing sweet potatoes in the PT is good soil, and not allowing the vines to touch the ground, where they will re-root and take energy away from the tubers.


wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14739
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 17 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Get one (now I want one)

Put a seat in it and take coffee out there. It only lets the nice weather in, and would be a lovely place to hide, erm, relax.

Green Rosie



Joined: 13 May 2007
Posts: 10490
Location: Calvados, France
PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 17 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I use this book: https://www.fruugo.fr/the-polytunnel-book-by-joyce-russell-ben-russell/p-8075855-17383657?gclid=CJqal_zyptECFRITGwodzc8HdQ

OtleyLad



Joined: 13 Jan 2007
Posts: 2737
Location: Otley, West Yorkshire
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 17 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

If I remember correctly you get a free growing book with orders from First Tunnels (who I would recommend).
Have to say I have ended up with 3 Polytunnel growing books (gifts and freebees) and they are pretty useless - any decent growing book tells you how to grow stuff (if you didn't know already) and there's not much different about growing in a polytunnel.
Because the seasons are extended either side you can aim to grow successional crops if you sow replacement crops at the right time and plant them out after clearing previous crops. Simples really.

Green Rosie



Joined: 13 May 2007
Posts: 10490
Location: Calvados, France
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 17 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The free book from First Tunnel (who I would highly recommend too) is as good as useless IMHO

Post new topic   Reply to topic    Downsizer Forum Index -> Grow Your Own All times are GMT
Page 1, 2, 3  Next
Page 1 of 3
View Latest Posts View Latest Posts

 

Archive
Powered by php-BB © 2001, 2005 php-BB Group
Style by marsjupiter.com, released under GNU (GNU/GPL) license.
Copyright 2004 marsjupiter.com

<-- -->