With thoughts of all about polytunnel temperature difference, you can have your microclimate regardless of the weather outside. There’s so much more to polytunnels than extending the growing season and protecting plants from the elements. It’s the perfect space to grow out-of-season plants all year round – even in the coldest months of the year!
Do You Need to Heat a Polytunnel?
It depends on where you located. Plants mainly need four things to survive: water, sunlight, air, and nutrients. They undergo chemical reactions (respiration and photosynthesis) to grow healthy. To do that, your plants need energy in the form of heat/sunlight. If the temperature is too low, the growth of your plants slows down.
The UK gardeners in warmer climates with moderate temperature drops during winter can use an unheated polytunnel. Sunlight would be enough to raise the temperature, but make sure it doesn’t overheat on days with high humidity.
On the other hand, if the weather is below freezing, the thin layer of plastic or glass won’t be enough to keep your plants protected. You may need to insulate it to keep your plants happy. While some areas still get a lot of sun during winter days, an uninsulated polytunnel will cool off during the night. If this is the case, you may need to install a heating system.
How Cold Is Too Cold for a Polytunnel?
Since you can use a polytunnel to create your microclimate, you can use one as a hothouse or cold house. You can even have two climates in one polytunnel!
If you live in the UK colder regions, like Highlands, Aberdeenshire, and Stirling, you may prefer to keep your polytunnel warm and heated. The minimum nighttime temperature should be at least 55 degrees F.
For those living in warmer regions of the UK and prefer a cooler polytunnel, you can set the temperature to 45 degrees F. The maximum temperature for your polytunnel should be 90 degrees F during the daytime, all year round.
To maintain this temperature, regardless of the outside weather, there are ways to keep your polytunnel warm during winter. On the other hand, too much heat can damage your plants as well. If the sun is blazing, you can draw a shade at the top to block the heat.
What Are Cost-Effective Ways to Heat a Polytunnel?
There are different cost-effective ways to keep your polytunnel warm. Since polytunnels don’t stay warm in the winter, notably a full glass polytunnel, you want to protect your plants from harsh winter weather.
Here are some of the most cost-effective ways to do so:
Insulating your polytunnel is vital in keeping your plants alive during winter. You can cover the windows and doors with bubble wrap to retain the heat. The bigger the bubbles, the more effective it is for insulation.
Install a cost-efficient heater
You don’t have to shell out thousands to install a heating system in your polytunnel. A heater running throughout winter will keep your plants warm throughout the season. You can use a digital thermometer to monitor and determine the polytunnel temperature difference.
To prevent your polytunnel from overheating, make sure that there’s enough ventilation throughout the area.
If the sun directly hits your polytunnel or if you live in an area with humid summers, shading your plants from the sun prevents them from getting burned. You can use roll-up screens made of aluminium or wood, paint-on materials, polypropylene shade cloth, and vinyl plastic shading.
Raise your plants off the ground
Most plants cannot survive in low soil temperatures. Raising them off the ground is the best solution to keep the coldness of the soil from transferring to your plants. You can recycle old pots or any other container.
Why Are Polytunnels Worth the Investment?
Polytunnels are one of the best investments every UK gardener should consider. Here are some of the many reasons why polytunnels are an excellent investment:
Ideal Growing Environment
Whether you want to grow fruits, vegetables, or ornamental plants, growing them in a polytunnel keeps them warm and humid all year long.
You can customise your polytunnel to ensure that your plants are in their ideal growing environment. With a polytunnel, you’ll have enough heat and water vapour to maintain a warm climate even if it’s snowing outside.
Protect your plants
Keeping them in a polytunnel protects your plants from harsh weather, an infestation of seasonal pests like spider mites, locust swarms, and more. Keep your plants safe and healthy throughout the year.
Grow plants all-season
Want to grow an exotic plant? Or perhaps you want to plant tropical fruits in your area? Many gardeners in the UK know that some plants thrive best in certain seasons. If you invest in a polytunnel, you don’t have to wait for months before you can plant tomatoes, strawberries, or exotic plants.
With a polytunnel, you can control the climate and the temperature. The control of the climate and the temperature means you can start planting seasonal plants anytime you want.
Maintaining a Polytunnel Temperature Difference Won’t Burn a Hole in Your Pocket
We answered the question: “All about polytunnel temperature difference”, and now you don’t have to spend a fortune to maintain a polytunnel temperature difference. Whether you’re preparing your polytunnel for spring or winter gardening in the UK, be sure to keep these tips in mind.