If you’re new to polytunnel gardening in the UK, you’re probably wondering how to place your plants in a small polytunnel. The best way to put your plants in a polytunnel depends on the type of plants you’re growing. For example, if you have a multi-tiered greenhouse, you can place the plants that need the most sunlight on top. But since most plants thrive best under sunlight, it’s better to be mindful about where you put your polytunnel.
The best place for your polytunnel is the spot where it gets the most sunlight from autumn to winter seasons, usually in the south or southeast side of your home—more on this below.
Where Should You Place Your Polytunnel?
The closer your polytunnel is to your house, the better. It’s more convenient for you, and you’re more likely to use it. When selecting the best spot, consider access to electricity and water if you plan to install an irrigation system or heating/cooling systems.
Look for the spot that gets maximum sun exposure of at least six hours of direct sunlight per day, especially during the winter. If you can’t find an area with much sun or live in rainy UK areas, you can use grow lights instead.
What Can You Grow Inside a Greenhouse?
While you can plant almost anything in a greenhouse, the most suitable ones are the ones that grow best (sometimes temporarily) in containers. These plants should also fit the microclimate in your mini greenhouse.
Here are some of the most common plants you can grow in a greenhouse:
Cold-season vegetables are perfect for unheated greenhouses. Peas, carrots, lettuce, and other cold-weather crops can tolerate the cold, so you don’t have to install a heating system unless you live in UK areas with extremely low temperatures.
Many of these vegetables thrive in semi-shaded areas, so you don’t have to install lighting to help them grow. However, remember to ensure proper ventilation. You can place a small fan for hot days in the early season.
On the other hand, warm-season vegetables like peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers grow best in temperatures within 55 to 86 degrees F. If you live in cold regions, you may need to add grow lights. But if you don’t want to spend much, you can naturally heat your greenhouse by placing bubble wrap on the walls, painting the walls/plastic black, insulating your greenhouse, and adding compost.
Some of the most popular ornamental plants to grow inside a polytunnel include petunias, salvia, pansies, geraniums, impatiens, caladiums, ferns, and chrysanthemums. While these plants can be quickly grown outdoors, growing them inside a polytunnel isolates pollen, making it easier for your plants to multiply from cuttings.
Since you have control over your polytunnel microclimate, you can grow tropical plants and cacti even if you live in colder UK areas. If you want to grow unusual plants, a polytunnel is a perfect place for cacti, carnivorous plants, and other exotic plants.
Is Investing in a Small Polytunnel Kit a Great Idea?
Investing in a small polytunnel is one of the best things you can do because you’ll have a wide range of shapes and sizes to choose from, it protects your plant babies from pests and animals, it keeps them safe from erratic weather, you can use it even if you have limited space. It’s perfect for newbies at polytunnel gardening. To give you a closer look at the best reasons why you should invest in a small polytunnel kit, check this out:
You have a wide range of shapes and sizes to choose from
Greenhouses come in different shapes and sizes, and it doesn’t need to have glass walls either. For an average UK gardener, you can try mini-greenhouses to plant your favourite fruits and vegetables. In this way, you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of a polytunnel without having to invest thousands.
It shields your plants from pests and animals
Some insects and animals would love to eat your produce. Rodents, raccoons, squirrels, aphids, and beetles can destroy your years of hard work within a day. Placing them in a polytunnel keeps them free from pesky critters, and your plants will stay healthy.
It keeps your plants safe from erratic weather
A single storm can destroy all your plants. When blizzards, high winds, heavy rains, and excessive heat come, it’s best to store your plants inside a greenhouse. Other than that, keeping them in an enclosed space also protects them from infectious diseases from neighbouring plants.
It’s great for those in the UK with limited garden space
Love gardening in the United Kingdom, but you only have limited garden space? A mini polytunnel kit is compact, perfect for balconies, patios, backyards, and even on your tabletops. The standard size for greenhouses is around 6 square feet. Even though it’s smaller than your average greenhouse, it works just as same.
It’s perfect for newbie polytunnel gardeners in the UK
If you want to know more about polytunnel gardening, start with mini polytunnel. They function as a regular polytunnel without the high price tag. Once you know all there is to know about it, and you can then decide to upgrade to a more permanent one or not.
Final Thoughts on How to Place Your Plants in a Small Greenhouse
Again, how to place your plants in a small polytunnel depends on the types of plants you’re growing. For best results, put your polytunnel in an area that gets the most sunlight. With proper care, you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of polytunnel gardening in the UK for years to come.