Many gardening enthusiasts in the UK are looking to find ideas on how to use a small polytunnel for vegetables. If you don’t have enough space in your home for a UK garden, building a polytunnel in a small area can be a good alternative. With a small polytunnel, you can extend growing periods and create an ideal growing environment for any plant that you might want to grow.
Polytunnels can be a perfect place to grow vegetables. They allow you to control the temperature, water, humidity, and light, which helps you create an ideal environment suited to the type of plants you’re planning to cultivate. Even when the temperature outside is below freezing, or it’s the peak of the summer season, you may still be able to provide an ideal environment for your plants in your greenhouse.
How to Grow Vegetables in Your Polytunnel
Apolytunnelis sometimes the best place for vegetables to thrive in. If you want to keep a steady supply of fragile or tender crops like cucumbers, peppers, or tomatoes throughout the summer, a polytunnel will allow you to do that. Here’s how you can successfully grow vegetables in your polytunnel:
Choose an Ideal Location for Your Polytunnel
Several factors come into choosing the best area for your polytunnel. Ideally, the location should be in a place that gets plenty of sunlight with moderate temperature and low humidity.
If you can, place your polytunnel in the south or southeast area of your home. However, you can also put your polytunnel on the east if the south or southeast side of your home is not available.
Aside from that, it would help if you also considered the elevation and the ground stability of your polytunnel location. Elevated areas tend to be cold.
The more elevated the area is, the lower the temperature will be. It would be best if you also place your polytunnel in a stable place, less prone to shifting as this can damage the structure of your polytunnel.
Prep the Soil Before Planting
If you have the means, you can install a drip irrigation system. If not, then using a hose or a watering will work just as well. The perfect soil type for vegetables is crumby loam soil teeming with life.
For productive soil, you can add compost or shredded leaves into it. Compost or leaves will add beneficial microbes into the mix, which will help with the crops’ growth and increase yield.
Don’t forget to till your soil to make sure that the soil amendments will be mixed thoroughly. Tilling will also help correct any soil pH or nutrient imbalances.
Add Supplemental Heat to Your Polytunnel
If you live in a cool UK area, make sure to add supplemental heat to your polytunnel. While some plants can still grow in an unheated polytunnel, additional heat will help create an optimal environment for growth for your vegetables. There are a lot of ways you can achieve this.
For one, you can fill the soil bed of your polytunnel with manure and cover it with soil. As the manure starts to decompose, heat and methane will be released.
The heat will benefit the plants, while the soil on top of the manure will prevent the odour of the methane from coming out. You can also add heat to your polytunnel by installing heat mats or heating coils.
However, if you live in warm-climate UK areas, it’s also essential to ensure that the environment inside the polytunnel doesn’t get too hot during the summer. You should maintain the temperature between 80°F to 85°F. You can install fans to help with cooling.
Always Make Sure that There is Water Available
Water is essential in maintaining moisture in your soil and crops. Ensure that you have easy access to water to keep your vegetables hydrated, especially if it’s in the middle of the summer. Have water cans ready in your British garden so you can water the plants immediately in case they get dry.
What Vegetables Can You Grow in a Mini-Polytunnel?
You can grow a variety of vegetables in your polytunnel. If you’re growing vegetables during the winter, you can plant cool-season plants like peas, spinach, carrots, and lettuce. You can use your small polytunnel to grow crops like tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers in the summer.
Do Vegetables Grow Faster in a Polytunnel?
Vegetables grown in polytunnels tend to grow much faster than those planted in a UK garden. Quicker speed is because, unlike in a garden, polytunnel allows us to take complete control of the environment. We can tweak the temperature, light, and water that our plants receive.
For instance, the ideal temperature for photosynthesis is 75°F. We can regulate the temperature inside the polytunnel to reach 75°F to provide an optimal temperature for plant growth. Aside from that, polytunnels also allow better pest control making plant diseases preventable.
Learn How to Use a Small Polytunnel for Vegetables and Enjoy Fresh Produce Every Day!
Vegetables are best to enjoy while they’re fresh.
If you’re ready to learn how to use a small polytunnel for vegetables, follow the tips above. With better control of the environment, you can make sure that your plants yield better and high-quality vegetables. Don’t forget to share these tips and your grown vegetables with friends and family.