Are you wondering how to use polytunnel for beginners? Well, you’re just in the right place. You’ll learn a lot, for sure!
Here’s what you should know:
Apolytunnelis an excellent investment for UK gardeners. It can help you achieve your plants’ ideal environment, especially if your UK area is unsuitable for any greens.
Such structures allow you to control the humidity, temperature, and condition plants need, which is vital for their biological processes.
I bet you new to such things because you’re here, reading this article. Fortunately, if you’re a beginner at gardening in the United Kingdom, you can still purchase your polytunnel, which is lucky for you.
Nevertheless, before we head on to how to use a polytunnel, you might want to learn more about the polytunnel itself.
What Is A Polytunnel?
You might want to grow your produce, but your place does not have rich soil, it might be too hot (or cold), or you might find it hard to grow plants because certain factors interfere with the growth of your greens, then it might be a sign that you need a polytunnel.
A polytunnel is a structure made from wood or metal surrounded or “walled-in” by plastic sheeting or other material that allows light to penetrate and air to circulate, used to grow plants.
The said structure consists of a roof, an exit/entry point, and four walls.
Why Use A Polytunnel?
So, why most UK gardeners opt for a polytunnel in their homes?
You see, a polytunnel will help you solve problems involving the weather changes and seasonal issues that can hinder the successful germination and growth of plants, as you can control the factors inside the building.
Moreover, it allows you to grow your produce in comfort as it lessens physical demands, especially those with limitations.
And of course, the sole reason polytunnels exist, s to lock moisture inside while allowing the proper temperature to balance, control for what the plant needs.
As we all know, plants vary in size, shape, and needs. Some flourish in hot regions, while other kinds prefer it to be humid. That is why polytunnels are helpful, as they can let plants grow all year round.
Pest control would be easier because, again, you control the factors inside; unlike in an outdoor UK garden, the open space leaves your plants susceptible to weather and pest issues, which usually slow down the plants’ growing process cause them to die.
Yet, some UK gardeners have different purposes for owning a polytunnel.
Most gardeners in the UK use the room to grow plants year-round, while some would let their plants’ growing process take place inside before moving to an outdoor garden.
Nevertheless, it’s up to you how you would make use of your polytunnel, speaking of which, if you’re a beginner, then here’s a guide on how to use a polytunnel. Read on to learn more.
How Do I Use A Polytunnel
Now that you know what a polytunnel is and why most UK gardeners use it, it’s time for you to understand how to use polytunnel for beginners.
Step #1. Identify your needs and choose the style of the polytunnel
Selecting a style does not only apply to the clothes you wear but in polytunnels as well.
The style you choose for the polytunnel will depend upon the area where you will place it.
Freestanding structures placed in areas with a higher level of space; this usually placed in your backyard. The said style commonly used as it lets light penetrate all of its walls.
However, obviously due to its name, the leaning style requires a wall of an existing structure to stand; only the three walls will receive natural sunlight as the existing wall cannot penetrate UV and even water.
Yet, such a design is best for areas with common area space—a practical option.
Step #2. Know the features you may need for your polytunnel
Research is vital for those who are starting to be guided on what to do and avoid possible mistakes.
Perhaps you plan to grow crops year-round or if the climate in your UK area is not suitable for your plants’ growing season? Then determine what is ideal for your polytunnel to let such plants thrive.
You might need to grow lights, fans, or heating systems to help you achieve the ideal environment.
Polytunnels vary, depending on the model you will be purchasing; they may come in different sizes, and some might include heat, benches, shelves, electricity, and lighting.
From cold frames to a full-sized glass structure, each feature used for your polytunnel will maximise the room’s functionality.
Having a light will help you monitor your plats after dark; you can also plant seeds, cuttings, and other gardening tasks despite the time. Furthermore, an additional heat system will help you almost grow any plants year-round.
Imagine all the things you can do with your polytunnel, know what you need, and use some features to maximise your plants’ chances to grow despite the season, which can help you choose the model of polytunnel you need.
Step #3. Choose a location for your polytunnel
The location of your polytunnel plays an essential role in your plant’s growth too. The site must have maximum sun exposure to improve the yield of your plants.
Moreover, make sure that you avoid certain factors that could damage your polytunnel, such as trees or possibly a neighbour with kids playing around.
If you’re using a heating system, you want your polytunnel to be near the electric source for your convenience. Don’t forget about your water source too.
It will save not only your polytunnel but also your money as well.
Step #4. Check the air circulation if it’s suitable
Oxygen is essential for all living things; without it, biological processes wouldn’t occur.
So, make sure that ventilation inside the polytunnel is enough for plants to survive. Some gardeners in the UK would install fans to increase ventilation; to circulate the air inside the polytunnel.
Step #5. Check for possible pest intrusion
Despite having a closed area, pests can still wreak havoc on your plants.
Don’t be complacent just because a polytunnel can lessen the chances of pest damage; it’s better to have ways to prevent such.
There are many ways, such as by keeping your polytunnel away from outside foliage or installing a screen around the open area to ensure the structure will be pest-free.
Step #6. Determine the correct growing seasons
Plants have a growing season, so you should know when to make sure they grow healthy.
In spring, better start on seeds. Summer, you would want to start growing flowers and small plants because they would love the sunshine.
Autumn, seasonal plants would be appropriate. Winter, since most plants can’t survive the harsh weather, growing cold-resistant plants would be the best option.
Gardening in the UK involves trial and error, essential for any learning process, so patience is indeed power.
Polytunnel gardening can be enjoyable for both beginners and professionals and a struggle too. Knowing how to use polytunnel for beginners is not enough; better consult some gardeners and ask for tips on succeeding.
Thank you for reading the article, happy gardening in the UK!