Perhaps you’ve wondered, “How warm does a polytunnel get during winter?” It’s no secret that freezing temperatures are not suitable for the plants, whether they’re in a polytunnel or not. To keep them healthy, you need to make sure it doesn’t get too warm or too cold in your polytunnel.
The temperature of your polytunnel varies depending on several factors like climate, polytunnel glazing, outdoor temperature, and more. Generally, the temperature in a polytunnel is 30 degrees F higher than the outside temperature. However, weather, polytunnel glazing, the outside temperature can influence
Does a Polytunnel Work in the Winter?
In a word, yes. However, it would help if you prepared for winter season planting. Some of the factors you need to consider include insulation, pest infestation, and the types of plants you want to grow.
Plants need energy (heat) to grow, so you need to consider your heat source during winter. Hold on to the energy/heat you’re getting by insulating your polytunnel.
Aside from your plants, pests are also attracted to warmer climates during winter. To prevent pests from doing severe damage, get rid of dead leaves, plants, stone, empty pots, and other materials that can house pests.
Types of plants
Be practical about the type of plants you want to grow in your polytunnel. For instance, if the temperature doesn’t exceed 20 degrees F, it’s best to plant cold-season vegetables and herbs, such as garlic, onion, beans, spinach, shallots, etc.
How Do You Keep Your Polytunnel Warm During Winter?
As mentioned, plants need heat to survive and produce a flavorful harvest. Here are some of the ways you can keep your polytunnel warm during winter:
One of the cheapest ways to add insulation is to use bubble wrap. Aside from protecting fragile packages, a layer of bubble wraps on the wall can retain heat and block the cold. The larger the bubbles, the better the insulation.
Cover your plants
To provide additional warmth, it helps to cover your plants on colder nights. You can use row covers, tarps, and horticultural fleece to hold moisture. If it isn’t winter season, make sure to remove the cover during the day, especially if it’s too humid.
In the UK areas with harsh winter like Highlands and Aberdeenshire, you can use frost fabric for added insulation. Frost fabric allows rain and irrigation to flow freely into your polytunnel while retaining heat. If you have plants that thrive best in humid environments, consider putting frost fabric.
Install a heating system
One of the sure-fire ways to keep your polytunnel warm during winter is to install a heating system. However, heaters can be expensive, and the heat will dissipate if you turn the heater off. You can use space heaters specifically made for polytunnel. If you’re not comfortable having extension cords in your polytunnel, opt for propane heaters. Keep in mind that you need to distribute the heated air throughout your polytunnel.
Why Are Polytunnels Worth the Investment?
Home gardeners in the UK can benefit from having a polytunnel during winter. If you’re still on the fence, here are some of the reasons why a polytunnel is worth the splurge:
Extend growing season
Polytunnels can extend the growing season of your plants. If you live in Stirling, Aberdeen, or anywhere in the Northwest UK area, summers are cool and short, making it challenging to grow individual plants. Polytunnels allow you to start planting even if there’s still frost outside.
It will also protect your plants from rain, preventing them from becoming mildewy. You can continue harvesting your crop even when the outdoor temperature is colder than usual.
Grow different types of plants
You don’t have to rely on seasons to grow certain plants. If you live in the northern part of the country, then you know how challenging it is to grow warm-season crops. Citrus trees, eggplants, and melons cannot thrive in the UK regions with cold winters – unless you put them in a polytunnel.
By installing a polytunnel with a heating system and grow lights, you can plant and harvest different types of fruits and vegetables. You don’t have to wait for another growing season to start planting. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned gardener in the UK, you can definitely benefit from having a polytunnel.
Protect plants from wind and precipitation
Extreme precipitation can harm your plants, especially the tender ones. After heavy rain, you may notice that some of your plants are bent to the ground. A light layer of snow can destroy an entire British garden of fragile plants.
If you often experience frost and heavy rains, growing your plants in a polytunnel is a better idea. You can control the environment by adding insulation, cover, electric heaters, solar heating, and other natural heat sources. This allows you to create a microclimate inside your polytunnel despite outside temperatures.
The Answer to “How Warm Does A Polytunnel Get During Winter?”
There are several options when it comes to warming your polytunnel during winter. You don’t have to spend a fortune to create the perfect climate in your polytunnel. To sum up, the answer to the question, “How warm does a polytunnel get during winter?” depends on the outside temperature and the heating techniques you’re implementing.