It’s only natural for gardeners in the UK to ask so many questions about polytunnel gardening, such as “Is an unheated polytunnel frost-free?” With a bit of research, they’ll soon find out that an unheated polytunnel can keep the temperature inside it as much as about 5˚C hotter than the temperature outside. Generally, this will be enough to keep the plants frost-free.
If you don’t know much about polytunnel gardening, you’ve come to the right place. Check out these frequently asked questions about it.
How Can I Keep My Polytunnel Warm During the Winter Season?
When the temperature drops during the winter season, you can still keep your polytunnel warm with the use of a thermostat, heaters such as a KlimaHeat, and bubble wraps for insulation. You can also try using compost, storing thermal energy, circulating air, ventilating the enclosure, and keeping your plants off the cold ground.
When it’s the winter season, you typically get about 5 to 6 hours of sunlight during the day. However, if you use proper insulation, it’s possible to keep your polytunnel to remain up to 30˚ warmer than the air outdoors.
What Plants are Best Grown in a Cold Polytunnel?
If you want to grow plants through the autumn and winter seasons in the UK, try planting some Chinese cabbage, cabbage, kale, spinach, bok choy, root crops, beets, leeks, turnips, carrots, radishes, parsnips, onions, and rutabagas.
Will My Polytunnel Keep My Plants from Freezing?
Yes, a polytunnel can keep your plants from freezing since it works to trap the heat from the sun during the daytime. However, to be sure that you keep your plants protected during the coldest nights, it’s best to provide them with extra protection such as bubble wraps, heaters, and a thermostat. Your polytunnel, together with these items, should be enough to keep your tender plants from freezing.
Is Polytunnel Gardening Better than Outdoor Gardening?
Yes, countless gardeners worldwide can attest that growing plants inside a polytunnel offers more benefits than traditional outdoor gardening in the UK. Although you may think that setting up your polytunnel may require an initial cost, you’ll be able to recover that cost over time and then some. Here are some of the best reasons why polytunnel gardening is a great idea.
You can be sure that your plants are protected
Plants that are grown in British outdoor gardens are exposed continuously to unpredictable weather. However, plants grown in a polytunnel get the protection they need against harsh weather conditions such as hail, snow, heavy rains, high winds, and blizzards. What’s more, a polytunnel can also protect your plants from insects and animals that can kill them and destroy all of your gardening efforts.
You won’t need to have a garden shed
Yourpolytunnelcan also serves as a storage area for all of your gardening needs – seeds, implements, tools, accessories, and equipment. Aside from the fact that it would be easier for you to organise these items in your polytunnel, you’ll also enjoy the convenience of having them close to where you need to use them.
You can create the best growth environment for your plants
One of the best things about setting up your polytunnel is that you can take complete control over your plants’ growing environment. You can use various tools and equipment to keep the heat and moisture inside the polytunnel at consistent levels regardless of the weather outside or the changing seasons.
While a polytunnel allows you to keep the destructive bugs out, you can keep the beneficial insects in. These include the ladybugs, aphid midges, honeybees, braconid wasps, damsel bugs, ground beetles, lacewings, minute pirate bugs, soldier beetles, spined soldier bug, and tachinid flies.
You’ll extend your plants’ growing seasons
Since a polytunnel is a controlled environment, it allows you to extend your plants’ growing seasons. Aside from the fact that you can do your gardening all year round, you can also choose to grow seasonal fruits and vegetables or those that aren’t native to your UK region.
You gain complete control of your produce
Polytunnel gardening is excellent for your health because you can be sure that the foods you bring to your table aren’t tainted with pesticides. With a polytunnel to grow your food in, you’ll have continuous access to fresh produce without toxic chemicals that could be detrimental to your health.
You can save money on grocery shopping in the UK
Since polytunnel gardening allows you to grow your food, you’ll surely get to save a pretty penny on grocery shopping. What’s more, you can plant your favourite fruits, vegetables, and herbs all year round as well!
Final Thoughts on the Answer to “Is an Unheated Polytunnel Frost-Free?”
You need to know the answer to the question, “is an unheated polytunnel frost-free?” and other queries about keeping your plants safe and healthy in the middle of the winter season. Keeping the plants safe and healthy will make a massive difference in the success of your polytunnel gardening adventure in the UK. If you’re someone who’s seriously considering polytunnel gardening, don’t waste time on the fence – invest in a polytunnel today because it’s worth it.