If you’re planning to buy a polytunnel, you’re probably wondering, “Walk-in polytunnel vs mini polytunnel, which is better for starting plants?” The best option ultimately depends on what you need.
If you have a large backyard or if the cost isn’t an issue for you, you can consider getting a walk-in polytunnel. On the other hand, mini-greenhouses are great for those who just started polytunnel gardening in the UK or don’t have enough space for a walk-in polytunnel.
What is a Good Size for a Polytunnel?
There are three main sizes of polytunnels: mini, medium, and large.
While there isn’t a fixed size for a small polytunnel, the most popular size is 6×8 ft. The size range gives you plenty of space to move around and place more plants if needed. If a 6×8 is too big for you, you can opt for a pop-up polytunnel or a tabletop polytunnel.
A mini polytunnel or an indoor polytunnel is a better option if you have minimal space in the UK or don’t have enough outdoor space. It’s cute, fun, and economical. It’s also a great way to determine whether a polytunnel works for you before investing in a larger, more permanent one.
The standard size for medium polytunnels is 8×12 feet. This option gives you more room to work with, so you’ll be able to grow more fruits, vegetables, and other plants. A medium polytunnel is a fantastic choice for those who are willing to spend more to grow more.
If you’re serious about polytunnel gardening in the United Kingdom and have a lot of space, a large polytunnel is a great choice. The difference between a large and a medium polytunnel is that large polytunnels are wider, allowing you to maximise the entire space. Generally, large polytunnels are 10 ft. wide and 16 to 24 ft. tall.
How to Choose the Right Polytunnel for You?
Regardless of the size that you choose, buying a polytunnel is an investment. To determine the best one for you, here are other factors you need to consider:
Lean-to, traditional, and octagonal are three of the most popular polytunnel shapes. For more modern styles, you can go for a dome-shaped polytunnel.
Wooden frames are the most cost-effective yet durable material. If you prefer metal frames, you can try aluminium or steel. Aluminium is lightweight but also durable. Plus, it’s resistant to rust. On the other hand, steel is heavier but sturdier, a better option for large polytunnels.
Glazing is the polytunnel cover that protects your plants. You have several options, including horticultural glass, toughened glass, polycarbonate plastic, etc.
If aesthetics is a significant factor, glass is an excellent option for you. Glass is durable, and you can easily replace them if broken. However, glass glazing is expensive.
For a more economical solution, polycarbonate plastic is cheaper and offers better insulation compared to glass. However, the plastic may pop out of the frames in strong winds. It’s better to have your polytunnel installed by a professional.
Before scouting for polytunnels, make sure to consider your budget. Plan carefully, know what you need, and list all the necessary materials so you won’t go beyond what you can afford.
Are Mini Polytunnels the Better Option?
As we’ve already established, the best polytunnel for you depends on your needs and preferences. However, mini-polytunnels are especially great for new gardeners in the UK or hobbyists who want to dabble into polytunnel gardening in the UK.
If you’re still on the fence, here are some of the reasons why you should get a mini polytunnel:
Best for the UK gardeners with limited space
Not all of us have enough space to grow a full British garden. If you want to grow your fruits and vegetables but have limited space, a mini polytunnel is a perfect solution. You can place your mini polytunnel in your patios, decks, and even on your tables.
Extend your planting season
With a mini polytunnel, you can start planting even before the cold season begins. Once the weather warms, you can then transfer the plants in your polytunnel into your British garden. By extending your planting season, you’ll harvest your plants earlier than usual.
Protect your plants from bad weather
The plants in your UK backyard constantly experience bad weather. By keeping them inside your polytunnel, your plants will stay safe from heavy rain, strong winds, snow, and excessive heat.
Repel insects and critters
Certain insects like aphids and beetles love to munch on the leaves of your plants. Other animals like rabbits and deer also love to eat your crops. By keeping them in an enclosed space, you’ll protect your plants from pesky insects and critters.
Create an ideal climate
Final Thoughts on Walk-in Polytunnel vs Mini Polytunnel– Which is Better for Starting Plants
Walk-in polytunnel vs mini polytunnel, which is better for starting plants? A mini polytunnel is a better option for new gardeners in the UK. You’ll enjoy the same benefits without shelling out thousands of dollars. Large polytunnels require a significant investment. Maintenance will also be time-consuming, and you’ll need a substantial outdoor space for a walk-in polytunnel.