NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Polytunnel Layout  (Read 8275 times)

Lissier

  • Joined Apr 2010
Polytunnel Layout
« on: April 07, 2010, 07:00:36 pm »
Hi there. New to all this and am currently in 'challenging' debate with hubby about how best to lay out raised beds in our 42' x 18' new polytunnel for maximum production but easy access to beds. Does anyone have any tips or suggestions? Please??
Voss Electric Fence

HappyHippy

  • Guest
Re: Polytunnel Layout
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2010, 08:51:10 am »
I've always had the idea in my head that raised beds should be about 4ft wide - all to do with being able to reach over from either side without standing on the soil and compacting it. Paths between beds should be wide enough to get your wheelbarrow down too - saves having to lug buckets full of soil or weeds about  ;)
 I'd also go for multiples of 4 so you can do stock rotation ie 4, 8, 12 beds with a couple spare for permanent fruit and asparagus etc.
You could also really go to town and cordon train fruit trees along the sides too, with your beds in the centre if you wanted to.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Polytunnel Layout
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2010, 12:34:37 am »
You've probably long since reached a decision about your tunnel layout, but I'm new here so thought I would tell you what we do.  We don't use beds, except one long one along the south side for salad and carrot crops.  Our tunnel is about the same size as yours, just a bit wider.  By not using beds I can move my crops around in some sort of rotation but quite flexibly. Also there is no part of the soil which is never cultivated. I use walk boards so the soil is not compacted.  We are very cold here so have to grow runners and climbing french beans inside, also sweetcorn and squashes, as well as tomatoes and cucumbers.  I have tried growing all of those outdoors with no success !  Some years I grow the climbing beans under the crop bars on the north half of the tunnel, so they make short rows north to south.  Other years I grow them in wigwams between the crop bars with squashes climbing along the bars.  This year I have done it differently and the beans are in a long east-west line about 2' in from the north side.
I always put the tomatoes near the south side, under the crop bars one year and between them the next, also rotating which end of the tunnel they go.  Cucumbers go somewhere near the middle to be away from draughts, with fleece around them for the whole year.  Sweetcorn goes in a block near the louvres at one end or the other for good pollination.  Courgettes fit in wherever they can, as do early lettuce.  Finally the things you would normally grow in the tunnel are in my greenhouse, which is itself inside the tunnel !! So chillies, peppers, aubergines, some tomatoes and so on.  If the greenhouse was outside it would have blown away years ago !
We are lucky in that we have deep soil so beds are not essential.
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Mo

  • Joined Jun 2010
  • Yorkshire
    • A Small Holding
Re: Polytunnel Layout
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2010, 11:57:53 am »
Hi, We're just trawling for ideas on Polytunnel layout and Fleecewife has just made us feel so, well, small!  ;D
I'm still trying to imagine my greenhouse inside a Polytunnel!
Useful info though, thanks.

lostinfens

  • Joined Aug 2010
Re: Polytunnel Layout
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2010, 03:22:27 pm »
We built a similar size this year, we just divided it roughly into 3 beds (middle slightly larger) down its length and laid scaffold boards either side of middle to walk on. It works well for us and the boards can be lifted easily if you want to rotovate or change the layout.

 

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