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Author Topic: Polytunnel or Greenhouse  (Read 5335 times)

egbert

  • Joined Jan 2010
Polytunnel or Greenhouse
« on: May 31, 2010, 10:39:40 pm »
Sorry if this has been asked before -

I am thinking of setting up Greenhouse, but I see a lot of you have a Polytunnel instead so was hoping someone could tell me what the differences are, is each one better for different things, what kind of maintenance they would need, equiptment to go in them etc . .  basically anything and everything useful to know about them. ;)

Thanks

Voss Electric Fence

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Polytunnel or Greenhouse
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2010, 12:46:25 am »
Hi Egbert, we have both, the greenhouse inside the tunnel.  We are cold and windy up here so a greenhouse on its own would blow away.  I would say that if you have room for a tunnel then you are better to spend your money on that.  You get more room to grow and you can grow in the soil.  The greenhouse is useful for raising seedlings and growing very tender plants such as chillies and peppers, aubergines and so on.  All I over winter in my greenhouse is tender ornamentals from outside and some herbs. I'm not very good at winter crops in my tunnel - the last few years I have had chicks in there because it's been too cold/snowy to have them outside and they demolish everything.  In Spring the tunnel doubles up for emergency lambing, with hurdles made into a pen. If on the other hand you are somewhere hot then a tunnel can easily get too hot in the summer, and you would be better with a greenhouse to raise plants early in the year to plant outside. Our equipment in the GH is homemade benches, in the tunnel, crop bars and a cold frame.  I also make fleece cloches using blue water pipe for the hoops.  You can invest in a drip feed system if you are rich but really neither needs much extra equipment. A polytunnel raises the temp by about 1 degree when it's cold, as does the greenhouse, coldframe, cloches etc and this is cumulative (so fleece over my greenhouse plants inside the tunnel in theory would keep plants 3 degrees warmer than outside.  The tunnels best effect is to keep off the wind and heavy rain/sleet/hail/snow.
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

egbert

  • Joined Jan 2010
Re: Polytunnel or Greenhouse
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2010, 12:23:15 pm »
Thanks for the info. We dont have much in the way of livestock, apart from the chickens. I would love to get into having more - some lambs and pigs maybe but dont have much enthusiasm from the OH right now.

Im in the Midlands so really have medium weather, so a polytunnel would be enough I guess.

Moregin

  • Joined Oct 2009
  • Grangemouth
Re: Polytunnel or Greenhouse
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2010, 12:13:29 am »
Hello Egbert,

My choice was made as there is a footpath alongside our garden and we didnt want some of the young eedjits lobbing stuff at the glass. 

I have just finished building my Polytunnel.  The big thing I seen in the research before deciding was cost - the same size greenhouse would be 4 or 5 times the price of the tunnel.  I appreciate the benefits of both but for me that also had a big part to play in the decision.

I went for a 25'x12' tunnel with wide sliding doors, irrigation system, crop bars and the fancy thermal anti-condensation cover for a total of £609 delivered.  It was fairly easy to put up and although the experts from the company say 2 men in a weekend I did most of the work myself and had a hand for the bits like digging the trench and putting on the cover.  it took me 5 days in total.  Never had any real issues other than tension on the first corner but after playing with it we figured out how to get it better.
Try to be the type of person your dog thinks you are!

JL

  • Joined Apr 2009
Re: Polytunnel or Greenhouse
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2010, 11:09:11 pm »
Hi Egbert,
I would love a greenhouse the size of my polytunnel but it is to expensive. We have 2 polytunnels and a greenhouse and use them all the time. I have found that greenhouses are easier and cheaper to heat but far more expensive and more compicated to build. The site needs to be level and you should have a good foundation for it. Tunnels are far more forgiving. We don't have very much level ground but we have put up a 10ft x 15ft and a 18ft x 48ft. And there both full at least 10 months of the year. The one thing I would say is by the biggest you can afford. If you are at all good at diy buy a second hand one as there is not much to go wrong with them. You will have to buy a new cover and build some new doors. Also wide and tall is important as it gets the air flowing. A very long narrow tunnel can have more problems. I use the small tunnel for seedlings and grow on in the bigger tunnel. You will be amazed what you can grow. So I would go with a tunnel unless money is no object, in which case I would go for a massive bespoke victorian greenhouse. And can you buy me one too.
jim ;D

Sharondp

  • Joined Jun 2009
Re: Polytunnel or Greenhouse
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2010, 10:17:34 am »
My poytunnel was already here when we moved in. It's not heated but does have an irrigation system.

I just use my windowsill for seedlings and move them into the polytunnel later!

My grandad has a greenhouse - he uses it once a year for his tomatoes! ::)

egglady

  • Joined Jun 2009
Re: Polytunnel or Greenhouse
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2010, 11:21:33 am »
we have 2 GH's - one left by previous owner and a new one we bought a couple of years ago.  if i had them time (and the space), I'd buy a huge polytunnel as i think they are fab - and probably more versatile for all year round crops than a GH.  Having said that, i do use my Gh all year round, so i kind of think either/or - depends upon your circumstances - time avaialbe/do you want to grow all year round/what do you want to grown/space....access to water...that kind of stuff - you need to know the answers to these things before you decide which is best for you.

redsquirrel

  • Joined Jun 2010
Re: Polytunnel or Greenhouse
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2010, 05:40:40 pm »
Hi egbert, We have both One greenhouse and two tunnels, and the tunnel is far more practicle and considerably cheaper for the amount of space you get. However if you can afford it look at a Keider house (I think I have spelt it right), this is a tunnel but shaped like a building with an apex roof and is clad with a heavy duty polythene which is more like a bubble wrap and comes in sections, so you dont get the problem of ripping as you do with a standard polytunnel. They covering lasts a lot longer, and infact we have never recovered ours and have had it for about 15 years. When we moved house we took it down brought it with us and re erected it 8 years ago using the same materials, with the exception of one panel which we had to replace. Hope this helps.

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Polytunnel or Greenhouse
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2010, 09:47:18 pm »
P/tunnel if you've got the space (depending on what size you want you might need Planning permission though), as it really gives you a lot more space for less money.

Can in the winter also be used for hay storage (with ventilation) or emergency sheep shed.

Ours did survive the snow this winter, but only with us being out every morning taking the snow off the top, the plastic was dangerously bowed under about 30cm of snow...

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Polytunnel or Greenhouse
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2010, 12:25:54 am »
We worried about our tunnel in the snow too.  About 2 feet or so fell and on warm days slid down the sides to form high heaps against the plastic (much taller than me).  It looked very alarming from inside, causing the polythene to stretch in big uneven lumps, with such an enormously heavy weight against it.  It is too high to sweep the snow off so we couldn't do anything about it.  The snow stayed for many weeks but once it had all melted and the sun had shone on it for a while it all went back into place and now looks none the worse for wear. This particular cover is about 12 years old with various mended bits but unless we get another 100 mph gale it should last a bit longer, which is just as well as we can't decide just when to change it for minimal disturbance to crops. We had gone for the most expensive and thickest cover we could get and that has proved a good decision.
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Polytunnel or Greenhouse
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2010, 10:36:33 pm »
Our cover is in its 4th summer and still not ripped... so hopefully a few more years.

Sandy

  • Guest
Re: Polytunnel or Greenhouse
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2010, 10:58:10 pm »
I only just fopund out that polly tunnels are far tooo cold in winter!!

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
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Re: Polytunnel or Greenhouse
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2010, 11:06:05 pm »
So are greenhouses - only difference is you can put a heater in a glass building but not a plastic one.(having said that I think you can put a low wattage one in)
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

Sandy

  • Guest
Re: Polytunnel or Greenhouse
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2010, 11:07:24 pm »
So the point of having a glass house or polly tunnel is??

Sharondp

  • Joined Jun 2009
Re: Polytunnel or Greenhouse
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2010, 01:44:38 pm »
Somewhere to go and sit with a cuppa when it's raining!

 

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