Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Best poly tunnel? Or alternative?  (Read 12860 times)

ruralliving

  • Joined May 2012
Best poly tunnel? Or alternative?
« on: June 01, 2012, 04:28:02 pm »
We have been looking at poly tunnels for veg/salad growing, we've got space for something up to 20' by 10' but we can't decide what is the best tunnel for a reasonable price.


Does anyone have any recommendations?  We considered building one ourselves but we aren't really sure where to start.


It's just for home produce, not commercial.

MikeM

  • Joined Jul 2011
  • NW Devon
Re: Best poly tunnel? Or alternative?
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2012, 07:14:52 pm »
we ended up going for a 1st polytunnel, erm, polytunnel. Most because of the online video tutorials.
http://www.firsttunnels.co.uk/category.asp
I can't comment on how it compares to others on the market, but ours was reletively easy to put together.
 

suziequeue

  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Llanidloes; Powys
Re: Best poly tunnel? Or alternative?
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2012, 07:15:14 pm »
Well - we got our polytunnel from First Tunnels and they were BRILLIANT.


Really good website. Lots of options and great customer service. We had two guys come and put ours up and they worked really hard. Did a great job.


It's not the cheapest but the tunnel is very well designed and built.



We have just got some more cropping bars and clips and they were really helpful.


(I am not a First Tunnels employee by the way!!!)
We do the best we can with the information we have

When we know better we do better

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Best poly tunnel? Or alternative?
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2012, 11:51:31 pm »
We chose Northern Polytunnels because we are in an exposed situation and NP are sturdily built, with heftier than usual metal used in the hoops.  We added crop bars and triangulation at each end to help with wind survivability.  It's been up for 16 years now.
It's certainly worth doing your homework and researching just what you want and just what's out there.
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

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

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Mammyshaz

  • Joined Feb 2012
  • Durham
Re: Best poly tunnel? Or alternative?
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2012, 12:08:35 am »
I've been looking at polytunnels on and off for a year or so now as greenhouses put up along our back area on other sites have been blown down as quickly as they were erected.

After scrutiny 2weeks ago we bought one for my birthday ( today, happy 21and a  bit to me) I decided on northern polytunnels because I heard good reports. It's not the cheapest but we have high winds tunnelling off the back fields and the NP sounded higher spec steel and poly than others. It was delivered and by the thickness and weight I think it will take a hurricane to lift.

Very pleased with the materials supplied and instruction manual seems easy to follow, though we only have part of the structure erected at present ( hoping to continue this w/e weatherpermitting).

Ps it's only 8 x 10

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Best poly tunnel? Or alternative?
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2012, 09:57:10 am »
Happy Birthday Mammyshaz  :wave:
 
The other part of making your polytunnel windproof is getting the cover on nice and tight.  Also once it's been up through a big wind, go round and check all the bolts, which have a tendency to work loose in the early days.   Have fun with it  :thumbsup:
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

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

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

ruralliving

  • Joined May 2012
Re: Best poly tunnel? Or alternative?
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2012, 10:15:46 am »
Thanks for the replies!  We have looked at first tunnels, but were a bit overwhelmed at all the available optional extras.  For those of you who brought one, did you go for any of the add ons?  And which ones did you choose?  We quickly realised we could double the cost of the tunnel with all the possible extras!

MikeM

  • Joined Jul 2011
  • NW Devon
Re: Best poly tunnel? Or alternative?
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2012, 11:12:31 am »
we're also in a pretty exposed area so we went for the thicker gauge tubing. Also: crop bars, storm stays and the top range of plastic. We also went for alloy base rails rather than the trnching method. In hindsight, I'd have saved a few quid and gone for the timber base rails. We also went for a double door at one end.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Best poly tunnel? Or alternative?
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2012, 12:18:24 pm »
Yes, the basic cost of the hoops and cover don't seem too bad, then you find you need to have doors and louvres.   Our 21' x 42' Northern Polytunnel, as well as the crop bars and triangulation bars mentioned above for stability, also has double doors at both ends and 6' double louvres at both ends ie one at ground level which hardly ever gets used, and one above.  When we did the latest re-cover last year, my OH rebuilt the doors and louvres at a fraction of the cost from the suppliers, buying the timber locally and the polycarbonate online.  We also had to replace the timber base rails.  It was nearly as much work as putting up a new tunnel, but should last another 16 years  :fc:
What would be a quite useful alternative for us would be a second set of doors with mesh covers for the summer, so we could have ventilation without the hens getting in  :chook: :chook: .  You can get a sliding door now which would be better in high winds, but in a sheltered site many people just have roller flaps over the doors.  There are some expensive options such as mesh sides, louvres in the roof and so on, so it's just a case of deciding how high spec you want to go.
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

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

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

suziequeue

  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Llanidloes; Powys
Re: Best poly tunnel? Or alternative?
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2012, 02:52:34 pm »
Yes - the add-ons are fun. We got anchor plate kit, aluminium base rail, staging on both sides, a vent on the right side, super clear cover, crop bars, wide sliding door at one end and hinged single door at the other.


I did ask about having vents on both sides as then you get a wooden side rail along both sides that can be used to attach guttering to but eventually we only had it one one side as we were advised that both sides would weaken the infrastructure too much.


I think I probably wouldn't go for the staging if I had my time again but would have bought a trestle table.


Recently we have invested in four sets of tubing and the corresponding number of ridge clamps so that we have two lines of tubing running the length of the polytunnel on each side to tie the tomatoes and stuff up to.
We do the best we can with the information we have

When we know better we do better

 

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