If you have plants inside your Polytunnel or Glasshouse in the winter months there are accessories available to help keep the cold at bay and protect from frost damage. The crop protection fleece will work as a duvet for plants and we have a range of thermostatically controlled heaters that can be used. The heaters will have the advantage of making snow melt before it can build up, helping to protect your Greenhouse or Polytunnel against structural damage.
On milder days it would do no harm to open the doors for a few hours to ventilate your Polytunnel . Frost occurs when air stands still. In Q gardens last year the plants inside unheated Polytunnels with open doors were affected less by frost than in the unheated Polytunnels with closed doors.
Polytunnels like other greenhouses provides protection for crops over the colder winter months. The biggest threat to plants during this colder period is frost.
Frost causes the water in plant cells to freeze. The result of this is damage to the cell wall which leads to wilted growth causing the plant to become blackened and distorted.
Under sever frost the temperature will drop to a point where only supplementary heating inside the tunnel will protect against the cold.
But before reaching this point, there are some steps that maximise your tunnels ability to protect against the frost.
Make sure your tunnel is located in the sunniest location of the garden. This allows your tunnel to heat up during the day in the low winter sun.
Clean your tunnel cover annually. This will reduced any obstructions to the sunlight passing through the polythene which will also help heat the tunnel.
Finally make sure when purchasing your tunnel than you only use a thermic plastic, which has good thermal properties. This will help reduce heat loss through the cover thus giving better protection to your crops during winter.
Over recent years “grow your own” received a new lease of life, and many have the idea of growing their own fruit and veg. For people living in the countryside the space needed to do this has not been an issue. But for those in the urban environment lack of space can pose many problems. Nevertheless this shouldn’t be a limiting factor.
You can choose different varieties of fruit and veg that are bred to grow in small spaces. If they have the words patio, pixie, tiny, baby or dwarf in their name it is a good bet. Remember plants that are bred to be small doesn’t mean the fruits will be small or the yield less. Normally by looking on the seedling pack it will tell you the mature size of the plants you are selecting. You can then decide which suits your space best.
Vegetables need a good 6 or more hours of sun each day. Without sun, the fruits will not ripen and the plants will be stressed. Some crops that can survive in light shade are lettuce, broccoli and other cole crops. For those who have shaded balconies or north facing apartments it’s important to give good consideration to crop selection as lack of sunlight could be an issue.
For those who always wanted their own greenhouse but thought they didn’t have the room you will be glad to know must manufacturers cater for this end of the market. And as they are small, they are also very affordable. Some examples are the Eden/Halls lean-to (2 ft x 4 ft model). and the Elite window garden.
So maximize your limited space, carefully select your crop and enjoy the pleasures of happy growing……
Grow your own
The difference will amaze you. Free from the ravages of the weather you can create ideal growing conditions for all sorts of vegetables and flowers in a Polytunnel or glasshouse, avoiding the frustrations of growing outdoors. No more plants being drowned by torrential rain, frozen and battered by the wind.
In a Polytunnel or glasshouse you will enjoy an extended growing season, being able to plant earlier in the season with less risk of frost (and even earlier again if you use a frost protection heater) and enjoy plant growth longer than is possible outdoors.
If you are new to growing you will be able to enjoy producing healthy organic crops and if new to growing your own vegetables you are in for a surprise as the taste of fresh vegetables picked and eaten the same day is really fantastic.
Lastly, if you have found Murphy’s law to be true that whenever you have a day off to escape to the quiet of the garden and the weather is most likely to be awful, with a Polydome Greenhouse your personal space will be available to you year round to forget about work and enjoy your hobby no matter what way the weather is.
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