6 Fantastic Uses for a Polytunnel

Published: 31st January 2011
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Guard your plants from harsh conditions with a garden polytunnel. You may not be familiar with the term polytunnel but the chances are you will have seen a garden polytunnel before in a nursery. Made from plastic or glass a polytunnel completely covers your garden gems from the harsh weather.

A garden polytunnel increases the probabilities of your plants survival throughout cold weather, it retains warmth and humidity, warms the soil to allow earlier planting and protects your plants from other dangers such as animals and insects that might try and attack your plants. Unlike greenhouses and coldframes a garden cloche is placed over your plants in their existing position meaning that your plant does not have to be uprooted from its existing spot.

Garden polytunnels are made from either plastic or glass. There are ornate bell versions that can be put over individual plants or alternatively there are tunnel cloches that can cover complete garden beds. They sit straight on the soil are inexpensive and are portable.

Bell Cloches

This kind sits comfortably over an individual plant. The standard glass Victorian cloches look pretty but do not provide your plants with ventilation. A plastic bell cloche will have a controllable vent on the top which enables you to maximise your plants growing atmosphere. Bell cloches can be utilised on individual plants in your beds, over plant pots or to cover plants in your residence or greenhouse.

Plastic Garden Polytunnel

This variety of cloche is a plastic sheet held over your plants by a series of metal hoops. At the end of the polytunnel are two doors which can be utilised to control ventilation. This type of frost protection is perfect if you are looking to cover an complete garden bed or row of vegetables in your garden.

6 benefits of employing a garden cloche

- Quickly transported and can be placed over any plant in your garden.

- Low-cost compared to greenhouses and coldframes.

- Can be utilised to mature crops early or to keep plants producing crops for longer in the autumn.

- Warms the soil.

- Defend tender herbaceous plants all through the winter.

- Enable you to control temperature and humidity.

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