Dirty Polytunnel

 

Over the winter months, polytunnels will have been subjected to a great deal of damp weather. This will undoubtedly have left deposits of algae and other dirt on the tunnel, all of which needs to be cleaned away to ensure the interior receives as much sunlight as possible.

Algiclear Pro Polytunnel CleanerThe Essentials

A polytunnel is large, so it is best for two people to clean it rather than just one. Grab yourself a helper and lay your hands on some form of sheeting (preferably fabric), two short lengths of rope or something similar (a clothesline is an acceptable alternative), cleaning fluid (the sort that is designed for removing algae, such as Algiclear Pro), two tennis balls, a soft brush and/or sponge, garden hose, bucket of soapy water and a bottle fitted with a spray nozzle.

You may be wondering what on earth the tennis balls are for! These are used as weights at each end of the sheet. Simply put a tennis ball on the fabric at each end of the sheet and fold it over, using the rope or clothesline to tie it off. You now have a weighted sheet. Dip this sheet in the bucket of soapy water.

The Top

With the garden hose, spray the entire top of the polytunnel. Once this is wet, throw the sheet over the tunnel with the tennis ball weights hanging down on either side. With you and your helper at each side of the tunnel, take hold of the sheet and start pulling it from side to side. This will effectively rub off any algae and other debris from the sides of the tunnel. Do one section at a time, working your way down the tunnel. Repeat if you feel it necessary. Use the garden hose once again to ensure that any dirt removed but still present on the tunnel does not stick to it, and also that any dirty water caught in creases is blasted away.

The Sides

Moving onto the sides, you are going to attack these as you would wash a car. Wet the soft brush with water from the hose, then use the spray bottle to spray a detergent, or the Algiclear Pro, directly onto the bristles. Rub the sides of the tunnel with the brush to remove dirt, then use the hose to rinse it from the surface.

Algae On PolytunnelThe Inside

Preferably using a sponge, but otherwise the soft brush, attack the inside of the tunnel. Use a disinfecting solution, such as Hortisept Pro, applied directly to either the sponge or brush, and gently work your way along the interior of the tunnel. Toxins can build up inside the tunnel, so using an anti-fungal and antibacterial product that is safe for plants will reduce the chances of fungal infections.

In order to give your polytunnel time to dry, start this process as early in the day as possible. You might be tempted to think the algae present will have little or no effect on sunlight levels, but you would be wrong. Clean off the algae on your polytunnel to protect your fruit and vegetables.

If you’d like more information on cleaning your polytunnel or the cleaning products we supply feel free to get in touch. Call us today on 01282 873120 for expert advice.