hobby buildAn undeniable trend in recent years is that more and more people are wanting to become self-sufficient and take pride in growing their own fruit and veg in their own space. The UK is known for not being the warmest of countries so having a sheltered area to grow is crucial in order for crops to grow and survive as well as not having to be limited to the short time frame you would usually have for growing. The question still remains though: is it better to do this in a polytunnel or a greenhouse?

There are certainly advantages to both structures, although there are far more when it comes to polytunnels. First and foremost, let’s have a look at the price: Even a smaller greenhouse can be particularly expensive. You will get far more growing space for your money with a polytunnel than you would with a greenhouse. On average an 8’ x 12’ polytunnel is two and a half times cheaper than a greenhouse of the same size.

Not only that but Polytunnels are much easier to construct with fewer components to assemble, which also saves the consumer money on construction costs. A Northern Polytunnels Easy-Build polytunnel does what it says on the tin and generally speaking can be constructed in a matter of hours with an easy-to-follow instruction guide included in the kit. A polytunnel is also easier to manoeuvre and can be relocated more easily than a greenhouse if you change your mind on where it should go at a later date.

Polytunnels are also much easier to customise than greenhouses, with a number of additional extras to get the most out of whatever you wish to grow. From the ventilation options to different types of irrigation systems and even the polythene you would like on your structure. Your polytunnel can be specifically tailored to your requirements, whatever you wish to grow in them. They also aren’t set in stone so if you need to add features to your polytunnel at a later date, this is incredibly easy to do.

So now that we have you convinced, you’ll need to know how to select a polytunnel that is right for you. The first thing to decide is what you will be growing in your polytunnel. Dependent on whether you will be growing fruit and veg or whether it will be flowers and other plants that need a bit of extra shelter to flourish, the best thing to do is to research your plants first to decide the right sort of environment you need to create. What kind of ventilation do they need? How often do they need to be watered? How much would you like to grow? Once you have all this in mind, you’ll be ready to build your polytunnel!

Our hobby polytunnels range from 8ft to 14ft wide and 10ft to 60ft long depending on the space you have available. When it comes to choosing your polythene, this would come down to how much light, warmth and/or shade you would like to give your plants. At Northern Polytunnels we have 3 options for you to choose from:

Lumisol Clear is as you would expect, the clearest of the options and allows in 2% more light than the diffused option, meaning more heat reaches your plants as well. This polythene also is open to UV allowing it to reach your plants which can be highly beneficial to a lot of edible crops you may grow.

Lumisol Diffused scatters light that comes through the polythene, giving more even light across your plants. Whilst it also allows UV through, the overall light through is 2% less than the clear option meaning the temperature inside the polytunnel stays cooler which can be beneficial to a lot of plants that overheat in the summer months.

SuperLux 50:50 is our most popular choice of polythene as it balances between diffused and clear giving half the light diffusion as the fully diffused polythene. All of our polythene options come with an anti-condensation additive to prevent condensation from building within the polytunnel, reducing fungal diseases spreading and prevents unnecessary loss of light. SuperLux comes with a five-year guarantee and Lumisol comes with a seven-year guarantee although it is not unusual for the polythene to far exceed these expectations.

At Northern Polytunnels we also offer a full selection of extras to add to your polytunnel dependent on what you require from it. This includes ventilation kits, raised beds, guttering, and fully automated irrigation kits to get the most out of your crops.

If you would like further information on our hobby growing polytunnels please feel free to contact our sales team on 01282 873120 or email us at sales@npstructures.co.uk