How To Use a Grow Tunnel
How To Use a Grow Tunnel
Growing fruit and vegetables in the ground is a fun and rewarding pastime, but it isn’t without its obstacles – pests being chief among them. Like Dracula, garden pests love to strike when the sun goes down and the world is sleeping, which is why it’s an uphill struggle to stop them. If you’re tired of waking up to find your crops obliterated by slugs and crushed half to death by badgers, a grow tunnel is a simple solution.
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What is a Grow Tunnel?
Put simply, a grow tunnel is a smaller version of the polytunnels you find at nurseries and vegetable farms – making them great for smaller garden spaces. Semi-circular in shape, they have a clear cover which is held in place by steel frame and creates the warm conditions fruit and vegetables require to produce a stronger, healthier, and more abundant crop.
Placing a grow tunnel over your ground crops forms a protective barrier and creates a no-go zone for pests. It also prevents your fruit and vegetables being felled by heavy winds, killed off by frosts, or being overwatered when it rains. The cover on our tunnel greenhouses is also UV-resistant to prevent it degrading and protect your crops from harmful UV rays.
Using a Grow Tunnel
Don’t let a small garden put you off growing your own fruit and veg. Even if you have a small courtyard or rooftop garden without a lawn or vegetable plot, you can create a raised bed out of wood to grow your very own ground crops. Strawberries, cabbages, carrots, peppers – whatever you want to grow, there’s no reason you can’t do it with a grow tunnel!
During the spring, you can secure a grow tunnel over an empty plot to warm the soil and create the perfect conditions for sowing seeds and transplanting crops. By creating a warmer microclimate, it allows you to sow seeds earlier in the spring and give your plants the best start for the summer. Early spring is the perfect time to plant brassicas, root vegetables, leeks and more. Save peppers, tomatoes, and other summer crops until later in the spring.
Don’t worry if your fruit and vegetables aren’t quite ready to harvest. By using a grow tunnel, you can keep them warm and snug long into September and October. Salads with hardier leaves, such as rocket, winter lettuce, and perpetual spinach, can also be sown in the autumn to feed you way into the winter. Autumn is also the best time to sow broad beans and plant garlic, shallots, and onions to give yourself a bumper crop next year.
Summer is the season when your fruit and vegetables really start to shoot. Roll the doors of your tunnel greenhouse up during the day to prevent your crops overheating, then zip them up in the evening to protect them from things that go ‘munch’ in the night. During the summer, you can plant many of the crops you planted in the spring to give you an even bigger harvest. Strawberries, lettuce, and salad leaves also seem to thrive when planted in the summer.
Ah, winter. If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to weatherproof your grow tunnel. Although ours come with pegs to secure them to the ground, we recommend placing rocks or bricks over the lip of the cover. This will help to brace your tunnel greenhouse from strong winds whilst excluding draughts to provide extra warmth on frosty mornings. Broccoli, cabbage, carrots, and other root veg are all good to sow throughout the winter.
Types of Tunnel Greenhouse
Don’t let a small garden put you off growing your
Our grow tunnels are available with a height of 60cm or 92cm. Each model comes with the option of two, three, or four sections to cover shorter or longer plots. They’re easy to assemble with a reinforced PE cover that pops over the top. The cover consists of a white mesh sandwiched between two layers of polyethylene for extra strength and durability.
Roll-up doors on each section allow you to create a perfect microclimate for different crops. For example, you can grow peppers in one section of the tunnel greenhouse and parsnips in another. If you want your peppers to stay dry and your parsnips to soak up the rain, you can open the door to your parsnips and keep the door to your peppers tightly closed.
Small Grow Tunnel
Small grow tunnels are generally used to protect seedlings but can also be used to grow stumpy crops and plants. Being on the small side has its advantages as it makes them easier to move around. Some gardeners use them to protect seedlings until they’re firmly established, before moving them to a new bed where fresh seedlings are starting to sprout.
Large Grow Tunnel
Large grow tunnels are taller, wider, and longer than small tunnel greenhouses. They’re perfect for covering larger plots and growing a wider variety of crops. Even tall-growing plants like tomatoes can be grown in a large tunnel greenhouse, though you may need to prune them if they’re getting too tall. The last thing you want is a Triffid!