We are all pretty familiar with raised beds and we are also familiar with polytunnels, that said, have we heard of raised beds in polytunnels. This is not a relatively new concept, but it is something that is very easily achieved with a little forward planning and preparation. We have two seperate constructions going on or to contend with and the issue is what do we construct first. The answer is we could do either, so we could plan and construct the raised bed in the decided location and then erect the polytunnel over these. The other option would be to have our polytunnel up and running and then plan for the raised beds afterwards. It’s a case of taking good accurate measurements and dimensions and working with these as we consider what we will do initially.
We will look at both options, see what’s involved and then make an informed choice as to what to do in relation to a project like this. Unless we were pretty good at construction and or carpentry, we would possibly be buying the polytunnel at our hardware stockist or garden centre. These are relatively easy to construct and assemble as all the accessories are included with the purchase, but we may need some assistance with the framework and construction of this. These polytunnels are available in all different sizes, shapes, heights and lengths and again our budget will dictate, what size we will decide on. My preference would be to purchase the polytunnel firstly and then decide on what size raised garden beds it would accomodate.
Deciding on a polytunnel;
As we have said these gardening accessories are available in all different sizes and depending on our needs, it’s advisable to get at least a tunnel that we can walk into and work inside these without having to stoop or bend. Some of these tunnels are open ended at both sides, but I would suggest that we accquire one that will enable both ends to be opened and closed as necessary. The choice of having either framed doors or zipped closing alternatives is another issue to consider and naturally the door option will possibly be more expensive.
For the purpose of this article we will look at a pretty standard sized polytunnel, look at the dimensions, price and examine how feasible a project like this is. For this exercise, the above tunnel above measures 15′ x 7′ x 7′ and retails at just over $100, also comes with free shipping. Given these dimensions, we could do a lot with a tunnel of this size. It is tall enough for us to walk in and stand upright while attending to our gardening tasks. There is adequate room on both sides to acccomodate raised beds. There are openings in both ends as well as on the sides, for light and air to penetrate as required. The frame is silvercoated pipe steel and is rust and weather proof. Inside, it is really roomy, it has a nice warm and bright appearance and will provide a great growing experience for the users.
Advantages of a polytunnel;
As we can see from the image of this polytunnel and also after examining all the dimensions and the capacity of this gardening greenhouse, its a great addition for our gardening requirements. The main purpose of a garden tunnel is to begin gardening as soon as possible. We can start growing our seeds and seedlings long before its conducive to so outside. It enables us to give our plants and vegetables a head start by slowly but surely introducing them to the outdoors with that assistance of this greenhouse. We can open the doors and side windows and let the fresh air flow in and out as we please and this exercise will gradually climatise our veggies seedlings to an outdoor envoirnment. At night it protects these against possible night frosts, the cold night air, strong winds and rain.
What to grow in a polytunnel;
The choices are endless and the existing climate will decide for us. Depending on where we live and the types of summers and winters that we experience, we can use this greenhouse for multiple choices. In some countries the summer can be hit and miss, so this facility is used a lot for tomato growing. The polytunnel frame is ideal for attaching vine tomatoes to and is sturdy enough to hold these in place. It can be used for soft friut like strawberries, grapes and so on. In the wintertime, we can use this for some herbs that will not survive the harsh winters and we can also use it for our winter salad choices. If we experience both extremes of either very hot or very cold climates, we may need to monitor the temperatures and take the necessary steps to ensure the health of our vegetables and fruit.
Integrating raised beds into polytunnels;
After deciding that we would purchase our polytunnel first, our next step would be to decide on how many raised beds we could accomodate in these. Naturally the raised beds will be located to the sides of the tunnel and its always better to leave the centre of the greenhouse free for walking in and out. The centre aisle that we will create should be wide enough to accomodate a wheelbarrow, as we may need to haul some topsoil, compost and so on into the raised beds. A width of three feet would be sufficient for this purpose. Our raised beds could be elevated or placed at ground level and the number of beds that we would like to have is not really limited. We can have several raised beds in this size greenhouse and using both the raised beds and the polytunnel will give the gardener a serious growing advantage at all times of the year.
We can see when we look at all the options of having a gardening facility like the one we have just described, it is relatively easy to construct and assemble. The benefits are numerous and seriously advantageous, so much so, we can begin our gardening jobs at any time of the year. I hope that this information is useful and informative, if you would like to join in the conversation, we would love to hear from you through the comments section down below.