Raised Beds in Polytunnels

Raised Beds in Polytunnels

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.

 

Polytunnels for raised beds

 

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.

 

 

raised beds for polytunnels

 

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.

In conclusion;

 

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.

 

8 thoughts on “Raised Beds in Polytunnels

  1. I just finished reading your article Raised Beds in Poly tunnels, and I found it to be very insightful.

    You mention how a Poly tunnel can work in cold weather, where I live the winters get extremely cold, do you know if there is a cut off to the performance of poly tunnels.

    I also appreciate the information on raised beds, i have back issues and anything that can eliminate me bending or kneeling I am all for!

    Thanks for this great post!
    Brendon

    1. Hi there Brendon,

      Many thanks for stopping by and reading this post, its very welcomed and appreciated. Yes, I agree with you 100%, polytunnels make gardening very interesting and can be a great asset to any garden. Having waist high raised beds can also be very beneficial, especially if we have issues with bending or stooping. To be able to have them inside of a polytunnel, would be an extra special bonus.

      The concern with how the tunnels would work in a cold climate, I guess every area and location would be different. It would be a trial and error effort for starters and then take every winter on its merit afterwards. If the inside soil would freeze in the winter, then it would be a wasted exercise.

      The best advise would be to enquire at your local garden centre or nursery, they would have greenhouses and polytunnels, which they would be using for the more delicate and tender plants and vegetables.

      They would have a good idea of how cold the winters get and what would or would not grow in these over the cold months.

      Thanks again for dropping by,

      Cheers     PB

  2. I read your post on waist high beds, and had to continue reading about the polytunnels. I was wondering how expensive it is for a polytunnel? I suppose I just need to look thru your site a bit more. Seem like I could have a longer growing season for my plants with one of these? I really loved the idea of waist high raised beds, so this might even be better!

    1. Hi there matt’s Mom,

      Many thanks for dropping by and reading this post, It’s really appreciated. I agree with you on the polytunnels issue, you could really extend your growing season, which is always a great help. They are a fantastic idea and really don’t cost the earth. You could start out with a small version, say for approx  $50-60. and work your way upwards.

      The idea of having waist high raised beds is also possible and I did mention it in this post. Provided we have a large greenhouse, you could have your raised beds in the polytunnel, have them any particular size you wanted and also have them waist high if required.

      Thanks again for dropping by,

      Happy gardening,

      Cheers       PB

  3. Very informative post going beyond what the title suggests. There are many steps to taking care of the hanging baskets and I think you covered them very well. I like the tips and tricks to healthy plants. You have done a great job in reviewing the idea of having raised beds in polytunnels. Its a great idea, especially if the springtime is prone to a lot of rain and cold weather. . Thanks!

    1. Hi there megan,

      Many thanks for dropping by and reading this post, its greatly welcomed. Yes I agree with you on the hanging baskets issue, there are several ways to look after flowers and if we do give them a little attention, they will definitely pay us back in fantastic displays and blooms.

      As for the polytunnels, they are a fantastic idea and especially if we like our gardening. They are a great accesory and would make gardening more enjoyable and interesting, that’s for sure.

      Thanks again for stopping by,

      Happy gardening,

      Cheers    PB

  4. Hi Phil I love to plant my vegetable garden in the summer and one thing I have always wanted was the raised beds where you do not have to bend over all the time to weed. That would be my dream garden. I am not sure about the poly tunnel since we have very high winds where I live but that would be a great asset for any gardener who could have one. How warm would it get inside a poly tunnel if none of the windows and doors were open?

    1. Hi there Maureen,

      Many thanks for dropping by and reading this post on polytunnels. I agree with you 100% on the raised beds issue, for starters they make gardening much less labour intensive and secondly the waist high version of these willl definitely make gardening much easier and way more enjoyable. When we don’t have to bend or stretch for the weeding and maintenance, that is a great relief and takes the hard work out of the equation.

      As for the polytunnels, you have rightly pointed out, the wind could be an issue with these. They are pretty lightweight, especially at that price. Some of the polytunnels come with ropes and pin stays to secure the frame and structure to the ground, so that may be a help.

      In the summertime these greenhouses become very warm and would require special attention, during high summer. That’s why, I suggested that we get ones that are open at both ends and also have window openings at the side. This allows air to penetrate throughout the tunnnel and would allow it to be cooled down whenever necessary.

      I trust that this information is useful and beneficial, happy gardening,

      Cheers     PB

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