Sunday, March 22, 2015

Our polytunnel

For some time we have been wanting to put up a polytunnel.  We have had the hoops (they were given to us - thank you!) for years, and a need for a decent propagation area gave us the incentive to get this up.

The polytunnel will serve three distinctly different purposes (seed raising/propagation, hot climate vegetable growing/season extention and a place to grow warmer climate plants like bananas, coffee and some citrus) - and initially I had imagined three separate greenhouses, but as we had lots of hoops we decided to make one big tunnel and that is it.

the frame

We built the structure over several weekends a few hours here and there in between other things.  The plastic had to be done in one hit and we knew we had to do it soon as its autumn and its not ideal to put up the plastic in cold weather as it stretches out better when its warm.  We decided on a day (today) and I hoped that it wouldn't been too windy (it was a perfectly still day!).  I still can't quite believe our luck with the weather!!!

it was harder than it looks!
It was just the two of us doing it and I was a little apprehensive about it as I have heard of others needing quite a few people to help.  And when we first started to pull the plastic over I did really think that it might not work out so well just us, but eventually after alot of sweat (no tears luckily!) we did it!  It was surprising how much the plastic 'stuck' to the hoops - although it was mostly due to the weight of the plastic that was on the ground (it got really easy once it was mostly up off the ground).  The polytunnel is quite big - 20m long.

nearly there!
the kids helping out!
attaching the plastic

Very happy with how it has turned out!

polytunnel building team!
Still alot of work to do on it though.  As you can see the sides are open - they will need to be filled in.  Still deciding how we will do it.  We need to build benches for seedling trays and we plan on having some ponds in the middle - they will help in humidifying the polytunnel and may form part of an aquaponics type watering setup - still thinking about this (I hope we can keep goldfish and waterlillies in there).  Looking forward to designing the inside layout and then planting!  Yay!

PS. thanks to the kids for taking all the photos!


  1. You will love this, we put one in about same size 3 years ago and everything just grows quicker and we have extended our season as well, we live in the Upper Yarra Valley, so our seasons aren't too long, looking forward to seeing what you are planning for the inside and also great idea painting the poles white.

    1. The upper yarra valley was our old stomping ground! We have a pretty similar climate here. Would have been very handy this last summer...