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Thread: Freebie Cheapy Polytunnel

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    Jay-ell's Avatar
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    Default Freebie Cheapy Polytunnel

    Got a text today - a week on Saturday I get to pick up a free polytunnel

    I believe it's a 3m by 2m blow away type, now I'm trying to figure out the best way to install and secure it.

    I've had a quick gander in the garage for stuff to customise it with. I've a bunch of metal stakes (like short sections of rebar with a hook on the end), a bag full of hose clamps, blue water pipe, some bungee cords and I have on the plot some old hose and some nylon rope..

    So the ideas coming to mind are :
    • Use the hose clips with one slotted through the other. With one hose clamp on the frame the other would be rotated 90 degrees so that I can slot 10 foot lengths of the blue water pipe through running the length of the tunnel along the arch giving me somewhere to tie strings to or somewhere to hang baskets from.
    • Metal stakes along the bottom of the frame at 45 degree angles to hold the frame steady.
    • Metal stakes about 12 inches away from the outside walls at 45 degrees. The rope (running through the hose pipes to reduce rubbing) runs from one over the top and tied to the stake on the opposite side (possibly connected to one using a bungee cord)
    • I thought about getting some weed membrane but I plan on planting in the ground anyway so I'd just end up cutting most of that away so I'm not going to bother (plus it costs). I'll start off with newspapers first to keep weeds down and plant through that..
    • I'm not sure about digging in the cover - usually these things only have a few inches of overhang which don't get much grip on the soil. I might just cover with sa layer of soil to stop the wind whistling under it and catching. I have a number of bricks on the plot which should help weight this

    The only place I have to put it has a bit of a slope, but this shouldn't be too much of an issue. Going to have to prep the area, digging out flag stones, bricks and who knows what else (it is in the jungle plot after all). I'll probably have to jump up and down on it once it's been prepped to compact the ground a bit for the stakes - any ideas ?
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    The problem with these polytunnels is that the frame and cover is so loose. puff of wind, cover tries to lift like a sail and the whole thing rattles.

    I have/had the 2 x 3 2 years past and it got shredded. Don't use bricks to hold the cover down. The Sharp edge will gnaw away at the sides. Think you'll get on better trenching / Covering with soil.


    how about just using one door. Make a door frame to secure cover to it. Perhaps make your own door. they are a faff.


    1. Rebar hammered in next to each upright.
    2 Cover and dig plastic into the soil along remaining 3 sides
    3. Lift Frame to tension plastic
    4. Secure with pipe clips
    5. 2 x Hose pipes over Centre of hoop to further tension plastic (splitting into 3rds)


    Other mods sound good

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    nickdub is online now Early Fruiter
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    with my small poly-tunnel I've been thinking about recovering it with clear corrugated roof sheets bent round to form the arch - so far I haven't been able to source any cheap ones, but I'm keeping my eye open for anyone selling off an old conservatory or similar locally.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4Shoes View Post
    The problem with these polytunnels is that the frame and cover is so loose. puff of wind, cover tries to lift like a sail and the whole thing rattles.

    I have/had the 2 x 3 2 years past and it got shredded. Don't use bricks to hold the cover down. The Sharp edge will gnaw away at the sides. Think you'll get on better trenching / Covering with soil.


    how about just using one door. Make a door frame to secure cover to it. Perhaps make your own door. they are a faff.


    1. Rebar hammered in next to each upright.
    2 Cover and dig plastic into the soil along remaining 3 sides
    3. Lift Frame to tension plastic
    4. Secure with pipe clips
    5. 2 x Hose pipes over Centre of hoop to further tension plastic (splitting into 3rds)


    Other mods sound good
    I like the idea of the rebar and hose clamps being used to lift the frame and tension the skin. Would never had thought of that. Unfortunately for me the stuff I have is more like oversized tent pegs so wouldn't be long enough to hammer into the ground and still have a usable length to clamp on to.

    Not sure where I'd get rebar free - aren't many construction projects that I see round here at the moment and those that are are using brick.

    I'm trying to keep the cost a low as possible, at least until I have to recover it (which may be soon). I might do the rebar then. I've a few stakes supporting the raspberries I would re-purpose but I don't fancy that they'd be strong enough so may skip that step this time round.

    I take your point on the bricks wearing through the plastic, so trenching it will be.

    I was thinking of putting 4 ropes across the tunnel, going from the ends of each side to the middle of the opposite so that they look like large Xs over the tunnel. Would you think this would be securer that the two either side of the mid-rib? If I have enough rope and hose I could add some straight across at the ends and middle.

    New all singing all dancing blog - Jasons Jungle

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    Jay-ell
    Think the ropes are a bit of give it a go and see. My inspiration is from the fruit growers in Tayside. They have them to help hold ventilation flaps in place. and also to tension the plastic. Going end to end or diagonal corner to corner I don't think will clamp it down.


    all best

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    Well, it's going to be delayed a little now I've discovered how much junk that section of ground contains.

    Does anyone need a remote control for a Ferguson TV? Christmas Lights? Half a pottery Windmill? Jigsaw made from the car rear light glass covers (when they were glass) - 500 piece?

    The only thing I've found that's useful is a 4 foot Venetian blind. Those lats are great for the grids in SFG beds. Oh, and the sand pit. That could become a pond - it already has frogs.
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    New all singing all dancing blog - Jasons Jungle

    ”I have not failed 1,000 times. I have successfully discovered 1,000 ways to NOT make a light bulb."
    ― Thomas A. Edison

    “Negative results are just what I want. They’re just as valuable to me as positive results. I can never find the thing that does the job best until I find the ones that don’t.”
    ― Thomas A. Edison

    - I must be a Nutter,VC says so -

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    nickdub is online now Early Fruiter
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    Maybe you could get a feeling there's a Roman mosaic further down under the fairy lights which the "Time Team" people would do well to investigate ? Save yourself a bit of digging .....
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    I remember Bigmal saying he used nylon washing line stretched over the cover and anchored down on each side very firmly. I always thought that holding the whole thing down rather than attempting to secure the frame and secure the cover was more likely to be successful. I'd veto the bungee cord, as you don't want flex, I don't think.

    Have fun!

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