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5 Top Tips for Choosing a Polytunnel

20th March 2017

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Have a read of the following pointers from Northern Polytunnels to help you pick a structure that will last a lifetime.

When choosing a polytunnel remember to look for quality over quantity. You can buy these items for as little as £100, but what you can expect is poor framework and cheap plastic which may only last a season or two. Serious growers know that a good polytunnel increases crop yield and should last a lifetime.

Here are five points you should consider before handing over your hard-earned cash:

1. Securing your polytunnel

Heavy-duty foundation tubes are the mainstay of any polytunnel. Don’t choose one which uses the same thin-walled tube for the foundations as it uses for the hoops. Insist on foundation tubes with a minimum wall thickness of 3mm which are galvanised to prevent rust.

2. Aluminium vs. timber

Door frames and side rails of polytunnels are now available in aluminium. These components are factory-cut to size, easily assembled, and last a lifetime. This is in contrast to timber which has natural flaws and is prone to rotting.

3. Cover fixing

Many polytunnels still use timber laths and nails to secure the polythene cover. This is now old practise – modern polytunnels use more sophisticated methods such as aluminium base rails and ‘wiggle wire’ polythene fixing systems. It’s simple to use, very secure, and can be unfastened if you need to adjust the cover during installation.

4. Cover tensioning

A slack cover can seriously reduce the lifespan of your polythene – wind will pull away at it until eventually it will tear and come loose. Some designs allow you to raise the steel arches after the cover has been fitted. This pushes the arches (hoops) up into the polythene, effectively stretching it like a drum skin. The best time to fit a polytunnel cover is on a warm day with little to no breeze, ideally with a second person to help with tensioning.

5. Two-piece hoops

Polytunnel hoops (or arches) can be supplied in two, three, four or even five pieces. The fewer sections your hoop has the stronger it will be, as there are fewer weak points. It will also be easier to assemble. The only reason to buy three, four and five piece hoops is to reduce your delivery costs as these sections will come in smaller boxes.

Watch just how easy the Easy Build Polytunnel is to construct on the Northern Polytunnels Youtube channel:
youtu.be/6Tvl2cZNMUc

All the above features are standard with the Easy-Build polytunnel range from Northern Polytunnels.
Call 01282 873 120 for a brochure, or visit northernpolytunnels.co.uk

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