Is a polytunnel better than a greenhouse?

Asked by: Jillian Muller
Score: 4.6/5 (1 votes)

Both types of facilities create appropriate conditions for crop growing. Polytunnels are usually used for growing large amounts of fruits and vegetables. On the other hand, greenhouses are better-looking structures. They are often used for growing various classic or exotic flowers or even tropical fruit.

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Similarly one may ask, What's the difference between a polytunnel and greenhouse?

But what are the key differences? Polytunnels are constructed from galvanised steel hoops and tightly covered with clear or diffused plastic. ... Greenhouses utilise an aluminium or metal frame glazed with glass or polycarbonate plastic.

Furthermore, What are the advantages of polytunnels?. The polytunnels main use is to create a sort of microclimate that provides higher temperatures and humidity allowing you to grow various fruit and vegetable plants even when they are out of season. They are also an excellent form of crop protection, protecting plants from heat, cold, wind, rain and strong sunlight.

Additionally, Should I get a greenhouse or a polytunnel?

A greenhouse is definitely the best option if you want maximum heat retention. They will allow you to grow crops over a longer period of time and help them to successfully grow better if late or early frosts occur. Polytunnels do a good job of heat retention but not as well.

Are polytunnels worth it?

Compared to greenhouses, polytunnel offer really good value. This is especially true if you're looking for something larger in size, as you get more growth space for your money. The exact same strength of material and ventilation will be provided for a lower price.

19 related questions found

What are the disadvantages of Polytunnels?

Disadvantages of polytunnels compared with glasshouses
  • Tunnels are often colder inside than outside during a frost.
  • Harder to shade than glass eg with spray-on shade treatments.
  • Are more storm-prone in extreme weather .. especially the plastic blowing away.
  • Additional periodic cost and labour of plastic replacement.

What are the disadvantages of greenhouse?

The Disadvantages of a Greenhouse:
  • Can be expensive to build.
  • Can be expensive to heat.
  • Requires constant monitoring, maintenance and care.
  • Could increase electrical and water bills.
  • May detract from aesthetic appeal of a garden.

How long does a polytunnel last?

The additives in a polytunnel cover prevent UV degradation for up to 4-5 years and it is not uncommon for a cover to last 8-10 years. The cost of replacement polytunnel covers is minimal. What happens if my polythene tears?

What is the best polytunnel to buy?

Our Best Polytunnel Pick is the Birchtree 6m x 3m Polytunnel. This is a high-end tunnel for domestic use with a checkered green canopy and doors at both ends for plenty of ventilation. There's plenty of windows to create cross-ventilation air currents.

What is the best position for a polytunnel?

It is important to position the polytunnel so that it is exposed to the sunlight for as long as possible during the day. The absolute best position is to have the polytunnel running east to west, although in particularly hot summers this could lead to the plants getting too hot in the midday sun.

Are polytunnels good or bad?

Polytunnels offer a much better control over its air circulation. Large doors at both ends provide sufficient airflow through the tunnel. Greenhouses provide ventilation through an opening on the roof, the door and side vents. Keep all doors and vents open during sunny days to achieve effective ventilation.

Do polytunnels need ventilation?

Ventilation is one of the main means by which a polytunnel is cooled in the summer months. Keeping a polytunnel cool will be particularly important where it is used for livestock. ... Those growing food in their polytunnels should also note that having enough ventilation is important in order to reduce the risk of disease.

How many hours of sun does a polytunnel need?

Most vegetables and herbs need at least six hours of direct sunlight. Of course, there is quite a large group that has higher requirements, while others prefer shady positions.

Do Polytunnels need full sun?

A polytunnel must be placed so as to make full use of the sunlight on offer. This means it cannot be positioned anywhere that does not offer enough sunlight each day. Avoid placing a polytunnel in a position where it is shaded by surrounding trees or buildings and think about how and where the sun hits it each day.

Is green or clear better for a greenhouse?

Is green or clear better for a greenhouse? Clear greenhouses are far more recommended than colored versions. Covering your greenhouse with a green (or another color) material will prevent some of the spectrums of the natural sunlight from penetrating the structure and finding your plants.

Can you grow tomatoes in a polytunnel?


A polytunnel can make the difference between tasty ripe tomatoes and hard green ones only good for chutney. A polytunnel warms the soil beneath it, so you are able to plant out your tomatoes at an earlier date. Warmer soil means quicker, healthier growth.

What should I look for in a polytunnel?

What to look for when choosing a Polytunnel?
  • Warmer growing environment. Step into any polytunnel and you'll find that it's barmy microclimate is noticably warmer than it is outside. ...
  • Extended growing season. ...
  • Reliable conditions. ...
  • Much cheaper. ...
  • Allotment sized options. ...
  • No planning permission. ...
  • Save money. ...
  • Simple construction.

What can you grow in a polytunnel over winter?

What to grow in your polytunnel over winter
  • Chicories.
  • Endives.
  • Winter lettuces.
  • Oriental leaves.
  • Rocket.
  • Parsley.
  • Coriander.

Can I grow garlic in a polytunnel?

Growing Garlic in a Polytunnel

Garlic is a popular crop because it doesn't need much space, and it is relatively low maintenance. It does require a cold period in order to grow, and so that makes it ideal for a British garden. You can rest easy as it grows all winter long!

How do you prepare a ground for a polytunnel?

If the existing soil is good, it's a simple matter of digging out any stubborn perennial weeds, woody roots and large stones before covering beds with a generous layer of organic matter and a sprinkle of seaweed powder, all capped with a sheet of black or clear polythene.

Can I put a polytunnel in my garden?

Polytunnels generally do not require planning permission so long as they meet the following criteria: The polytunnel should not be taller than 3 metres. You should only use the polytunnel for domestic use. ... The polytunnel should take up less than 50% of the garden surrounding the house.

Is it worth having a greenhouse?

If you're even asking yourself the question then, yes, a greenhouse is worth it. A greenhouse provides you with an environment where you can grow plants and vegetables year round. ... If you have more than one or two plants you grow in your yard, though, a greenhouse is worth it.

What are the disadvantages of atmosphere?

  • The atmosphere holds in some "greenhouse" gases that retain the heat of the Sun. ...
  • Clouds regularly obscure good astronomical viewing.
  • The atmosphere refracts light which means the position and clarity of star viewing is less accurate.
  • Pollution from light and chemicals obscure observations.