garden grow

What Can You Grow In A Polytunnel?

Growing in a Polytunnel in August Allotment & Gardens
Growing in a Polytunnel in August Allotment & Gardens from www.allotment-garden.org

Polytunnels, also known as hoop houses or high tunnels, are versatile structures that provide gardeners with the ability to extend the growing season and create a controlled environment for their plants. These structures are made of a series of hoops covered with a layer of polyethylene, which creates a warm and protected space for plants to thrive. With a polytunnel, you can grow a wide variety of crops, both edible and ornamental. Let’s explore some of the possibilities.

1. Vegetables

One of the main reasons people invest in a polytunnel is to grow vegetables all year round. With a polytunnel, you can create a microclimate that provides the ideal conditions for vegetables to flourish. Some popular vegetables to grow in a polytunnel include:

  • Tomatoes: Polytunnels are perfect for growing tomatoes, as they love the warm and sheltered environment. You can grow a wide variety of tomatoes, from vine tomatoes to cherry tomatoes.
  • Lettuce and salad greens: With a polytunnel, you can have fresh salads all year round. Lettuce, spinach, arugula, and other salad greens thrive in the protected environment.
  • Cucumbers: Cucumbers require warmth and protection from wind, making them an excellent choice for a polytunnel.
  • Peppers: Whether it’s bell peppers or chili peppers, they will thrive in a polytunnel’s warm and sheltered environment.
  • Carrots and root vegetables: Root vegetables like carrots, beets, and radishes can be grown in a polytunnel, providing you with a fresh supply throughout the year.

2. Herbs

A polytunnel is an excellent place to grow herbs, as it provides them with protection from harsh weather conditions and allows for year-round harvesting. Some popular herbs to grow in a polytunnel include:

  • Basil: Basil loves warmth and protection, making it a perfect herb to grow in a polytunnel.
  • Parsley: Parsley is a versatile herb that can be used in a variety of dishes. It thrives in the protected environment of a polytunnel.
  • Mint: Mint can quickly take over a garden, but in a polytunnel, you can control its growth and enjoy fresh mint leaves all year round.
  • Coriander: Coriander, also known as cilantro, is a popular herb in many cuisines. It prefers a sheltered environment, making it a great choice for a polytunnel.

3. Flowers

Aside from growing crops for food, a polytunnel can also be used to grow beautiful flowers. The controlled environment of a polytunnel provides flowers with protection from extreme temperatures and pests. Some popular flowers to grow in a polytunnel include:

  • Geraniums: Geraniums are known for their vibrant colors and low maintenance. They thrive in the warm and sheltered environment of a polytunnel.
  • Petunias: Petunias are popular annual flowers that come in a wide variety of colors. They can be grown in a polytunnel to extend their flowering season.
  • Marigolds: Marigolds are easy to grow and attract beneficial insects to your garden. They can be grown in a polytunnel to protect them from frost.
  • Nasturtiums: Nasturtiums are edible flowers that add a pop of color to salads and other dishes. They can be grown in a polytunnel to ensure a longer flowering season.

4. Fruits

While some fruits require more space than a polytunnel can provide, there are still several fruit varieties that can be successfully grown in a polytunnel. Some popular fruits to grow in a polytunnel include:

  • Strawberries: Strawberries are well-suited to polytunnel growing, as the controlled environment helps protect the delicate fruits from pests and diseases.
  • Fig trees: Fig trees can be grown in a polytunnel, providing you with a fresh supply of delicious figs.
  • Grapes: Grapes can be trained to grow up the sides of a polytunnel, allowing you to enjoy your own homegrown grapes.
  • Cherry tomatoes: While technically a fruit, cherry tomatoes are often grown as vegetables. They thrive in the warm and protected environment of a polytunnel.

Conclusion

A polytunnel provides gardeners with a versatile and controlled environment to grow a wide variety of crops. Whether you’re interested in growing vegetables, herbs, flowers, or even fruits, a polytunnel can help you extend your growing season and provide a protected space for your plants to thrive. With the right care and attention, you can enjoy fresh produce and beautiful blooms all year round.

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