COVID-19 STATEMENT

Click here to see our current delivery estimates. Thank you for your patience at this time.

Premier Polytunnels Blog

Anyone who has stood inside a polytunnel on a sunny day will know how hot it can get – when it’s hot outside, the temperature inside a polytunnel will be considerably higher. Polytunnels are covered with a special type of polythene film that is designed to help you create a warmer environment in which you can grow a wide variety of crops. But while a certain amount of heat is desirable for many crops, too much heat is not always a good thing.

How hot should I let my polytunnel get?

How hot is too hot for polytunnel plants?The ideal temperature for most polytunnel plants to thrive is 26-30 degrees Celsius, however it is not uncommon for polytunnel temperatures to soar well above this on hot, sunny days. Too much heat can slow down germination, cause problems with pests and diseases, result in fruit ripening issues, and also lead to problems with photosynthesis. Overheating can, ultimately, kill the plants you have tended and nurtured.

Polytunnel temperature control

So, how can you regulate your polytunnel temperature and help to maintain healthy plants?

You can provide shade and reduce the temperature by using a net polytunnel cover over the top of your polythene cover already in place. Our net polytunnel covers offer 47% shade and can also be used on their own to provide shade for your crops while still allowing full ventilation and rainwater to filter through.

Polytunnel temperature controlYou can add shade and keep the polytunnel temperature down by tying shade net to the roof of your tunnel on the inside. Try using cable ties to fix the netting to the hoops, ridge, or crop bars.

On hot days, damp paths inside the tunnel and mist overhead to help keep the atmosphere humid and discourage some pests.

Avoid overcrowding your plants at the planting stage – Overcrowding can lead to problems with air movement, which can make plants more prone to diseases.

Polytunnel ventilation

Ventilation is essential during the warmer months – Good ventilation can help you to avoid a lot of plant problems, such as wilting or curling leaves and moulds. Offer as much ventilation as you can by opening the polytunnel doors and side vents first thing in the morning, and leaving them open all day. Good ventilation will provide maximum, valuable air circulation throughout the tunnel and between the plants.

Maintaining good ventilation is important for photosynthesis – Photosynthesis is when plants absorb carbon dioxide from the air, combined with water and sunlight, to make their own food. Ensuring fresh air movement through your polytunnel and plants goes towards the survival of your plants.

Ventilation and circulation fans can be used inside a polytunnel when the temperatures soar.

When it is “too hot” inside your polytunnel, plan your regular watering schedule carefully…

And don’t forget the SPF and a drink for yourself!

Show more...
Post by:

Leave a reply

     

0 Comment(s)

Have you ever spent a weekend tending to your garden only to take a look on Monday morning and see a scattering of weeds in your flower bed? If so, you’re not alone. Weeds can be a real issue for every gardener, from the amateur to the expert.

Weeding can seem like an endless task, but there are ways to tackle this issue. To find out how to clear a garden full of weeds, along with picking up some easy weeding techniques to help keep these problem plants at bay, read on.

What is a weed?

Knowing what a weed is and how to spot the different types of garden weeds will help you to establish what can stay and what can go. Although the term ‘weed’ is for plants that aren’t in the right place, it usually refers to a very particular type of plant. 

Typically, weeds produce lots of seeds that easily scatter. These seeds then lay dormant and sprout when the conditions are right. They also establish themselves quickly, growing rapidly and almost overnight in some cases. Also, and probably most significantly for your garden, weeds can impair the growth of other plants.

What are the different types of garden weeds to look out for? 

There are several types of garden weeds to be aware of before beginning any weeding. It’s worth checking before you start treating these, as sometimes desirable flowers and plants can randomly pop up in a garden and be mistaken for a weed. Here are some common weeds that could be lurking in your garden:

Nettles

Common nettle – also known as stinging nettle – is abundant and easily distributed in gardens, fields, woodland, and meadows. This is a perennial weed that flowers from May to September and it flourishes in these summer months.

Dandelions

The striking yellow of its flower and its fluffy grey halo of seeds make dandelions one of the most recognisable weeds. They tend to crop up in lawns and flower from March to October. Weeding these can be especially tricky as the root can regrow if it’s left in the ground, while the seeds are easily spread.

Shepherd’s purse

This is often mistaken for a dandelion leaf, and it’s just as prevalent as its doppelganger. A shepherd’s purse leaf features serrated leaves and once it starts to flower, it will have grown a taproot that’s difficult to remove.  

Bittercress

This is a small plant that enjoys moist conditions, such as compost and shaded corners. As it is small and produces tiny white flowers, it can be easily overlooked in the weeding process.  

Chickweed

Chickweed is one of the most common types of garden weeds. Its seeds enjoy the damp conditions of spring and autumn and they’re easily spread and set quickly, so it’s important to remove these as soon as you spot them. The best time to pull these weeds is by hand if the soil is damp or by hoeing the soil in dry weather.

Charlock

This weed grows up to 60cm high and has yellow flowers. It’s a brassica, so it can be a haven for pests and disease that can impair your other plants, and it’s one that needs to be removed quickly before it can spread.

What’s the difference between annual and perennial weeds?

When it comes to weeding, it can be useful to know when they grow so you can work out the best time to pull these weeds. To do this, you can divide them into annual and perennial:

Annual

Annual plants grow for one season then die. However, while these may not appear to be a major problem once you’ve successfully weeded them, they produce lots of seeds that can germinate. This means that they’re ready to return the following year and this can harm the garden you’ve been tending to.

To remove annual weeds you’ll need to work the soil with a hoe. To reinforce any weeding you do here, avoid going too deep as this can dislodge ungerminated seeds, bringing them to the surface and triggering them to take hold.

Perennial

Perennials have deep roots and return each year. So, even if you think you tackled the problem by pulling out the taproot, you might have missed a bit, causing the weed to flourish again a year later.

If you have perennials in your garden, weed control methods include forking them out of the ground, adding a weed suppressing membrane or mulch, and spraying the area with weed killer. When forking the ground, it’s important to make sure you pull out all the root. Leaving any of this can mean it returns next year, which can be the last thing you need if your garden is just getting established.

How to clear a garden full of weeds

When clearing weeds from the garden, it’s worth thinking about how to prevent weeds from growing just as much as you need to know how to clear a garden full of them. Weeds can be held back by applying mulch in the spring. Wood chippings or manure are good options and will both prevent growth and keep the soil damp.   

Easy weeding techniques

To help work out what to do in different parts of your garden, here are some tips and tricks to help you approach weeding in a way that works divided into the locations you’ll find them in:  

1.     On the path

If you have a cluster of weeds cropping up between flags or stones on your path, scrape them using a paving brush or, if you don’t have one of those to hand, an old knife should do the trick.

2.     In the borders

Borders are where annual weed seeds thrive. They will wait until the conditions are perfect then germinate. To remove these, use a hoe or your hands to separate the top from the root. This will prevent the seeds from spreading.

Perennial weeds in borders will need to be removed with a fork. As mentioned previously, be sure to pull the root out and spray the area with weed killer to stop it from growing again. However, if the weeds are close to other plants, you might need to be very careful about where you spray.   

3.     In the lawn

There are tools that can be used to remove weeds that you find in your lawn. Weeding small ones like shepherd’s purse is best tackled with a daisy grubber, while weeds with taproots may need a long-handled tool so you can get right underneath the base of the root.

If moss is growing on your lawn, a rake is the best solution. Rake over the lawn to shift moss and algae.

4.     In pots

Moss and weeds growing in pots will need to be removed by hand. A mulch of decorative pebbles, glass or wood chippings, or shells will weigh down on the soil, blocking weeds for returning.  

5.     In your polytunnel

Polytunnels can help to contain weeds and prevent seeds getting in from outside. But once they’re in, weeds grow very quickly. If you’re trying to work out how to weed a vegetable garden that’s inside a polytunnel, it depends on when you’re doing the weeding.

Before you build your bed, clear the space of any perennial weeds. By doing this before you sow any seeds or start plating your vegetables and fruits, you can apply weed killer without worrying about damaging any of your plants.

If you’ve spotted any weeds in your patch, quickly pull them out before they can spread. The faster you do this, the less likely they’ll seed elsewhere. Check your staging for weeds, too. They can grow underneath beds and staging, so keeping on top of this will help you preserve your produce.

Regular checks

As long as you run regular checks, it’s possible to stay one step ahead of the weeds. By removing them as soon as they appear and following the easy weeding techniques outlined above, you will be able to protect your garden and prevent weeds from returning in the future.

Show more...
Post by:

Leave a reply

     

0 Comment(s)