Make Do and Mend – Thrifty Polytunnel Gardening

In today’s challenging economy, shoppers are looking to save money wherever they can and more people are embracing a self-sufficient lifestyle. Gardening and growing your own food has never been more fashionable – yet it doesn’t have to cost the earth. Seed and plant swaps, recycling and upcycling, making your own compost, and collecting rainwater are just some of the ways people are getting involved in ‘thrifty gardening’.

It was in 1943, during the Second World War, when the phrase ‘make do and mend’ first entered the British consciousness, thanks to a campaign by the Ministry of Information urging people to repair, reuse and reimagine their clothes. Eighty years later, sustainability at home is still as important.

Polytunnel gardeners know the benefits of growing your own fruit and vegetables – from the joy of spending time in the garden, tending your crops and seeing them thrive, to enjoying delicious homegrown healthy meals, and pickling, freezing, and sharing surplus harvests for months on end. What’s more, growing your own veg could save you up to £6.17 per kg, reducing your yearly food bill and limiting your impact on the environment.

Make Do and Mend with Premier PolytunnelsThrifty Gardening

So, how can thrifty gardeners apply the ‘make do and mend’ idea to their polytunnels?

Well, you only need to look on second-hand selling sites to see how many polytunnel frames are up for grabs. Old polytunnel frames can easily be given a new lease of life with a new polytunnel cover, giving you many more years of under cover gardening.

Here at Premier Polytunnels we sell hundreds of polythene covers and doors and door frames every year to customers who own ‘pre-packed’ polytunnels that are in need of updating and upgrading. Swapping the shaped cover of a pre-packed polytunnel for a top quality, heavy duty polythene cover, and beefing up the frame with a timber door frame and door, means gardeners don’t have to dig deep to buy a full new polytunnel kit.

Some thrifty gardeners who are partial to a bit of DIY choose to make their own polytunnel or greenhouse frames, then cover them with our specialist polythene covers.

Make Do and Mend

A heavy duty polytunnel cover has a long lifespan – usually 8-10 years – so the last thing you want to do is replace the whole cover if you notice a small tear or hole. Polythene repair tape is ideal for making do and mending small tears or holes, and the polythene should still last its full term.

When the time does come to replace your polytunnel plastic, the old plastic can be recycled or upcycled. It can be given a second life on your plot by covering small garden cloches or cold frames, or covering ventilation netting on your polytunnel during winter.

Trust the Experts

If your polytunnel needs a little TLC, or if you’ve inherited a neglected polytunnel with your new home or allotment plot, Premier Polytunnels sell a wide range of accessories to help you get your tunnel up and running again. From fixings and fastenings to adhesive tapes and replacement polytunnel covers, we can help you restore or repair your polytunnel – and it needn’t cost the earth!

When you’re ready for a spot of thrifty gardening and you’re looking for some guidance on restoring or repairing your polytunnel, take a look at our collection of online construction videos on our YouTube channel. You can also view and download our full construction guides here.

Our expert team are also on hand to assist you with any questions you may have. Simply call us on 01282 811250 or email and we’ll be happy to help.

Make sure you check out our blog and growing guides to inspire your next thrifty gardening project.
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