Are you looking for some inspiration for your polytunnel this year? There are plenty of ways to create delicious crops and beautiful blooms in your own structure in the coming months.
Whether you are a gardening pro looking for a new challenge or new to growing your own and want to start with something special, we have rounded up some polytunnel growing ideas to start planning in. Read on and allow us to help you get started!
Polytunnel Ideas: The Prep
Before you begin planning in some inspired polytunnel ideas, it is important to know the space you have got to work with. The number of crops and plants you decide to grow will largely depend upon the size of your polytunnel. We have a selection of sizes to choose from, from 6ft wide ones that are perfect for the bottom of the garden to large ones that are 30ft wide and excellent for those with access to a lot of land.
Whatever the size of your polytunnel, you can opt to focus on just one crop to begin with and build from there or try a few polytunnel growing ideas out at once. Providing you carefully plot where everything goes and you think through how to space out the plants and crops that you’re growing, you should find that you have successful harvests and produce some lovely flowers.
What to Grow in Your Polytunnel
Once you feel you have an idea of where everything will go, you can start choosing what you would like to get sowing and planting first. While there are plenty of fruits and vegetables that you can try your hand at, there are also lots of flowers that flourish in polytunnels. We are going to suggest some polytunnel growing ideas for both so you can get the most from your garden.
Inspired Vegetable Ideas for Your Polytunnel
If you would like to try your hand at something different, here are some crops to get sowing:
Aubergines are a tasty treat for salads and can form the basis of many main meals. They do need a little TLC at first, however. Sow the seeds in 8-10cm pots and keep them somewhere warm at 20-25°C. You will need to transfer them to larger pots as the roots grow, giving the plants a health check and keeping them at 20°C.
When your plants are ready to be planted out, if your polytunnel is not heated and the temperature at night is below 12°C, provide extra warmth by covering your crops with a polythene cloche or fleece.
When it comes to harvest time, check the ripe fruit are still firm and shiny before cutting.
Fennel is a herb that can elevate a dish and make fish-based meals especially tasty. It is a lovely addition to a polytunnel as its flowers attract all the right insects, making it a perfect polytunnel idea.
Like aubergines, fennel needs to be kept warm initially, at temperatures of 15-20°C until germinated and it should be sown away from anything else you are growing in the space. You can harvest fennel fronds from November to May, so you can easily pop them in a summer salad.
Remember that there are set times to grow your veg throughout the year in order to see a high-quality harvest. Therefore, you will have to carefully plan ahead for the coming months in order to ensure you see success.
Flowery Polytunnel Ideas
For some pretty florals, pop some of these in your polytunnel and watch them grow:
Tulips are very pretty and will add some colour to your polytunnel before you decide to cut them and display them indoors. Polytunnels are ideal for planting tulip bulbs as they are protected from the elements and could grow longer stems as a result.
Plant them less than 10cm apart and in a colour order of your preference. Once they are about to flower, cut the ones you would like to bring inside.
If you would like to grow a classic in your polytunnel, sweet peas are an excellent choice. As well as being perfectly matched with polytunnel growing, this is a flower that attracts pollinators, so the rest of your crops stand to benefit from having some in there too.
Leave your sweet pea seeds out in a warm room on a damp cloth and when they start to swell, sow four or five into a large 12cm container. After growing them in some compost and once they reach 3cm in height, plant them out in your polytunnel.
They will flourish in the polytunnel. When they are fully flowering, you can cut them and add them to your vase.
Personalise Your Polytunnel
While these are just some polytunnel growing ideas, you are sure to find more exotic and unusual plants, fruits and vegetables to try. You can really make your polytunnel your own once you get into the swing of trying out new and exciting ideas. To find out more about what you can do with your polytunnel, check out our selection of accessories and staging ideas here.