polytunnel vs greenhouse

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  • After some advice. We have a polytunnel which has ripped after the storms. Not sure whether it is going to be better to get a replacement cover for the polytunnel or just bite the bullet and get a greenhouse. Then should we get poycarb or glass???

  • Why did the polytunnel rip? was the cover tight enough ? I dont have one myself , but 2 of my neighbours do , one very large and the other pretty large i.e 7 hhoops and 5 hoops and we are on top off a hill (200mts ABS) and it gets very windy here , theirs are on the same cover after at least 8 years !
    Another neighbour has a glass greenhouse 8x6 ft, it was badly damaged by the wind this winter I have a approx 20 x12 ft glass green house , and it went unscathed.


    If I were you I would think about recovering what you have , it willbe cheaper than buying a glass house .

  • Go Green house, you will get same prob again with tunnel, and plexi glass (Poly Carb) its cheaper and more durable to impact, however as with most things £ are major factor, so price your new sheeting and compare to cost of greenhouse, if you can buy 20 recovers for tunnel for cost of greenhouse then it would be sensible to recover in my eyes. good luck and hopefully better weather

  • This is quite a toughy really, it depends, there are also different shapes and building techniques.
    A cylinder cut in two along its axis ...ie two poly tunnels cut from one cylinder seems a simple shape to make, perhaps white netting over it would protect it from storms, but the sun will degrade the plastic in time.


    Perhaps the same shape in a single glass structure, may be double glazed.
    A thick copper or metal floor painted black.
    Transport problems for the large single or double glazed lump of glass.


    Poly or glass domes an option.


    Flat glass triangles could be used to make a very strong dome.

  • The glass will last along time if it does not get broken, but the structures holding it in place may rot or corrode depending on what they are made from.


    Plastic sheds seem an option, corrugated plastic sort of simple bungalow shape, may be a concrete trough at the bottom with drain hole a low wall around the perimeter and brick or timber gable ends, a small burner at each end, light one one day and the other the next day.
    A plank along the top of the roof perhaps propped up from inside, small solar panels on the plank like stepping stones you step in the gaps between the panels.
    Simple cheap and effective.
    Not sure about planning laws.


    Rats etc a consideration.


    Just some ideas.

  • Plastic bottles are great for planting plants out early in, putt lots of air holse in with a nail or similar.
    Cut the bottom off put compost and plant in and stick back together with sticky tape.
    The simplest poly tunnel is an inflated plastic bag.

  • I think you should stick with the poly tunnel. I have a poly tunnel and small greenhouse on my allotment and I have found the tunnel to be the most durable of the 2 in bad weather. The greenhouse was given to me and was fairly old and some of the structure is a bit bent so it is not the most sturdy ever but it has damage from the winter. The poly tunnel is ok and now 4 years old. No sign that the plastic needs replacing.

  • We have a polytunnel on the West coast of Wales about 400 metres from the sea and we get a lot of wind!
    After seeing other peoples attempts at covering them we paid a guy who does nothing else but put up polytunnels to help us put the cover on.
    It was the best £100 I've spent! If you don't know what you are doing you wont get the cover on tight enough and it aint gonna withstand the wind.
    Also both doors open or both closed is a good idea!

  • I live on the side of a mountain, lots of wind, and my tunnel has been up for 5 years now. It's starting to rip at one end so I dug up the polythene at that end and repositioned it, doesn't flap about so much now. Small rips have been repaired with the special tunnel cover tape. I'd cover it again with decent plastic and fold it at the ends so that it's as tight as possible.

  • Two years ago i had an aluminium/glass greenhouse and a £60 4metre polytunnel in a friends garden.We had a violent storm.Greenhouse had 11 boken panes of glass and a bent strut.The polytunnel was as new....I used to have polytunnels in pembrokeshire on the exposed coast and never had damage to them and the winds occasionally got up to 90mph.Definitely id stick with a polytunnel anyday over a greenhouse...unless i had a walipini instead.

    Di occhi belli ne è pieno il mondo,ma di occhi che ti guardano con sincerità e amore, c'è ne sono pochi. :hippy:

  • yes more or less. It's bigger usually and is most often used to give you head start and a longer growing season. I don't think that a poly tunnel is much good in winter but I'm sure someone else might know

  • Ja, genauso. Beide brauchen im Winter geheizt zu werden, wenn Sie Getreide anbauen. Das kann teuer werden. In Polytunnels werden viele Kulturen im Boden angebaut, in Gewächshäusern werden mehr Kulturen in Regalen gezüchtet. Bei warmem Wetter brauchen beide viel Wasser. Wie gesagt, Polytunnel ertragen schlechtes Wetter viel besser und sind in der Regel günstiger.

  • I thought the only advantages of polytunnels over greenhouses was that they are less expensive to buy or make and easier to move and repair.


    No idea what the German posts read as. I understand some of the words but that's it.

    Yes, much the same. Both need to be heated in winter when growing crops. This could get expensive. In polytunnels, much cultivation is directly in the soil. In greenhouses more is grown on shelves. In warm weather both need a lot of water. As said, polytunnels endure bad weather much better and are generally cheaper. (Or something like that!)