Growing under cover in a polytunnel is a much more effective solution than planting vegetables or fruits in the open. The foil covered structure protects plants from harmful weather conditions, gusty wind and low temperatures. The microclimate, which is created inside the greenhouse, contributes to favorable conditions for plant development. If you want to achieve even better results when cultivating, you can optimize the entire process. In this Krosagro article, we will talk about how to obtain good harvests.
Cultivation under cover in gardens and plots
Every polytunnel manufacturer offers various solutions. There are many differences between products. Visible at first glance, foil covering the greenhouse, construction type, as well as doors and additional accessories are the main ones.
Cover for a polytunnel
Foil applied on to the frame should be transparent or matt with a creamy tinge. The following process occurs : sun rays reach the foil, increasing soil and air temperature, and heat is stored inside by the plastic membrane. The tunnel protects crops against frost and cold, allowing early planting, cultivation of spring vegetables, and harvests until late autumn.
In order to protect plants all year round and avail of a solid construction, you should opt for a structure made of steel pipes and profiles. This type of material is much more stable than PVC or aluminum tubes. It better withstands wind pressure as well as snow loads. Tubular elements are protected against corrosion with a layer of zinc, which is applied by hot dip galvanization. The frame will be constantly exposed to moisture through watering, contact with soil, as well as plant growing processes. Zinc will protect parts, maintain their strength and avoid premature deterioration as a result of corrosion.
Door for garden tunnel
One or two doors can be fitted on a greenhouse. They are placed on opposite sides of the tunnel. Not only more convenient, this enables ventilation of crops. Opening doors brings an airflow, which is beneficial during hot and humid days. This helps remove heat and moisture under the foil.
Foil tunnel with side ventilation
Side ventilation is a much better solution than opening doors to prevent overheating. The vents situated on both sides are fitted on the entire length of the tunnel. Rolled up with steel cranks, they set the air in motion. The main difference with the above-mentioned method is that pests do not have access to the tunnel. Behind the plastic curtains, there are insect nets preventing them getting inside.
How to improve cultivation under cover?
There are many variables in standard cultivation that are difficult to predict. By owning a hobby polytunnel, one can improve the cultivation process, but it does not stop here. In order to create an even more efficient cultivation process, it is worth ensuring optimal use of space, installing irrigation systems, as well as electrical devices.
• Space in a greenhouse
In a greenhouse, every square inch should be used for cultivation. In addition to ground space, it is worth using shelves, fixed on a steel frame, with pots filled with small plants.
• Cultivation irrigation system
Irrigation systems appear more and more often in hobby greenhouses, facilitating cultivation process, contributing to reduce costs, as well as adjusting the amount of water required by plants. This is also useful when you have to leave the garden for some time.
• Lighting for cultivation under cover
This kind of solution is implemented in commercial greenhouses, where year round plant production is carried out. This becomes necessary in order to achieve high yield during months with less sunlight. Lighting is also necessary in countries with a colder climate.