Spring under cover in a polytunnel means it is time for gardeners and plants to get busy. Vegetables, fruits and herbs will only grow properly if they are given the right amount of care. The same can be said about polytunnels. You should not treat the greenhouse as a tool that will solve all problems. It is rather an instrument that will optimize the cultivation process.
In this Krosagro article, we will remind you about the most important duties related to the return of spring in the garden.
Spring under cover in a polytunnel – planting crops
Growing spring vegetables in a greenhouse is often one of the main incentives to invest in a greenhouse. The cover protects the crop inside against atmospheric phenomena, low temperatures and frost. Cold resistant plants, such as corn salad, radish, lettuce and Brussels sprouts, will first be grown inside the tunnel. As the sun increasingly becomes warmer, soil and air begin to heat up. In the evening, when the temperatures drop, the cover reduces heat loss. Plants lose less energy protecting themselves against the cold. In April, you can sow cucumbers, beans, pumpkins, cauliflowers, etc. into the ground. Remember to keep the soil moist. Dry conditions are highly harmful to young emerging plants. Deprived of water, they develop roots instead of green mass.
Herbs under cover
A garden tunnel to grow herbs is a perfect idea for a domestic plot. The small structure will accomodate a huge number of herbs, in pots and gardening boxes. Placed close to vegetables and fruits, these will produce great scents. They also have a beneficial effect on the neighbouring crops. By implementing coordinate cultivation and using their influence, plants will support each other and deter pests that could feed on them.
In the second half of March, you can sow dill, melissa, sage, thyme, oregano, parsley, etc. As most herbs last for several years, they will probably remain in the garden for a good while. They tolerate winter well, and even when the upper parts die, the plants will rise again as soon as favorable conditions return. As seedlings are not expensive, it is worth using this option at the beginning of your adventure when growing under cover.
Mini foil tunnel
The greenhouse protects plants against the cold, however thermophilic species need slightly more protection. With good weather, nothing bad will happen, but atmospheric conditions can be unpredictable. Therefore, in order to reduce the chances of damage, seedlings of zucchini, pumpkins, melons and tomatoes, should benefit from the addition of a mini foil tunnel. That way, you can set the right amount of heat for the crop. It should be remembered to occasionally ventilate greenhouse and mini tunnel so that the high moisture concentration does not persist. It is good to plant them on a site where they will later have room to fully grow. If not possible, planting in biodegradable pots is a good solution. The reason behind this is that these plants do not tolerate replanting very well.
Caring for vegetables, fruits and herbs in a greenhouse
To obtain a rich and full harvest, remember:
- cyclical but not too intensive watering. Do not spray water straight onto the crop, but next to it or close to its roots.
- although it is not pleasant to remove young plants whenthey emerge, sometimes it’s necessary. However, remember to keep enough space between plants so that they do not compete with each other for access to light. The micro leaves collected can be used in salads.
- weeds in a polytunnel are a real concern for the gardener, there is no way to eliminate them completely. They should be systematically removed so that they do not overgrow crops. You can also cover empty spaces with agrotextile, which helps against the development of weeds. During the whole process, care should be taken not to damage roots or the plants themselves.
- the plastic foil restricts access of pests that could feed on plants inside the greenhouse . However, you should look for any sign of activity, and if so, identify what you are dealing with. If insects are feeding on crops, start treating as soon as possible.
Orchard under cover
Although it’s a bit late to plant trees, it can still be done in the beginning of April, unless it is too warm. The young tree may not cope with the summer heat that is yet to come. Seedlings placed in the soil in spring must be watered throughout the summer and also properly fed so that they can absorb nutrients from the soil. Shrubs should be left alone when they are planted, as they are less demanding. Orchards under cover are an increasingly popular phenomenon. Tunnel constructions are used for the cultivation of grapes, blueberries, Kamchatka honeysuckle, etc.