Best Allotment Polytunnels

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Allotment polytunnels are essential for anyone that is wanting to grow plants successfully all year round! You don’t actually need to have an allotment to be able to purchase an allotment polytunnel, as they come in a range of sizes to fit any space, so gone are the days when only people with the benefit of a large garden or allotment are able to grow a wider variety of plants or vegetables! 

An allotment polytunnel is going to allow you to create a “microclimate” for your plants, vegetables or crops that you are going. This allows you to better control the climate, moisture and exposure around your plants, which is essential to ensure good growth. Not only this, but thanks to the Great British climate there are actually a large number of months of the year that plants are going to struggle to survive and flourish out in the open – but a polytunnel will help to keep your plants warm so that they can grow all year round. As if this wasn’t enough reason to purchase an allotment polytunnel – they are also going to protect your plants and crops from pests, birds and other wildlife that want to use your hard gardening work as an evening snack! 

You may be wondering why allotment polytunnels are becoming so much more popular than greenhouses. In actual fact, there are a number of reasons! Firstly, you will find that allotment polytunnels are considerably cheaper than their greenhouse counterparts and often larger (allowing you to grow more crops!). Not only this, but they are more flexible in where they can be positioned, so you don’t need to worry about creating a hard standing or having a completely flat base for a polytunnel, which makes them considerably easier and quicker to erect! 

Best Pick – FeelGoodUK Galvanised Metal Polytunnel

FeelGoodUK Pro 6 x 3 x 2 Polytunnel Galvanised Metal Opening Door Green House Superior Frame Work Poly Tunnel
96 Reviews
FeelGoodUK Pro 6 x 3 x 2 Polytunnel Galvanised Metal Opening Door Green House Superior Frame Work Poly Tunnel
  • Size: 6m(l)x3m(w)x2m(h); 140g transparent pe material with green checkers, large uv protected cover
  • 25x25x25mm galvanized anti rust steel pole with 0.9mm thickness.
  • With full metal door with bracing, ground bar and support bar on both sides.
  • Increased humidity, controllable environment via heating or cooling using the large side window as pictured.
  • Protection from extremes of temperature. - the only 6 section polytunnel on the market -

Last update on 2021-08-30 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

In A Hurry?

If the plants in your allotment are struggling to get above 10cm in height, or maybe you have faced the soul-destroying moment of coming out to your garden to find your crops have been eaten by slugs and snails overnight! Whatever your reason for being in a hurry to purchase the best allotment polytunnel – this is the part of the article you need to be reading! 

Size

We know a lot of people that have been put off purchasing an allotment polytunnel because they feel that they don’t have the space! They picture the huge, commercial sized polytunnels and think that it isn’t going to be right for them. But in actual fact, there is now a wide range of polytunnel sizes, so we would be willing to bet there is one that is right for you. 

The first aspect of the size that you need to think about is the height. We much prefer tall polytunnels that are going to allow you the height and headroom to walk around inside them and tend to your plants. Admittedly, if you go for the arched shape then you may have to crouch in SOME parts, but if you purchase just over a 6ft polytunnel then most people will be able to walk freely around the majority of the surface area. However, there are much smaller polytunnels if you are wanting something less obtrusive in your allotment or garden (or if you feel your neighbours might object to having such a massive “tent” put up in your garden!). There are actually allotment polytunnels as small in height as around 3ft. Obviously these are going to need lifting back everytime you want to access your plants and will only be suitable for plants or vegetables that grow close to the ground, but they are a great option for anyone wanting a “less obvious” polytunnel. 

Once you have decided on the height of the allotment polytunnel that is going to work for you, you need to think about the space and size of polytunnel that you want. Remember to consider first the space that you actually have available, as you are going to need to be able to get around the outside of your tunnel to complete maintenance cleaning and repairs, so it is important not to choose a size that is going to JUST fit in the gap you have planned. You can then choose the size that is going to be right for you, starting from small models around 10ft x 10ft all the way up to more commercial sized models at 20ft x 70ft! Although admittedly you are going to have to have a VERY big allotment for that! 

TOP TIP: Remember to consider not just the size that is going to work for you but also for your plants. Some standard vegetable plants, such as tomatoes, can actually grow to around 6ft in height, so are going to need a considerable amount of space if you are wanting a successful crop from them! 

Shape 

In general you will find that allotment polytunnels are going to come in an arched shape – hence “tunnel” being in the name – however there are now more rectangular shaped designs if you think this is going to be a better option for your garden. 

The main benefit of an arched shape tunnel is the fact that it is going to be more aerodynamic, allowing heavy winds to “flow” over the top of the arch, reducing the chance of damage in adverse weather conditions. Not only this, but the design allows for a particularly strong skeletal style frame to be built, which is essential for anyone wanting their polytunnel to be placed in a particularly exposed area – as otherwise you could find your polytunnel turning into a kite in strong winds! 

However, there are downsides to going for this more traditional shape. The main one is the fact that you can end up with a lot of wasted space around the edges of your polytunnel, due to it being too low to grow any reasonable plants in this area. Not only that, but an arched design will mean that you have to spend at least part of your time caring for your plants either crouched down or on your hands and knees, which just isn’t possible for some people! If you think this is going to be an issue for you then you may be better opting for a more rectangular shaped polytunnel! 

TOP TIP: Look out for allotment polytunnel frames that come with additional storm bars. These are designed to add extra security and strength to the frame so are perfect for anyone who knows their polytunnel is going to be positioned in a more exposed area! 

Materials

Most allotment polytunnels are going to be pretty similar in the materials that they are made from – but what is important is the quality of these materials! This will determine whether you have a polytunnel to last a couple of years or a polytunnel to last up to ten years! 

We would recommend making sure that the frame of your allotment polytunnel is made from a high-quality galvanised steel. This material is going to be light enough for you to erect your polytunnel easily but also strong enough to tackle any weather that is coming its way! We found some polytunnels that incorporate plastic into the design of the frame – if this is something you are considering then make sure to check which parts are plastic as from experience we would say plastic is going to struggle to be as durable as metal when in the great outdoors all the time! 

Obviously, the material on the outside of your polytunnel is going to be made from polythene – again it’s in the name! However, there are different thickness levels of polythene to consider. We would recommend opting for at least 720 gauge polythene as this is going to be thick enough to offer you more durability. The thicker the polythene the less likely it is to rip or tear, which is something you need to be careful of as the covers are prone to this. Cheaper, thinner polythene covers will usually only last around one or two years, but thicker models can last up to ten years providing they are well looked after!

Best Budget – 3m CLOCHE Polytunnel

Sale
LARGE 3m CLOCHE GROW TUNNEL NETTING. PROTECT PLANTS FROM BIRD DAMAGE
740 Reviews
LARGE 3m CLOCHE GROW TUNNEL NETTING. PROTECT PLANTS FROM BIRD DAMAGE
  • The net grow tunnel is extremely easy to use , move and store
  • The end enclosure systems allows ventilation to be controlled by the closing off the ends
  • helps protects against pests It provides the ideal environment for growing strawberries & other crop
  • Several grow tunnels can be joined together creating any lengths of rows, simply by overlapping
  • Dimensions: Length 310cm. Width 50cm. Height 40cm

Last update on 2021-08-30 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

What Else Do I Need To Know About Buying An Allotment Polytunnel? 

Now that you know the main things to consider before purchasing an allotment polytunnel, here are some of the additional features and aspects that are important if you are wanting the best allotment polytunnel you can find! 

  • Assembly – Make sure to look how easy it is going to be to assemble your allotment polytunnel. This is usually going to take at least two people but sometimes three for larger models so it well worth checking for. Also check whether the polytunnel kit comes with all the fixtures and fittings needed for the build process or whether there are any additional purchases you will need to make! 
  • Ground fixings – Your allotment polytunnel is going to need securing to the ground, this is essential to keep your plants and the polytunnel itself safe. Check whether your polytunnel comes with ground fixings and whether these are going to be compatible with the ground around where you are planning on erecting your polytunnel. 
  • High-quality polythene – As we mentioned above the thickness of the polythene that you choose is going to be important, but you can also opt for polythene with additional features that will support the microclimate that you are trying to create! This could include anti-condensation, anti-drip and temperature control. Moisture build up and overheating can be a real issue in polytunnels over the warm summer months, so opting for high-quality polythene is going to not only help to keep your plants warm in summer, but stop them from becoming too warm and too moist in summer. This will go a long way to preventing root rot and other debilitating plant diseases. 
  • Ventilation – Look at the ways your allotment polytunnel promotes ventilation through the tunnel. This could be through doors which can be held open, parts of the tunnel that can be almost “peeled” back, or through ventilation at the base of the tunnel to increase air flow! 
  • Extendable polytunnels – If you think that you may want to extend your plant/crop collection at any point then look out for extendable polytunnels that will allow you to purchase “add ons” that can be connected to your existing polytunnel. 

Best of the Rest

Bio Green SD300 Superdome Growtunnel, Stainless Steel Loops 4mm, Transparent/Green
155 Reviews
Bio Green SD300 Superdome Growtunnel, Stainless Steel Loops 4mm, Transparent/Green
  • Maximize your growing season and harvest richer crops
  • Pre-assembled for easy set-up
  • 2 side doors for easy access and watering with a zipper
  • Made from tough UV stabilized polyethylene
  • Comes including storage back for between the seasons

Last update on 2021-08-30 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

FeelGoodUK PT3 Replacement 3 x 2 x 2m Cover Only For Polytunnel Garden Greenhouse
74 Reviews
FeelGoodUK PT3 Replacement 3 x 2 x 2m Cover Only For Polytunnel Garden Greenhouse
  • Universal Replacement Cover for Zip Door Polytunnel
  • 3 x 2 x 2m
  • Ventilation on one side.
  • Heavy Duty UPVC cover
  • UV protected to ensure longevity

Last update on 2021-08-30 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Sale
Outsunny 270 x 90 x 90 cm Steel Frame Poly Tunnel Steeple Greenhouse - Green
224 Reviews
Outsunny 270 x 90 x 90 cm Steel Frame Poly Tunnel Steeple Greenhouse - Green
  • WIDE AND LOW DESIGN: Portable design is perfect for placing in small spots, allows you to garden virtually almost anywhere. A great addition to balconies and patios.
  • STEEL FRAME: Powder coated for extra strength, it features five cross bars and plastic connectors to ensure long-lasting use all year round.
  • PLASTIC MESH COVER: Protects your plants, vegetables and more from the light wind and mild rain, whilst allowing sunlight and air to pass through to promote steady and healthy growth.
  • ROLL-UP DOORS: With zip fastenings for quick and easy access in and out.
  • DIMENSIONS: 90H x 270L x 90Wcm. EASY TO ASSEMBLE. NOTE: Not suitable for bad weather conditions.

Last update on 2021-08-30 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Frequently Asked Questions 

What warranty comes with an allotment polytunnel?

You will often find that the frame of your allotment polytunnel and the polythene cover actually come with different warranties. We found that the polythene covers range from having warranties of around 12 months up to 5 years. The frames themselves tend to have longer warranties of up to 10 years. 

Do you need planning permission to build a polytunnel at an allotment?

It is rare that you will need planning permission to build a polytunnel at your allotment providing it is less than 3 metres in height and is being used for domestic rather than commercial use. You will need to check for permission from the landowner though and they should advise you whether you need to seek further permissions. If you are wanting to place your polytunnel in your garden then you should be okay too – but will need to check for any covenants on the land! 

What maintenance does a polytunnel need?  

There are going to be ways that you need to maintain your polytunnel. The key thing to remember is that you need to repair any rips or tears in the cover of your tunnel as soon as possible! This isn’t just to keep your plants safe but also to stop the tear from getting worse as this could result in you having to replace your polytunnel cover! It is also important to remove any dirt or algae from the outside of your polytunnel. Any build up of this is going to affect the amount of sunlight that gets to your plants, which is essential to support their growth. This can be done really easily with warm, soapy water but is a key element of polytunnel maintenance. 

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