Being an Urban Gardner I’m kind of limited to what I can grow, or how I can grow at least. Worst still, my back garden is paved with just a border of soil. Since I’ve been growing I’ve been using Plastic Greenhouses, as the strap line says; I got a Greenhouse for my 40th Birthday and these are my adventures with it.
Except, I don’t have that Greenhouse anymore. Perhaps I should amend that strap line…? I do still however rely on bits of plastic propped up and kept in shape by a metal frame. And on occasion, duct tape. And, tie wraps.
I do ok with them to be fair. Mostly…
Some days are better than others. And that wasn’t the first to fall.
So, I was looking to up my game a little and a little something wandered into my life randomly at a Garden Centre. It was the end of the season and I happened across this…
A half price, on sale, get rid of it quick before the Christmas stock arrives, Polytunnel! A Gardman 08732 to be precise.
And, I guess it’s not really a spoiler to say I bought it. As it’s sitting in my (rather unkempt, end of season) back garden.
The original idea was to wait until next season to put it up, but, honestly, I couldn’t wait, and some of my bigger plants would appreciate the room anyways as things where getting crowded for them.
But, no. This was something I could do on my own, right?
I started unpacking it, and it wasn’t long before I was happy. It was immediately obvious that the quality of this Polytunnel was higher than I’d used before. The metal poles that form the frame are quite heavy and thick. Not like the flimsy things I’d used before that threatened to bend. And, did in some cases bend.
Each piece was numbered as well so there was no guessing which was which and what needed to go where.
I was also seriously impressed with the connections they made to each other as well with their little locking nugget things, clicking themselves into place instead of ominously sliding into each other. No need to reinforce these connections with duct tape then!
Similarly the connecting sockets which guide the metal tubes had the locking mechanism as well. This made putting it together a breeze as you can’t really stick the wrong pole into the wrong place. Great little idea, and so simple as well.
The best part about it all though was the way the all the major parts actually, properly bolt together.
The one junction holds together the poles at the side for the wall, the roof support walls, and the roof. With an actual bolt. That isn’t going to come apart any time soon and there are three of these down each side.
This was actually the one part of the build I did struggle with, getting the poles on either side, and the roof connector coming down from the top was a little difficult to line up properly. But, not impossible with a little perseverance.
OK. It might, possibly, have really needed two people at this point. But, I got through it. Just.
It’s not the biggest of tunnels when completed but I’m 6ft 4″ and can easily stand up in it.
If you look closely at the picture above you’ll also notice that I’ve got a table and some chairs in there as well. Not that I plan on making it some kind of “office” or anything [ahem].
Some of you might be looking at this and be thinking to yourselves “So, that is all well and good, but you’ve put in concrete. What about when it gets windy?”
Well, bearing in mind I’ve become somewhat astute at putting flimsy bits of plastic held up by metal rods in my back garden over the past couple of years I tackled this the best way I know how. By weighing it down.
The frame for the Polytunnel is actually quite heavy when it’s built, so, we’re off to a good start. To help however I first of all tucked the plastic underneath the inside of the frame and weighed it down some more.
First of all, some bags of stones in the corners.
And then, growbags placed over the frames at strategic points…
Am I confident that will hold up? Well, yes.
Truth be told I don’t imagine that this is where the Polytunnel will be next year, I’m hoping to move it to the corner of the garden but I need to do some work first. Once it’s there I will likely find a more “permanent” fixing solution, but this seems to work for now.
All in all I’m very impressed with this buy, it won’t see a proper use till next year now but it has given my plants some breathing room as we run into the end of the season.
Gardman 08732, I look forward to many growing years ahead with you!