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Growing tunnels

haardaarss

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Any thoughts or advice please on these growing tunnels I'm seeing more of on our allotments. Not the overgrown cloche type but the big hooped bastards you can stand up in, covered in green netting, maybe eight or ten yards long to house your entire brassica crop? Pitfalls? Best play to buy? Prices?
 

Sohofox

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Polytunnels.
Ok. Cheap alternative to a greenhouse.
Probably cost about £100.
Only problem the green plastic covers get shredded in the winter storms. They don't last more than a few years.
And if you don't fix the frames down securely they can end up being blown right across several plots.
 

haardaarss

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Polytunnels.
Ok. Cheap alternative to a greenhouse.
Probably cost about £100.
Only problem the green plastic covers get shredded in the winter storms. They don't last more than a few years.
And if you don't fix the frames down securely they can end up being blown right across several plots.
I'm thinking of that netting, not the polythene sheeting. And can't the netting be rolled off over winter?
 

haardaarss

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Don't know about the netting. Never seen it before. Only ever seen the plastic sheeting ones.
It's all the rage up here. I'm supposing it lets a bit of wind through and doesn't degrade in sunlight. I'm guessing it's more to do with keeping out pests and pidgeons than performing as a glasshouse.
 

Sohofox

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Yes I've noticed a couple now down the allotment.
Big advantage the netting keeps pests off.
And yes good for all your brassicas to go in there. But because you have to rotate crops you shouldn't grow brassicas in there every year.
 

haardaarss

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Yes I've noticed a couple now down the allotment.
Big advantage the netting keeps pests off.
And yes good for all your brassicas to go in there. But because you have to rotate crops you shouldn't grow brassicas in there every year.
Actually that's what I was thinking - clubroot and all that. The bloke next to me has one he could park a bus in. And he's got each hoop reinforced with pairs of ten foot stakes hammered into the soil. This year is the third or fourth year and it aint moved yet. I'll have to ask him why he doesn't need to move it.
 

Sohofox

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Maybe its large enough so he can rotate different crops in there from year to year? Then he won't need to move it.
 
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whissy

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My allotment neighbour has grown brassica's on the same ground for at least 10 years under a net frame with no problems. I tend to rotate every two or three years with mine.
 

Sohofox

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You should not grow a vegetable in the same spot year after year. If you do then soil troubles will start to build up and the level of soil nutrients will become unbalanced. And pests which like a particular crop will multiply.
Crop rotation is the answer.
Basic 3 year crop rotation.
Year 1 - Root crops (beetroot, carrot, parsnip, potato, swede or turnip).
Year 2 - Brassicas (broccoli, sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale).
Year 3 - Other Crops (beans, celery, cucumber, lettuce, courgettes, onions, peas, radish, tomato, sweetcorn).
If you don't do this you are inviting trouble.
 

haardaarss

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I always thought it was spuds/ peas & beans/ brassicas/ other stuff.

And "rotate, not rotavate" is another one I swear by.
 
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