I want to talk today about crop protection, in particular frost protection. There are many types of frost protection available in the marketplace from glass cloches to greenhouses. I need something to get a head start on the season by starting my seeds outdoors as soon as possible.
I purchased two Haxnicks Easy Tunnel Giant Poly because they were reasonably priced and offered double row protection. The tunnels are 3 m (9.84 ft) long and help extend the growing and harvesting season.
The polytunnel can be used after winter to start warming the soil or to grow crops which require more tropical conditions if you live in cooler climates.
The tunnel came bound in tape at the stake points and neatly folded like an accordion.
The tunnel may be lengthened and shortened based on the position of the stakes in the ground.
A cord and toggle enable you to close the openings to whatever size you like to keep the cold out or to provide ventilation.
The toggle provides a means to secure the ends of the polytunnel down to reduce wind blowing it up off the ground. I used a garden decorations to secure the ends.
You can easily lift the polytunnel up to allow more air through on warm days to reduce damping off of your seedlings and lowered at night to keep warmth in.
The polytunnel can help get a six week head start on your garden. Salads, winter greens such as broccoli all do well under a polytunnel if sown directly into the ground. I have also used a polytunnel to protect tender plants like tomatoes seedlings when a frost was forecast.
Frost fleece is something which I used a lot previously on my allotment I had long sheets of it that I would cover the raised beds in and weigh down with stones. Flexible plastic or PVC piping for water or conduit was used as the hoops to hold the fleece in place for beds with larger plants inside. A bamboo cane was needed as the bracing support since I didn’t have enough piping.
Fleece can be used at several stages throughout the growing year. Fleece protects plants from frost and can help protect plants in temperate areas thereby extending the season in fall, it can also help shade plants from scorching in high sunlight. Fleece also offers some protection from pests.
Crop covers are easy to use and will help you to get the best from your garden so why not give them a go this year?
I ordered the polytunnels from Amazon and have ordered another two for the new garden. If you want to order some you can check them out below.