Make Your Own DIY Polytunnel
Find out how to make your own robust polytunnel for half the price of the retail product
Make Your Own DIY Polytunnelbuilding | grow your own | greenhouse
In our article Why Buy a Polytunnel
we looked at the many benefits of polytunnels
- primarily cost savings over greenhouses
for an extended growing season
are considerably cheaper than greenhouses for an equivalent growing area, they are still quite expensive. In this article we will show you how you can build your own polytunnel
with easy to source and cheaply available parts.
Build Your Own Polytunnel
The two main components of a polytunnel are the tunnel framework
and the polythene cover
. Our shopping guide to polytunnels
has useful links to help you source a suitable long-lasting cover
. That just leaves the framework to be put together as the DIY project.
A standard polytunnel
has a framework constructed from hoops of aluminimum (or other metal) tubing. This is replicated using offcuts of scaffolding
tubes and mains water pipe
. Both of these materials can often be sourced free of charge from building sites, or can be purchased new inexpensively.
Standard scaffolding poles
(48mm outside diameter) should be cut to approximately six foot lengths. These must then be driven into the ground to approximately three foot depth
sticking straight up from the ground. This will give a polytunnel with 3 foot high straight sides. Use a heavy hammer with a block of wood on the top of the tube so that it does not get damaged. A spirit level
will help to ensure the poles are completely vertical.
50mm inside diameter (approx 63mm outside diameter) mains water pipe
(blue) must then be cut to a length such that when each end is pushed over a scaffolding pole on either side of the polytunnel it forms an apex of approximately 8 feet above the ground (as shown in the image above). Once you have got the first length correct, cut the remaining lengths to be identical.
To ensure that the water pipe does not move, drill a hole all the way through the pipe and scaffolding tube and secure using a nut and bolt. Alternatively put a large nail
all the way through the hole, cut off all but the last inch or so, and then bend the remainder around towards the inside of the polytunnel (so it does not catch on the cover).
Since the polytunnel cover
will not come into contact with any metal, it is not necessary to use polytunnel hot spot tape
which saves yet more money.
should positioned at 4-5 feet intervals along the length of the proposed polytunnel
and wooden battens used along the apex and along the each side of the polytunnel to hold everything securely.
Constructing the ends of the polytunnel with doors
etc is a bit more complicated, so I recommend you click here to view this detailed article
which includes many photographs.
Here are some useful links to relevant products:
Article Published: 17:12, 17th Sep 2008
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