Archive for Over the Gate Join in for a friendly chat over the gate about home and country matters. (Nominated Charity The British Heart Foundation)
 


       Over the Gate Forum Index -> How to.....
Huzey

build a poly tunnel.

Hello all.
Well, Bodger asked if I could do a step by step building of a poly tunnel thread, and seeing as I started today, would share a few photo's and my thoughts on building it!

Well, here goes.
The tunnel I am building is going to be 16 feet long and 8 feet wide, which will fill the bottom end of the garden quite nicely.
The first thing to do is to level the site that you are going to build your tunnel on. My garden slopes so I am going to wing it and hope for the best.
Next, mark out the size of your tunnel, making sure the corners are square. I did this by using pythagorus theory or the 3 4 5 rule. I knew algebra would come in handy one day! I turned the oblong in to 2 right angled triangles and found the length of the longest side by adding the square of the other 2 sides and then square rooting the answer. If both diagonals are the same length, then it should be square. I think that is the easiest way of explaining it, but hopefully, someone will come along and put me straight if I am wrong.  

The construction will be made using scaffolding pipe sunk/concreted into the ground, with electricity cable ducting pushed over the top of the pipe stuck out of the ground.
The scaffold pipe is cut to 18 inches in length, so 12 inches are underground and 6 inches or thereabouts are stuck out of the ground and  making sure the pipe is sticking out of the ground upright in both directions, i.e. stick a spirit level on so as it is upright going up and down as well as left and right. (Does that make sense?) If they are not upright, the hoops will look a bit bendy when you try and get everything upright. This happened on the last one I built, and I dont fancy making the same mistake twice.
The ducting I am using is 50mm (2 inches in old money) in diameter and that is a superb fit over the pipe.
Here are a couple of piccies of how far I got today.

 





In the last piccie, you can just see the corner of the tunnel I built 2 years ago.
Hopefully the piccies give an idea of what I am doing.
Look forward to any comments.
I will post some more piccies as I go. Stay tuned for the big black 6 meter long hoops that will hopefully be going on tomorrow.
All the best.
Huzey.
Hawkeye

looks like its going to be a god one, got two myself but not homemade. The first one i bought is 28ft x 15ft,the second one is a bit bigger, wel ok a lot bigger 72ft x 21ft all watered with rain water. Well we are on a meter
bodger

Looking good Huzey  
agapanthus

This is great....will be following your progress. We are hoping to get our started in the next few days....weather permitting!!!! Well done!!
Huzey

Thanks all.
Well, the hoops are on but it hasn't gone exactly to plan.  

The ducting is not very flexible which is good in some ways, but not in others. In the cold, it is even less flexible! So I cut it to length, and then got it on one pipe, and then warmed up the rest of it to be able to get it over the other pipe. Unfortunately, I managed to overheat it a touch, so it looks a little distorted in places, hence the tournequette arrangement on each one to try and pull them into the shape I want.





As always, I had my helper with me today.

I think I will need to do a bit of fettling to get them all the same height and to look about right as well. I might have to replace the second one in to get rid of the straight bit on the left hand side and make it into a smooth arc like the last one, or I could try and shorten it by a foot or two and see if that brings it right, and then try and match the rest up. That'll work, hopefully!!
But that will have to wait until after my holiday to the Elan valley next week.          
Huzey
kaz

Things are never meant to go smoothly - there would be no fun in that
Enjoy your holiday.
Huzey

Hi all.
Well, back off holiday which didn't go too well, as my OH was poorly all week, and now I have gone down with the lurgy as well, so no progress at the moment.
Feeling rough as a badgers bum at the moment, but hopefully be back to it on the weekend.
Huzey.
bodger

I hope that you and your Mrs are back on form ASAP
Huzey

Its a frame up!

Hi again.
Well, am feeling 100% now, so back on the job, so to speak.

Got some timber this morning, and have built the frame to keep the hoops semi rigid.





All in all, apart from the timber being wet which made it a bit tricky to cut, I am quite pleased with how it has turned out so far. Just waiting for the cover to turn up, so as I can get on with sticking that on, and then knock up the doors and cover them and then stick them on. Get the floor leveled and the ground cover on, and then get the plants in there!  

Huzey.
bodger

Keep at it mate.
Huzey

Its a cover up!

Had a busy day covering the tunnel. It went ok, but had a few issues with the corners which are always a bit of a bugger.






I'm not helping much, am I?


More or less finished. Got to fettle the doors, and stick some hinges on etc, and stick the ground cover down inside, then I can get some plants growing and concentrate on sticking some bark or gravel over the edges of the polythene to make it look pretty. Overall, pretty pleased seeing as it was all done single handed. (glad it wasn't windy today as it was a bit of a struggle with the size of the sheet on my own!)
Huzey.
Elizabeth

Have read all of that with great interest.

Do you have the cost of materials?
green man

Nice job what did you order for the polythene ?

Having two doors is a very good idea as you can do some serious cooling and ventilating.
Huzey

Hi Elizabeth
I think the total cost was around about 170.00, including the slabs in front of the tunnel.
The cover and ground cover was 75, timber was 35.00, concrete, slabs, cement and other sundry bits like coach bolts making up the rest. I am fortunate enough to be able to get hold of the ducting and scaffold pipes for nothing.
Still got to get some gravel or bark or something to cover over the polythene on the ground and fill the gaps etc, so haven't quite finished spending on it yet, but I think it is not a bad outlay for a handy sized polytunnel. I wonder how much a 8 x 16 greenhouse would set you back?
Huzey.
Huzey

green man wrote:
Nice job what did you order for the polythene ?

Having two doors is a very good idea as you can do some serious cooling and ventilating.


I ordered the polythene from http://www.firsttunnels.co.uk/polythene.asp and used the handy sheet calculator. Got bags of polythene left over that will be used up the field for something or other.
I put 2 doors in the first  tunnel I built except the far end door hinges at the bottom as there isn't enough room to open it normaly, but I still get the ventilation needed.
green man

Huzey wrote:
Hi Elizabeth
I think the total cost was around about 170.00,  I wonder how much a 8 x 16 greenhouse would set you back?
Huzey.



Oh and I got ourselves a posh Green house for our retirement pressie  so I can tell you the answer is about 4 grand.
mogs

I wonder how much a 8 x 16 greenhouse would set you back?

i have seen 8x6 greenhouse at the local focus store....210.

fantastic polytunnel.  
can you tell me what the advantages/disadvantages would be compared to a greenhouse?
Huzey

mogs wrote:
I wonder how much a 8 x 16 greenhouse would set you back?

i have seen 8x6 greenhouse at the local focus store....210.

fantastic polytunnel.
can you tell me what the advantages/disadvantages would be compared to a greenhouse?


Hi Mogs.

I think the idea behind a poly tunnel is to extend the growing season, and a greenhouse is to raise tender plants using heat over a whole year.
Advantages of a polytunnel would be;
1 Cost. I think you could get a bigger polytunnel than greenhouse for the same amount of money.
2 safety. If you are concerned about having lots of glass in the garden with children/animals running around etc.
3 Less permanent, so could be moved around if need be without the same amount of agro than if moving a greenhouse.

Disadvantages;
1 A lot of people dislike poly tunnels, so could be up for lots of complaints.
2 Easier to damage the cover. Also susceptible to wind damge of the cover with chafing via movement of the frame.
3 The covers have a limited life span of around about 5 years so need replacing, so more maintainance than say an aluminium framed greenhouse, but then you don't need to paint the frame like you would a wooden greenhouse.

Thats a few environmental differences I can think of off the top of my head. As for the growing side of things, I think ventilation can be a bit of a problem with tunnels, as you do need a good air flow through to prevent stagnation. I think there is less light than in a glass greenhouse as well.
I am sure there are other advantages and disadvantages, but that is what I can come up with off the top of my head at the moment.
Huzey.
mogs

thanks for that info huzey.....

       Over the Gate Forum Index -> How to.....
Page 1 of 1
Create your own free forum | Buy a domain to use with your forum