Darlings, I have done some research but nothing beats friends’ experiences. I am thinking of buying a polytunnel.
The problem is the chickens. While I only had bantams, they were quite gentle on the land. When there were thirty of them, they had rather a go at the lawn, but the veg garden didn’t suffer very much. However, the bigger hens are a lot more destructive. For example, my Swiss chard and spinach had always overwintered unscathed, until these girls ate it all. This spring, I’ve had to net everything and it’s been quite a nuisance.
As I said, we went to the open garden day at the next village, and a couple of people had polytunnels as well as greenhouses, and they’d got some impressive produce in there. Runner beans already with set fruit, early potatoes nearly all dug up, lots of stuff. Tim said that I could do with one of those, and I need little encouragement. But what I do need is advice.
It’s absurd, of course, It’ll cost hundreds of pounds to grow vegetables that I could buy from the greengrocer. The chickens are a very expensive way of getting eggs in a glut followed by a scarcity. But let’s leave that out of it. I’m prepared to do it because it’s the way I do things. I like keeping chickens, I like growing vegetables, I am a fair-weather gardener nowadays, I don’t mind throwing a bit of money at it.
First, has anyone any advice on brands to recommend or (probably not specified in a public place) avoid? It’ll probably be around 25-30 feet long and 10 feet wide. Is it worth buying automatic irrigation? I’m sure I will need a door at each end, but any more advice? Will it simply get too hot in the summer? It will run north to south, therefore the long sides will face east and west. There will be a concrete path in the middle and two four foot wide beds. Would it be feasible for two people to put up, or else how many? Am I an idiot … well, yes, obvs, but never mind about that. Anyhoo, any advice would be welcomed and taken on board.
Thank you, as ever.