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A few polytunnel work in progress pics

Discussion in 'Poly-Tunnel Gardening' started by andrews, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. andrews

    andrews Gardener

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    Just found these pics and thought I'd post here. It may help others with installing a polytunnel (or at least show the size of the job)

    I thought that Id have the tunnel completed in a couple of days - turned out to be about 6 weeks to get to benches and water / electric.

    Started just before the crazy hot summer that we've just had (remember that ?)

    After marking out the position for the holes we dug out to 750mm through tarmac and clay. Foundation tubes then dented on the sides and set in place with postcrete. That was day 1 done (my estimate for a 2 day job was now looking a touch optimistic.

    [​IMG]

    Day 2 was far more impressive. Frames screwed together and fitted in place. Cross bracing and bench supports installed. It was looking like a polytunnel

    [​IMG]

    Next job was to cut the door frames to size and concrete into position. At this stage I realised that I needed far more postcrete than initially estimated. Building the door frames took far more time than I had thought it would - all joints are nailed together on both sides with metal plates

    [​IMG]

    No pics in between. Heat tape on all metal parts, polythene pulled over the frame and secured with aluminium plates at the base and lats around the door frames. The surplus polythene was then trenched around the perimeter. Green netting was a temporary barrier for the chickens (second set of doors now installed)

    [​IMG]


    Benches installed. Yes, the wood is wavy but it was cheap

    [​IMG]

    Pic showing the chicken doors fitted and a few bits in the tunnel. Waterproof sockets installed and water down to the left of the door. Since then Ive also got water to the front of the benches

    [​IMG]

    There is now an 18ft x 12ft fruit cage on the back of the tunnel - no pics of that yet

    Next job is to install a support to tie canes to for tomatoes etc on the left hand side
     
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    • ricky101

      ricky101 Super Gardener

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      Hi,

      Are you trying to make us all* jealous with that massive garden and polytunnel ! :wow::biggrin:
      * well, probably 98% of us !
       
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      • andrews

        andrews Gardener

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        We bought it in 1999 and it was a slum. Spent three years getting it livable. If it was in a better state we wouldn't have afforded the place.

        A large garden isn't all goodness. It takes a lot of our spare time and when we could be sat out enjoying the garden we are normally working in the garden. We are on our second 8yd skip of the autumn / winter, filling it with hedge trimmings and general garden 'stuff' which is a measure of the time it takes up.
        Don't get me wrong, we do enjoy the space - I'm not looking for sympathy. Just giving an alternate view of having the space.

        This is from google maps showing the boundary. Its an old shot from around 2007 I'm guessing.


        [​IMG]
         
      • CarolineL

        CarolineL Super Gardener

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        Wow! @andrews how big is that tunnel? I'm interested that you trenched in the spare polythene - I used plastic 'snapfitting' fitments on the side supplied by the makers and they were too sharp at the ends for turning the corners. Trenching looks more sensible (and simpler when replacing). Was it hard to get sufficient tension on the polythene that way?
         
      • andrews

        andrews Gardener

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        @CarolineL the tunnel is 18ft by 30ft. I did think about going to 36ft but am glad I didn't as it would mean another 2 holes to dig.

        The bottom rail is using the aluminium with plastic snap in fittings and I suspect that it will tear on the corners at some point. Next time I will set the aluminium frame back from the corners slightly so that there isn't such a pointed bit where they meet. I trenched the rest of the plastic just to ensure that the tunnel didn't suffer in strong winds - it doesn't help with the tensioning, just stops wind getting under the sides of the tunnel
         
      • Zigs

        Zigs Ginger Admin Staff Member

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      • CarolineL

        CarolineL Super Gardener

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        Thanks @andrews - you've confirmed my problem with those fittings. I don't see why they can't supply a connecting curved bit just to go round the corners and join onto the sharp ends. Wouldn't cost much, but would reduce the risk of a hole then becoming a tear. Your tunnel looks terrific!
         
      • andrews

        andrews Gardener

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        A curved corner would make sense. It doesn't need to tension the polythene, just guide it around the corner
         
      • Vince

        Vince Not so well known for it.

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        Ermmm, might be looking for a cheapish property with decent sized garden, SOON. Got greenhouse, polytunnel, 7 dogs and her indoors! What's Yorkshire like?
         
      • andrews

        andrews Gardener

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        You get a lot for your money in Yorkshire. Maybe a better deal in Lincolnshire for the money (we looked around the area in anger when house hunting in the late 90's). If you want a view on any locations, give me a nudge. If I can give feedback on the area I will
         
      • Vince

        Vince Not so well known for it.

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        Thankyou, I will be buying a property but not sure when or where..... pension!
         
      • Steve R

        Steve R Soil Furtler

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        If your tunnel is similar to mine and the main frame is fitted onto ground anchors, then the bolts can be loosened to lift the frame on the anchors to tension the cover if necessary. This comment is for onlookers too as I'm certain andrew has this done already.

        Nice tidy job andrew, I made one helluva mess when I put mine up, I make one helluva mess when I do anything. :)

        Steve...:)
         

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