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My £50 polytunnel from eBay

Discussion in 'Poly-Tunnel Gardening' started by Scrungee, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. Scrungee

    Scrungee Well known for it

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    EDIT 13/6/11 - I've subsequently managed to aquire a second one, identical to the first for only £40 (incl P&P), as detailed on post #27 of this thread.

    If I had a garden large enough to accomodate a full size polytunnel, that would have been my first choice, but a small patio, shed, garage, greenhouse, chicken run and a small patch of grass take up my entire garden.

    As it has to be on my rented land, I've opted for the cheapest possible polytunnel, despite reviews about them falling apart in a strong wind.

    So, as my Xmas present (that I had to pay for myself) I bought this:

    [​IMG]

    And when I erected it in my garden I immediately thought this will blow apart in the slightest of winds.

    So I started working out how it could be strengthened and braced using all the free materials I've gathered, such as scrapped decking & joists, timber from skips (roof conversions are a good source), and pallet slats.

    Tubular bracing will come from paddling pool frames, scrapped tent poles from camp sites, garden gazebos, kiddies climbing frames, etc.

    Even the small amount of concrete required has been purchased cheaply:

    [​IMG]

    The first trial erection (with cover on) revealed it was actually 4.445 x 1.9m:

    [​IMG]

    which has enabled the remainder of the support posts to be driven in, and all the other supports (which will allow replacement of zipped doors with hinged doors) and staging (slats from a village business's packaging), etc. will be completed shortly.
     
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    • dandsdarts

      dandsdarts Apprentice Gardener

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      Wow, I have just bought one of these, moved the chooks at the weekend to make room for it, hoping to put it up this week.
      We will have to compare notes as to how long they last !!
       
    • Scrungee

      Scrungee Well known for it

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      I hope that with all the reinforcement I'm putting in it will last a few years. I've been quoted £35 incl delivery for a relacement cover, but I reckon it'll be cheaper to re-cover using a W ickes tarp.
       
    • JWK

      JWK Gardener

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      Great stuff Scrungee, an absolute bargain :thumb:
       
    • Dave W

      Dave W Total Gardener

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      Looks good and at that price (plus postage) it's a bargain!
       
    • Chopper

      Chopper Do I really look like a people person?

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      Good to see someone using good old fashion ways of getting something together. If it works and does what you want it to do, thats great. Definately worth £50 to have a go. Nice one mate.

      Chopper.
       
    • Lyn

      Lyn Gardener

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      Don't you just love ebay.:)
      Don't no if this will help but when I was a Guide leader we used to camp with a large bad weather tent similar to your tunnel.
      We used to hold it down with robes thrown over the top one at each end and held with tent pegs.
      It never moved even in the wind.
       
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      • Scrungee

        Scrungee Well known for it

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        All the outer supports now driven in and holes dug for remainder of vertical supports (sketched in), all of which will be secured to the framework with nailed Expamet metal fixing strip. These timbers will support the staging at top of outer post level height and will have reclaimed decking boards fixed at low level for the raised beds under.

        [​IMG]

        I've been saving clay for a while so that can be backfilled around the sheeting when the edge is buried and the topsoil removed can be used in the poly-tunnel borders. I'll replace the topsoil under the central path with clay if I've enough.
         
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        • davygfuchsia

          davygfuchsia Gardener

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          All looking good...

          The main thing I'm worried about!!!

          Where's the kettle going ??

          Dave
           
        • Steve R

          Steve R Soil Furtler

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          Same as my tunnel, only mine is a little larger.

          I'm anchoring mine in a similar way to your wooden post's only my posts will be joined to each other at the base so a trench will be dug as opposed to holes, then backfilled. Removable staging then fitted to the posts.

          Then later in the season I'll add some crop bars to it. But no plans for raised beds at this stage as I dont want to lose the height.

          What are you planning to grow in yours?

          Steve...:)
           
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          • Scrungee

            Scrungee Well known for it

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            Tomatoes (I grow masses of outdoor ones, but want to prolong cropping, plus I intend growing some big beefsteak toms).

            Chillies & peppers

            Early & late salad stuff.

            And for bringing lots of plants sowed in cell trays on before they get planted out when my cold wet clay soil has warmed up. I've got lots of coldframes, but I'll put my father's old 1950s Alladin paraffin heater with extension tubes in here.

            My crop bars are going to be ex-garden gazebo tubes with flattened, drilled ends and fixed using a short length of bent Expamet fixing strip and a nut & bolt.

            Good job my wife isn't reading this thread. She's already been trying to get a chair in there to sit and listen to the radio whilst I work on it.
             
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            • Chopper

              Chopper Do I really look like a people person?

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              Really like your thinking Scrungee. Good use of resources plus a healthy dollop of common sense and adaptability. Nice one mate.

              Chopper.
               
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              • Scrungee

                Scrungee Well known for it

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                Almost finished!

                The timber framework is complete, the poly tunnel tubing is fixed to it with metal straps and the edge of the covering buried leaving just the internal bracing and staging to finish.


                I'm not fixing the staging slats to those rails, but making removable slatted panels that will sit on them. Then when my tomatoes get tall and most plants on the staging have been planted out I can remove some panels to let the toms go all the way up.

                It has progressed since I took this earlier:

                [​IMG]
                 
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                • Marley Farley

                  Marley Farley Affable Admin! Staff Member

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                  :WINK1: Been watching your progress & you are certainly doing well with plenty of forward planning... :thumbsup: Great stuff & good luck.. :thumbsup:
                   
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                  • JWK

                    JWK Gardener

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                    Thats good progress Scrungee!
                     

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