Author Topic: New poly needed  (Read 608 times)

ACE

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New poly needed
« on: February 11, 2020, 12:27:11 »
I am looking on amazon they are cheap and cheerful and some reviews say the really cheapo ones are too flimsy. Anyway I have found a decent one with good reviews that has a 'woven' cover. It comes in green or clear. Has anybody got a green one. Mine is not used for seedings etc mainly Toms, melons and growing spring greens out of season. What should I get green or clear?

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New poly needed
« on: February 11, 2020, 12:27:11 »

Obelixx

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Re: New poly needed
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2020, 14:37:00 »
Ours is clear which means good light levels even in winter.   It came with a green mesh net we can throw over and clip on when the sun is very bright and hot from April onwards.

Having clear plastic means we can stash the fuchsias and citrus plants in there and also grow stuff thru winter.  Only oca left now but we had peppers fruiting up to mid December and I'll be trying some winter greens and salads in there next year.
Obxx - Vendée France

Tee Gee

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Re: New poly needed
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2020, 16:01:20 »
You can get tunnel skins are made from two materials e.g. Net sides and PVC roofs something like the pic below

pumpkinlover

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Re: New poly needed
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2020, 17:42:54 »
Any recomendations? Mine is on the way out, already chucked out by someone else and repaired and recycled by the Mr.



Obelixx

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Re: New poly needed
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2020, 18:29:56 »
Is the frame still good?  You can buy polythene sheeting by the metre in good DIY and garden centres.
Obxx - Vendée France

ancellsfarmer

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Re: New poly needed
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2020, 19:56:30 »
Is the frame still good?  You can buy polythene sheeting by the metre in good DIY and garden centres.
Yes you can but 'builders quality' is not stabilised for ultra violet radiation and lasts no more than a couple of years. If you are re-covering, seek out a Visqueen cover in a colour/film to suit your requirement  and pocket.
(For information only without endorsement)
Such a supplier is:
http://www.agpolytunnels.co.uk/replacement-polytunnel-covers/
Freelance cultivator qualified within the University of Life.

saddad

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Re: New poly needed
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2020, 06:57:52 »
My cover is falling apart... bought from a "reputable" supplier of Polytunnels but they had obviously had it in store too long.. very definite fold marks which could not be stretched out and despite complaints no dice with supplier... so it keeps splitting along the crease marks. Got out with a clear duct tape again on Saturday before the worst of the storm and it has survived.

ACE

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Re: New poly needed
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2020, 09:23:58 »
I could recover it if I sorted the frame with out with a 'dockyard spanner' I did get the frame from somebody about 5 years ago and got the proper polytunnel plastic to cover it. But £80 for a good replacement tunnel and an extra metre in length is tempting me. The old one owes me nothing now and the top hoops would be good for a brassica net, the other poles would make a good support for my grape vine so only the cover which is too far torn to re-purpose. What I really want to know is it going to be green or clear.    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Garden-Point-Polytunnel-Greenhouse-Galvanised/dp/B07BCGKS1P/ref=sr_1_48?keywords=poly%2Btunnels&qid=1581499254&sr=8-48&th=1

Obelixx

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Re: New poly needed
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2020, 09:35:06 »
Sounds like a plan but I'd still go for clear over green for the extra winter light.
Obxx - Vendée France

Tee Gee

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Re: New poly needed
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2020, 10:03:01 »
I'm with obellix clear cover with net vents.


BarriedaleNick

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Vinlander

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Re: New poly needed
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2020, 15:25:38 »
I used to use builders polythene - about 20 years ago it was OK - but its UV lifetime has been reducing rapidly over the years and now most of the types will go brittle after only 2 years. The same thing happens to most of the cheap translucent tarps on the market (and other colours), and even most of the black plastic.   The problem is that UV inhibitor additives cost money...

At some point in the last 20 years, builders realised that it was cheaper to dump sheet materials in a skip at the end of a job.  The time saved is significant (even just folding them for the van, never mind cleaning them), and the cost of replacement is totally hidden in the materials part of the bill. The suppliers at the bottom end soon realised that they could make more money by selling rubbish because trade customers had no use for the good stuff.

I imagine buying UV resistant black stuff is even more pointless in buildings because most of it is used as moisture barrier under concrete floors where it will never see the light of day (they could use clear but it's easier to spot damage in a shiny black or blue area) .

If you do use any of these kinds of crap in sunshine it rapidly goes from brittle to flakes (then dust - the notorious micro-plastic) - it's a nightmare to clean up - so I recommend you replace it as soon as any brittleness appears.

After being stung a few times I decided that I would buy the best anti-UV polythene available - I found that one of the online tunnel suppliers mentions and sells stuff made for Spanish growers - their polytunnels would last half as long if they didn't have twice the inhibitor in them. I think my bit has lasted 10 years - in fact I'm waiting now for it to fail so I can redesign the vents.

I was driven by the desire to re-cover a 5x3m tunnel as seldom as possible - but some of these Spanish growers have tunnels the size of Windermere.

As to tints - Green is the colour that plants don't want - the reason they are green is because they are throwing green light away (that's why gro-lights are purple - they are mainly producing red & blue and not wasting electricity making green).

A green cover is nonsense because all of them let more green light through than other colours - you can check this by holding a piece of white paper inside while you are outside - you will see it has gone green (it's harder to tell when you are inside because your eyes adjust to the green by ignoring it - it's even hard to see from outside if most of your view is plants - you need to hold the white paper above them).

This is because you aren't dealing with green paint (where only the green is reflected), you are using a (mild) green filter, and green filters reflect a bit of green light but work by letting 90% through - the green-tinted light inside the tunnel means that blue and red have been reduced.

There are covers dosed to entirely block UV (Polycarb does this anyway) - they are made and sold on the basis that (they say) many insects won't enter a no-UV area because they use UV to find food.  I've had normal yields under Polycarb as far as I can tell - but terrestrial cacti are so happy with UV that they sulk a bit when they don't get it.

Cheers.

PS. If anyone finds green tunnels used by a thriving business growing (not selling) plants - then say - I'd love to find out why. Of course there are apparently some advantages to different coloured mulches - but I'm not holding my breath. Red nets have started to appear under ripening olive trees in Greece - but that's more to do with the fact there are no red olives that could hide on them.

With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.

Tee Gee

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Re: New poly needed
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2020, 16:12:16 »
Our top grade UV skin on the allotment communal tunnel lasted 13 years before we replaced it.

I think it would have lasted longer but for the carelessness of some growers who when pulling out canes they tended to look at the bottom of the cane when pulling it out rather than where the top of the cane was going!

Too often they went through the skin!

When I re-designed the layout I fitted wires on each bed to try to stop the use of long canes.

Did it stop them using long canes?..... Did it heckers like!

I managed to acquire what was left from the new skin we put on and that is now has  effectively double-glazed my greenhouse at home.

Vinlander

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Re: New poly needed
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2020, 10:14:42 »

When I re-designed the layout I fitted wires on each bed to try to stop the use of long canes.

Did it stop them using long canes?..... Did it heckers like!

I think I see the problem - there aren't any knots in the wires so twist-ties etc. will just slide down them. I think everyone who uses natural canes makes use of the width of nodes to stop the whole plant collapsing like a concertina. When I set up a hanging string to support tomatoes I've learned to always put in twice as many knots as you expect to need for the twist ties. Professional growers use little plastic clamps that lock onto the texture of string - wouldn't work on wire.

With wires, small loops (5mm? made on a nail?) will be much easier to make than knots - and the loop could be stabilised by a twist tie around its neck so the whole thing is tomato-ready. I prefer galvanised wire to plastic-coated iron - for everything else anyway - so I will try this myself (galvanised is so slippery it is too obviously useless to use for this otherwise).

Cheers.

PS. The very best twist ties are 15cm lengths of the (3) solid copper wires inside unwanted ring main cable - they mean a single installation can be re-opened and closed indefinitely (leave the blue/brown plastic on if you can - I've never used it for colour coding but it is excellent padding for more fragile stems - and it does look festive). Ring main stuff is a bit thick for the neck of a 5mm loop but twin+earth lighting cable (not flex) has thinner cores and should work OK. Phone cable cores are a bit fiddly but good if used in pairs.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2020, 10:17:36 by Vinlander »
With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.

Tee Gee

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Re: New poly needed
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2020, 13:33:30 »
Quote
there aren't any knots in the wires so twist-ties etc. will just slide down them. I think everyone who uses natural canes makes use of the width of nodes to stop the whole plant 

I agree with you but what you are not aware of is that I  prepared these beds for 10 people who did not have greenhouse/ tunnels not for me! All I wanted to do was supply them with a means of support in lieu of the  6-8 ft canes they used before with the results I described.

In other words once they got their beds they could look after them as they wished.

In the first year that these bed erected only 7 beds were used so I took the other 3 rather than let them become full of weeds.
 
I found the wires very useful  and found that subject to how you fitted your twist tie they would as you say 'slide down ' the wire but not if you first twisted the tie tightly around the wire first then subsequently tied in the plant.( I have also used this method of tying in when I was using canes  because as you mention they would stop sliding at a node but  with my way it would tie in nicely between nodes)

Another thing I sometimes used was no twist ties at all all I would do is untie the wire from its overhead support then  gently corkscrew the wire around the plant.

Another way was to use 3 ft  canes at the bottom of the plant until the plant got going then it was relatively simple to tie in the top of the plant to the wire.

So you see if there is a will there is a way but what I found was that the wires were mostly rolled up and hung from their overhead support and yes!!! They started using long canes again.

But worse still although I also supplied a sweeping brush no one ever thought of typing the place up.

Towards the latter end of my stay on the plots I became totally disallusioned with most of the plot members particularly when they started taking me for granted when they expected me to fetch and carry for them e.g. things like,discounted compost,fertiliser,seed,manure and my surplus plants which in many cases I never as much as got a thank you for., and sometimes I was out of pocket as well!

There!! Now you know why I gave up my plots it was not as some people thought that"I wasn't up to it" no! If I say so myself I think I had at least another ten years in me.

It was just the selfishness of some people on the plot that got me down in the end. Gone were the days when many of us would sit down in the communal tunnel have a bit of banter and put the world to right not any more. It was not uncommon for people to walk past you on your plot without as much as a good morning/ afternoon!

That was not for me.

In fact when I gave up I asked the council to give my plot to a total 'newbie' rather than have it being claimed by another plot holder as happened when I vacated previous plots over the years.

In fact the last person that took a plot over after I gave it up said they wanted it because there were no weeds on it, if you see it now it is wall to wall weeds most of the season.

So there you have it.....my true reason for giving up my allotments, and to be quite honest it is now about 15 months since  I gave it up and I have not missed it in the least, which surprises me really because I thought I would.

Ps but I think I would miss A4A if I left.....Tg







 

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