So you have ordered your polytunnel and are busy thinking about all the fresh fruit and veg you’ll be growing over the coming months! Between the tunnel arriving and getting planting however, you’ll need to put the tunnel up and the better you build the tunnel, the longer it will last, so we thought we’d post a few images of a really well-built tunnel that you can refer to!
We often get photos from proud customers (keep them coming!) of their tunnels and results, but these images from France-based poytunnel customer Lynne, are straight from the “How to build your polytunnel” textbook (if one exists!). Thanks for the images Lynne!
First up, a great image showing the complete tunnel frame. First thing to note is the trench that’s been dug around the frame, ready for trenching-in the polytunnel cover. The trench is nice and deep, and has been dug right up to the outside edge of the frame. Don’t dig your trench any distance outside the frame footprint, as this will mean you have less cover buried in the trench. You can see how close the trench is dug to the frame in the second image down.
Second thing to notice here is that Lynne has added some stakes to the polytunnel frame where it’s legs meet the ground. This is not essential, but is a fantastic idea for ensuring the tunnel is strong and resistant to big gusts of wind etc. You can see in the image that longer wooden stakes have been used on the frame corners, which again is a great idea for adding rigidity. You can make ground stakes from any wood you have lying around and secure the frame to the stakes with zip-ties, wire, etc. Knock the stakes in nice & deep to ensure they are super-strong!
The final thing to note here is that Lynne has used some gaffer tape/duct tape on the joins in the frame. Again, this is not essential as the tunnels have good swage-joints throughout, but while you are putting the frame together, why not!? It will only help keep the frame secure and robust into the future.
Next up, we have a picture of the super-secure polytunnel frame wearing it’s cover. It’s a good idea to get the cover sitting nice and square on the frame before you attempt to secure any of the cover sides. Having a friend to help out is great here, as you can both tension the cover properly and ensure there is no sag or tight-spots.
Once the cover is sitting nicely, you can burry the sides of your tunnel cover in the surrounding trench, making sure you keep things tight and don’t get any unwanted pleats in the cover. While burying the cover, keep stamping the earth down to really pin the cover securely.
Once you have finished stamping down the surrounding ground, get some good, heavy stones, bricks, or similar and place them all the way round the base of your tunnel. As yiou can see in Lynne’s photo, these rocks really add some weight to your build and keep the earth around the tunnel from being weakened by rain etc.
Lynne sent a few more shots of early polytunnel growth and you can see in the image that a wooden path has been laid through the centre of the tunnel, which is a great idea for keeping your barrow or boots off your plants etc!
So there you have it… A text-book polytunnel build in easy to follow images!
Please Feel free to send us your build
You, like many other people are beginning to understand the benefits and advantages of keeping Chickens. No more supermarket eggs days or weeks old from who knows where, you can now enjoy eggs, organic eggs within minutes or hours after being laid. Beautiful orange yolks not dull yellow, what a great way to start your day! .
Research has found that Chickens allowed to roam freely eating grasses and other natural vegetation, produce eggs that are in turn lower in cholesterol and higher in Omega 3 and Vitamin E. So not only do you get these fantastic eggs but also keeping chickens has it’s other benefits too.
Chickens when allowed to roam also feed off those little garden pests (caterpillars, beetles, grubs, earwigs and many other little beasties) they also keep the grass in check, (Care should be taken to ensure the chickens are spread around the garden as Chickens can clear land as well!). All this eating leads to one thing, an amazing fertiliser which when added to the straw and or saw dust from the coop can be composted. This compost is an ecological and effective way to reduce your ecological footprint and produce a fantastic natural product for your garden.
There are two main types of chickens, Bantam which is a small / miniature chicken and a standard breed which is a bigger bird. Bantams are the most common pets, as they require smaller space than their cousins. Bantams generally require 3 square feet living space and 1 square foot of roosting space. Chicken like to roost in the evening and require a perch to do so, all Feel Good coop’s come with an enclosed perch bars. There are 100’s of different breeds of chicken, the main breeds are Cream Legbar, Blue Belle, Brahams, Pekin Buff and White and Rhode Island reds. It is recommended when purchasing chickens, to purchase “Point of Lay“ birds as these are generally 12-16 weeks old, fully vaccinated and ready to lay.
These can be easily sourced locally from a poultry supplier. On average a standard bird will lay 250 to 350 eggs per year in the right conditions. Chickens enjoy a wide array of food including: grasses and vegetation, insects found in the garden, scraps and waste food, seeds and specially produced feeds. It is recommended that a variety of these feeds be used to ensure a healthy and happy bird.
Inside the chicken coop should be lined with a mixture of sawdust and straw. The base of the nesting box should also be lined with sawdust and straw. The used straw, sawdust and waste from the chicken coop can be used to create fantastic compost rich in nutrients. It is important to know your chicken and understand if all is well and your bird is healthy. A chicken should always appear busy with the tail and wing feathers in the same position. It is important to feed and water your birds regularly and it is recommended to do so in the morning rather than the evening. The chicken coop should be cleaned weekly or more frequently dependant on the number of birds you have. The following should be checked on every bird on a regular basis. Check nasal passages and eyes for discharge. Check for infestation of mites on the body and head by moving the feathers.
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