FAQs about Polytunnels
Select question from list...
- Why Choose First Tunnels?
- How easy are they to construct?
- What orientation is best?
- Do they blow away?
- What can I grow in my Polytunnel?
- Polytunnel or Greenhouse?
- Are Polytunnel Organic?
- What type of doors are available?
- Do I need to treat the Timber Doors and Frames?
- How much does a replacement cover cost?/How to fit a replacement cover?
- What is Anti Hot Spot Tape?
- What happens if I tear the Polythene?
- Can Polytunnels be moved or extended?
- What are all the different Polythene Covers?
- Can Polytunnels be heated?
- What are the planning regulations for Polytunnels?
- How will it be delivered?
- How can I Harvest Rainwater from a Polytunnel?
- Does rain stop play?
- Good for your health...and wealth
- I still have a question...
For 20 years we've been leading the way - whether it's product innovation, great prices, fantastic service, or by getting the country's top gardening and food experts to help us develop the polytunnels they chose to use themselves - people like Alan Titchmarsh, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Bob Flowerdew, Mark Gatter, Andy McKee and Paul Peacock. Our customers must think we're getting it right too - because we now sell over 3000 tunnels per year! But don't just take the celebrities word for it. What better way to learn about company dependability, product quality and customer service than to hear it straight from other consumers?
By giving customers the opportunity to share their First Tunnels shopping experience, we believe this is the best reflection of our companies product and service. To help reinforce credibility, popularity and reputation, we have subscribed to not one, not two....... but THREE independent review companies allowing you to praise or complain about First Tunnels.
We value all feedback, good, bad or ugly and hope to build a long lasting relationship with our customer, through our high quality products and friendly service, to ensure they do not hesitate to order again and again with First Tunnels in the future.
In 2010 First Tunnels sold over 3000 polytunnels. Each of those customers erected their own polytunnel without any difficulty, thanks to the comprehensive and detailed instructions that we have produced with our dedicated team of constructors click to view.
If you are experiencing problems with your polytunnel construction or just need a little bit of technical support, you can contact us or use the helpline 01282 601253 9am-5pm Monday to Friday and 07801 601253 at the weekend (please note this sevice is NOT available over the Christmas period and Bank Holidays). This allows you to talk directly to one of our constructors, ask their expert opinion, get the answer and complete your polytunnel.
Lost or damaged your instructions? Lent them to a friend and not got them back! No problem, you can download ALL our polytunnel construction guides for FREE!
Alternatively visit www.polytunnels.co.uk - a site dedciated to all the things about polytunnel construction. You'll find numerous videos relating to the construction of our polytunnels - typical movies show the method used to assemble doors, hoops, foundations and most importantly the method we employ when fitting the cover.
You'll need several basic items of equipment - spade, tape measure, pegs and string for marking out, lump hammer, a drill and metal bits. Also spanners - or even better a socket set - both Philips and flat headed screwdrivers, scissors or a Stanley knife, hammer and saw. A step ladder will also come in handy.
Here is another short video of the very same Polytunnel still battling against the elements 2 and a half years later complete with the same polythene cover, no problems so far! Standing up better than the piano.
Prior to the introduction of Polytunnels in England only 50% of soft fruit was Grade 1, now it is nearer to 90% - For today's commercial growers this represents the difference between having a business and going out of business.
Over the years all types of plants (flowers & vegetables) have been grown with outstanding results, a large percentage of championship plants have been grown under polythene. The growing season is greatly extended by the protection they offer and many new comers are caught out by the rapid plant growth early in the year.
One of the major advantages of a polytunnel is cost. The cost of a greenhouse and polytunnel will vary greatly, depending on the type, design and size of model that is required. Generally, based on like-for-like square footage, the set-up costs for a poly tunnel will always prove the cheaper option.
All the timber we use is sourced from the UK from sustainable forests and has the FSC accreditation. A polytunnel cover should last for around five years, which makes it a fairly small part of the plastic consumption of a "Westerner". The cover can be recycled and be made into smaller covers for cloches and cold frames and a host of other applications around the garden.
The enclosed nature of polytunnels also reduces the need for pesticide and chemical control. A Polytunnel provides an environment that is a natural way to protect plants from disease and the UK weather.
Many champions of the "Organic" and "Self Sufficiency" movement own Polytunnels. Buy that polytunnel, enjoy all the extra food it lets you produce - and start totting up the environmental savings.
First Tunnels provides a hinged door for each end... as standard. This means optimum ease of access and extra versatility when it comes to controlling ventilation. So its doubly important you make the perfect choice...
In addition to hinged doors First Tunnel also offer sliding doors. So...what are the benefits of Sliding Doors? - Proper ventilation of your polytunnel is an absolute must during the summer months. And we’ve made it really easy by introducing our fantastic sliding doors as an option on any of our polytunnels. They’re space saving…giving you more room to grow. They don’t blow in the wind. And our ground bolt system lets you control the exact amount of airflow you need. Perfect!
All timber used in our doors and frames are constructed from impressively heavy grades of timber for outstanding rigidity and performance. And because they're so solid, we've even bevelled the edges to make them user-friendly too.
We also understand that some customers have access to a supply of timber or may prefer to design their own size and type of door. If this is the case then you also have the option of excluding the timber door frame and doors and receive a discount.
All of our Polytunnels are supplied with doors at both ends of your polytunnel. All the timber used for our doors and for base/side rails has been impregnated with TANALITH-E wood preservative under controlled conditions in a vacuum pressure impregnation plant. Following impregnation the preservative bonds with the wood structure making it impossible to remove. The timber is then protected against fungal (rot) and insect attack to ensure long service life.
If your polythene cover has past its prime, you have inherited a polytunnel frame or maybe bought a second hand structure, a replacement cover will soon get your polytunnel back in business. Working out how much polythene you will need is simple with the easy to use calculator on our website. Just tap in the length and height of your polytunnel, plus the distance over the hoop and the smart online calculator will work out the rest - in feet or metres. On average, a replacement polythene cover for a 10ft x 15ft polytunnel would cost in the region of £50, cut to fit your polytunnel with no waste and no cutting charge.
The climate of 'make do and mend' has led many gardeners to wise up to the fact that IT IS possible to extend, refurbish, or even relocate polytunnels in a bid to maximise growing space. Whether you are modifying or extending an existing Polytunnel, we would suggest this is best done when your cover needs replacing as it is not recommended that the polythene is reused. If you are looking for new foundation tubes, crop bars or even ridge tubes, the additional help of the replacement tube design service on First Tunnels website, allows gardeners to quickly and easily design a tube that is perfect for their polytunnel.
We have a number of polythene types. All First Tunnels polythene used is 720 gauge (180 micron) - that's the thickness used on Commercial polytunnels and will last at least 4 or 5 years, but it has been known for a cover to last 10 years. We stock our own range of Polythene (unique to the UK market) that are guaranteed for 5 years, other specialist types of film are are also available and are guaranteed for 4 years. When comparing specifications with our competitors ensure you check that they are supplying a 720 gauge polythene cover and ask what the guarantee is....
Yes. The polythene is designed to withstand both hot and cold environments. See our range of Heaters. If you wish to consider heating a polytunnel then why not consider using a mini polytunnel to protect tender plants inside your already existing polytunnel, like "double glazing". This method saves on your heating costs. If you want to discover more about mini polytunnels then Click Here.
Take extra care if your site has a listed building or resides in a conservation area, national park, or area of outstanding natural beauty. There are further restrictions to planning in these cases. To access an interactive planning tool to check on the current guidleines, click here.
If you are thinking of ordering a large commercial sized structure or more than one or you have any worries at all, have a word with your local planning department. Please click here to download a planning guide for farmers.
The majority of polytunnels will be despatched via a nationwide carrier and although we will try and accommodate any special requests regarding delivery we cannot guarantee a specific date or time. Domestic polytunnels are normally despatched within 5 working days, for commercial sized structures we would ask for approx 15 working days for delivery. At peak periods this may increase. Once the polytunnel has left our building, we will confirm despatch by e mail or telephone to advise an expected delivery date. To view our current lead times please click here.
If you have any questions regarding delivery please telephone our office on 01282 601253 and we will try and accommodate any special requests you have.
Grow more...for less
Growing your own can mean big, big savings on the cost of buying your favourite fruit and veg from the supermarket or the greengrocer. Even better, the microclimate in your polytunnel means even bigger, healthier crops...and a much, much longer growing season. And the more you grow...the more you save!
Miles of smiles
With fuel prices at an all-time high, cutting out trips to buy your fruit and veg will mean less miles racked up visiting the forecourt too. That's money in the bank...straight away. And while you're saving £££'s, you're helping save the environment too. Bit of a win win!
Exercise everything...except your wallet
Throwing your heart and soul into things inside the polytunnel is a good workout and a lot less tedious - and costly - than paying to go to the gym! And for anyone who has problems bending down, raised beds bring the gardening up to you, so tending crops and weed management is much, much easier.
Something you can't put a price on...
Your inner health! You control what - and how - you grow. So the pesticides, herbicides and other nasties that might have been used on commercially grown crops are kept out of your polytunnel...and out of your body. And don't underestimate the value to your wellbeing that comes from the simple joy of seeing your hard work bearing fruit.
We are more than happy to assist or provide further information relating to our polytunnels. You can contact us by email or telephone our office on 01282 601253. You could even become a First Tunnels Facebook Friend and share your gardening construction tips, growing advice, swap recipes, enter competitions and enjoy other fun things.