While most of your efforts will, of course, be concentrated on the growing areas in your polytunnel, you should spare some thought too for the paths. Paths are your means of access to your polytunnel growing areas and when the paths leave something to be desired, polytunnel gardening will not be as pleasurable. While many polytunnel owners will simply slap down some slabs, or even leave the ground as it is, here are some other potential paths that you might like to ponder:
Rammed earth creates an extremely stable and smooth surface that can rival concrete for preventing any trip hazards and preventing excessive erosion. Using a hired tool to compress the path or paths in a polytunnel is one way to create path structures that will last. You can then, if you wish, keep things neater by covering that rammed earth channel with wood chip, or a compacted gravel.
Sustainable gardening is about making use of whatever you have to hand – even materials that might usually be thrown away. One way to make an attractive path is to use pieces of reclaimed brick or stone – whatever you have access to, to form your pathway. The added benefit of using brick or stone is that these will store and release heat to keep the temperature more stable over the day and night, throughout the year.
If you do decide that paving is the way to go, this will also act as a thermal store. However, if you are concerned with eco-friendly living and sustainability then it would be best to go for a recycled option, rather than simply purchasing the cheapest concrete option. Paving made from recycled glass is one eco option.
Another eco friendly option is grid paving. This lattice is not only kind to the environment, it will also allow you to form paths which will also function as additional growing space for small, low-lying plants, such as herbs and flowers that will attract beneficial wildlife to your polytunnel. This is a good option for areas of high foot traffic and will last a long time, allowing for a natural look while still making it easy to gain access for you and a wheelbarrow.
Getting the right materials for your paths will help to ensure that your polytunnel remains useful and productive for years to come.