One of the important considerations for polytunnel owners should be how to make the most of all the natural, renewable resources at your disposal. Foremost amongst these resources is, of course, the heat and light from the sun. Here are some of the ways in which you can work to fully utilise the power of the sun in your polytunnel:
First and foremost, polytunnel gardeners should think about how the sun is required for growing plants. Careful consideration of space and layout can help you to optimise your growing areas and get as high a yield as possible from the area available.
In addition to allowing us to grow a range of plants, however, sunlight can also offer far more to polytunnel gardeners. For example, we can harness the power of the sun to provide electricity which could be used to light and perhaps even heat a polytunnel. By installing a small solar lighting system, or photo voltaic panels, we can make the most of the power that the sun can provide.
In addition, sunlight in a polytunnel can make these ideal spaces in which to dry herbs or other plants for use in the kitchen over the colder months, in meals, herbal remedies, teas, or beauty and cleaning products. Placed on a hanging shelf or hung in the top area of the polytunnel's arch, herbs will dry more quickly and efficiently than they may do elsewhere.
Another option for polytunnel owners is creating a dehydrator using glass or plastic and placing it within a polytunnel to take advantage of the light and heat of the sun within the structure. Dehydrating fruits and vegetables without resorting to electric power is easier with a polytunnel, and can be an excellent way of preserving a glut for later use.
Polytunnels are usually used primarily for growing food, but most polytunnels can also be multi-functional spaces – useful for a wide range of applications. Other ways in which polytunnel gardeners can make use of their polytunnels and harness the power of the sun include seasoning wood for burning in home-heating systems and wood burning stoves, drying laundry on days when rain threatens, or simply enjoying the heat and light for relaxation, relaxation and therapeutic practices.