A polytunnel can help you to grow your own food, which can reduce your household food bills significantly. Here are some other tips to help you reduce household costs still further when gardening in your polytunnel:
If you are new to gardening, and have just purchased a polytunnel, you may be surprised by how little it can cost to get your hands on all the tools and other bits and pieces that you need to grow your own food within it. Friends and neighbours may often be more than willing to lend a helping hand, and may have spare tools that you can have for free. The Internet can also yield tools and garden equipment being given away – try sites such as Freecycle and Freegle. Other second-hand items can be found for low cost on online auction sites or in second hand shops.
Another good way to save money in your polytunnel is to sow seeds or propagate plants yourself by division or by taking cuttings. This is far, far cheaper than buying in full-grown or plug plants for your polytunnel growing spaces. Consider saving your own seeds each year rather than buying new ones too, as this will make your gardening even cheaper and more sustainable. Family, friends and neighbours may also be able to gift seeds, cuttings or plants to help you get started.
Do not go out and buy lots of new seed trays, pots and containers for your polytunnel. Reuse old garden pots, or make your own using household food packaging such as yoghurt pots, plastic bottles or trays. Toilet roll tubes or newspaper can be used to make biodegradable seed pots which can be popped into the ground along with your seedlings.
If water is metered where you live then you can also save money by reducing the amount of tap water that you use to water plants in a polytunnel. Rather than using tap water, harvest rainwater and use that instead. Not only can this save water, and save money, it is also better for plants and better for the environment.
Consider carefully whether or not you will require any heating or lighting in your polytunnel – you may not have any need for electric power in there at all. If you do, rather than expensively running electricity to your polytunnel, and racking up the bills, consider installing solar powered lighting, which is relatively inexpensive. Heating the space will of course cost more, but you could also consider using wind or solar power to save on bills and make your gardening more sustainable in the long run.