Once you have bought your polytunnel, the next thing to do is to consider how to make the most of the space within it. You may have purchased staging for your polytunnel when you bought it in the first place. However, you may now be considering staging for the first time. Don't worry. If you do not have the fund to buy staging right now, or simply want a little extra staging to add to that you already have, you can create it on a budget far more easily and cheaply than you may imagine.
There are a number of different options for staging in a polytunnel and really, what you choose to use should come down to what items you may already have to hand. If you have any spare or left over plastic from your tunnel, for example, this can be used, along with some scrap wood or sturdy bamboo canes and wire to make a floating shelf that still allows light to penetrate to illuminate plants grown underneath. Such a shelf can be hung from the crop bars on your polytunnel and can be the perfect place for seedlings in the spring.
Should you wish to create more staging, that can remain in your tunnel permanently, this is also possible on a budget. Scrap wood, reclaimed bricks, rocks from your garden, or even glass bottles in a daub of garden clay can be used to create the supports for shelving made cheaply from wire mesh or something similar. Cooler, lower areas can be used to grow leafy salads that prefer to be out of the heat of direct sun in midsummer, or for cuttings that should be kept out of direct light, while higher shelves will be perfect for more tender plants that can make the most of the heat rising to the top of your polytunnel.
If you use your imagination, staging and tiered growing areas can be created from a range of different reclaimed items. Customising an old set of bookshelves or an old chest of drawers, for example, can give you a wide range of options for storing and growing upwards rather than outwards. Drilling drainage into old storage units such as these will give you areas to plant up, or simply somewhere to harden off plants in your polytunnel before they are transplanted somewhere else in your garden.
A local skip or recycling centre could offer a range of options for other people's junk that could be perfect for use in your polytunnel or garden. Free online jumble sale type sites can also yield items you are looking for, without you having to spend any money at all. A polytunnel is an extremely worthwhile investment – but do not spend unnecessarily to make the most of the space it offers inside.