The ideas for making the most of the space in your polytunnel are almost limitless. Use your imagination and you will find that there are plenty of vertical gardening ideas percolating through your own mind. To give you a head start on dreaming up those ideas, here are three vertical gardening ideas that might work well in your polytunnel – of course you should adapt these ideas to suit whatever you happen to have lying around.
One of the simplest and most obvious ways to make the most of the space in your polytunnel is to create a hanging shelf, which will hang from the crop bars in the central, highest portion of the polytunnel. Ideally, this shelf will still let light through to plants growing below, and will be easily raised and lowered as needed throughout the year, to facilitate planting, tending and watering. You will not need more than rudimentary DIY skills to create a simple, rectangular wooden frame. Cover the frame with a mesh or perhaps spare polytunnel plastic with holes pricked in it to let the water through. Then simply attach four hooks, one to each corner, and suspend from the crop bars with a sturdy rope or wire of some description.
Even more affordable is to create vertical garden structures from household rubbish. Those plastic milk containers with handles can be strung along sturdy garden canes to create quick and easy garden 'shelves' for salads or herbs. To make these hanging shelves, hold the handle of the milk container and cut off the top quadrant of the container so that the handle section and a bottom pan area remain. Pierce a few holes in the bottom of each one and fill them with your growing medium. Sow seeds, then string these long your canes and suspend as you wish.
Another easy and cheap way to grow plenty of herbs and salad leaves is in the bases of plastic fizzy drink bottles, pierced, filled and strung along a length of wire between your crop bars. This 'bunting' is great for quick-growing summer salad leaves and the flexible arrangement can be used to fill gaps between other vertical garden structures.
However small your polytunnel, you can grow far more in there than you may imagine. So use your imagination and remember, the sky (or rather, the top of your tunnel) is the limit!