Winter is almost here and yet there is still plenty to do in your polytunnel. If you have been organised, you may have a whole array of winter crops to enjoy. Even if you have not been able to get your winter planting sorted in time, there is still plenty that you can be doing to prepare for the spring and to make sure that your polytunnel remains in good condition. Here are a few tips to remind you of what winter maintenance and repair of a polytunnel you should be undertaking:
Over winter, light levels drop considerably and any crops you do have in your polytunnel at this time of year need all the light they can get. Make sure that light is getting through by thoroughly cleaning your cover inside and out. Even if you do not have many crops at the moment, cleaning thoroughly will help to keep out disease and make your polytunnel a healthier environment for planting in the spring.
Give your polytunnel a good check over to see if there are any minor holes or tears in the cover. Any small areas of damage can become much worse very quickly if you have storms over the winter. Make any necessary repairs with tape or patches before the worst of the winter weather arrives.
If you have your polytunnel in your garden or on an allotment, it may be closer than is ideal to trees or shrubs. Take a walk around your polytunnel and cut back any foliage that is encroaching too closely on your polytunnel. The last thing you want is branches caught in a winter gale to hit or even puncture your structure.
A polytunnel can be a busy place throughout the year and sometimes, clutter and mess can pile up a little. Clutter attracts rodents and other pests, so make sure everything is ship shape and Bristol fashion over the winter months to cut down on any potential problems.
If you do have crops growing in your polytunnel over winter, remember that although water needs will be much reduced, plants will still need some watering. Keep a close eye on your crops and water when required. It is also important to remember that even in winter, on a sunny day things can hot up quite quickly in your polytunnel and humidity can rise. Keep an eye on things and do not forget about ventilation, which should be a consideration all year round.