Heating Polytunnels In Winter

A Polytunnel extends the growing season and provides the perfect environment for frost-tender or exotic plants to continue to thrive during the winter. How much heat is required throughout the chillier months depends on how cold the winter temperatures are and how warm the Polytunnel needs to be.

We know heating a Polytunnel or Greenhouse can be an costly luxury and nobody likes the idea of wasting energy or money, but if you are feeling the chill, then it's time to turn up the heat and keep young, tender plants snug and warm until spring arrives.

Here are some top tips to help keep costs down and make heating your Polytunnel more efficient this winter.

Bubble wrap insulation - A layer of bubble wrap fastened with string inside your Polytunnel will help to block icy draughts and reduce heat loss. Simply tie string between the hoops and carefully - although a little bit fiddly, feed the bubble wrap between the polythene cover and the string. When buying bubble wrap, look for the purpose made horticultural bubble wrap insulation as it is toughened and UV stabilised. *TIP* Larger bubbles will let more light in. You can also use bubble wrap insulation to protect outdoor pots preventing your favourite pots from cracking in freezing weather.

Only heat the area that you need to - Heating a large Polytunnel or Greenhouse can be wasteful and expensive especially if you only have a few delicate plants you wish to nurture throughout the winter months. Try to group them together in one section, create a bubble wrap insulation curtain to divide the Polytunnel into smaller areas which can be heated more economically. Using a mini Polytunnel inside a Polytunnel like "double glazing" along with a few candles will help raise the temperature.

Stone Method - Gather medium to large stones (Free stones can be found on classified websites) and make a pile with the stones throughout the Polytunnel - It is suggested 36.KG of stones to generate heat for each square foot. The stones will absorb and retain heat from the sun and slowly release it through the night the night, therefore keeping the inside of the Polytunnel a degree or two warmer.

Use Horticultural Fleece - On extra cold nights. A layer of frost protection fleece will provide protection from cold winds and frosts, you will also find it helps to warms up the soil too. Temperature protection can be increased by simply adding multiple layers of fleece and is often used for covering cloche hoops, mini polytunnels, cold frames and lining greenhouses. Remember to remove the fleece during the day to ensure the plants receive adequate ventilation and light.

Create a heat sink - Place a dust bin, barrel, bucket or anything else black for maximum solar gain in the corners (or other practical places) inside your Polytunnel and fill them with water. The water will absorb energy during daylight hours, hold onto the heat and keep your Polytunnel a few degrees warmer in the winter - A difference that might be critical! Put the plants that require the most heat closest to the barrels. Monitor the temperature of the Polytunnel with a thermometer that measures the coldest daily temperature as well as the current temperature. Add additional barrels if the temperature is too cold. Lower the amount of water in the barrels or remove barrels if the temperature is too high.

A Rabbit Hutch - If you have a pet rabbit, place the hut inside the Polytunnel. The heat it radiates will take the chill of the air and your bunny might just like it too.

Swipe to scroll through tabs

About First Tunnels

We’re a close-knit bunch of skilled professionals who take an enormous pride in the quality and versatility of our products, But we’re enthusiasts too - we use our own products, and that means we’ve introduced lots of improvements and innovations over the years…based on first-hand everyday practical experience. We work hand-in hand with top growing experts. We even have our own allotment for some seriously hands-on gardening, often accompanied by communal summer and winter barbecues because all work and no play would be very dull!

Polytunnel Community

Reviewed by you, Followed by you, Liked by you and listened to by us. We have a strong online polytunnel community, 35k Facebook Fans, 10k Twitter Followers and over 3m YouTube Views. Our community of dedicated, passionate Polytunnel gardening friends, love to share their sowing tips, growing hints and harvesting secrets with each other. But more importantly for you, as a customer or a potential customer, you can post your comments in all their glory or gory details. Come and join the Polytunnel family.

Construction Help & Advice

Our six man construction team has a wealth of polytunnel construction knowledge and are more than happy to share tips and advice with any of our customers. Many of the team have been quite literally 'hands on' developing the First Tunnels vast array of construction videos and in depth instruction guides. Our construction team are available to answer your questions and help in whatever way they can. Simply call 01282 601253 on week days between 9am-5pm...PLUS weekend cover on 07801 601253, between 9am-5pm.

Frequently Asked Questions

We are proud of our products and the time that we have put in to making sure that all our products are first class. We understand that purchasing a polytunnel is a considerable investment, and whilst we have lots of help and advice on this site, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and blog pages many people like to compare and contrast before they commit their hard earned cash to buying. To this end we have compiled a list of the most common questions and provide 10 top reasons why First Tunnels Polytunnels is the top choice.

Getting Growing

Part of the fun of owning a polytunnel is picking the brains of people who really know how to make the most of the real growing potential. So we're making it easy for you...with some of the best brains in the business! This site now includes features, produced exclusively for First Tunnels by Andy McKee and Mark Gatter - best-selling authors of 'How to grow food in your Polytunnel' and 'The Polytunnel Handbook'. We also have videos from BBC’s Gardeners’ Question Time presenter, Paul Peacock. We also have a host of growing guides from Sam Youd, presenter & judge for the Royal Horticultural Society & Tatton Park Head Gardener.

Other Useful Stuff

What better way to learn about company dependability, product quality and customer service than to hear it straight from other consumers? By giving customers the opportunity to share their First Tunnels shopping experience, we believe this is the best reflection of our companies’ product and service. To help reinforce credibility, popularity and reputation, we have subscribed to not one, not two...but THREE independent review companies. We value all feedback, good, bad or ugly and hope to build a long lasting relationship with our customer, through our high quality products and friendly service, to ensure they do not hesitate to order again and again with First Tunnels in the future.