Polytunnel Or Greenhouse

Polytunnel Or Greenhouse

I’ve never had either a polytunnel or a greenhouse although I have had the opportunity to work in a polytunnel. It’s quite a big expense and it takes a lot of planning and preparation with either. I’m at the point where I have to choose now.

I want to be able to potter about growing more volume of vegetables as well as be able to grow tomatoes and cucumbers and melons.  I also want to extend the growing season.

So, I’m weighing up the pros and cons of both before I make a decision.

Pros of A Greenhouse Cons of a Greenhouse
May last longer

Better for growing exotic plants

More attractive

Better heat retention

Better light transmission

More expensive

The glass is expensive to replace, when 1 panel goes, more often follow

Glass greenhouse clips are fiddly

Glass greenhouses are often really hard to put up

Requires a perfectly firm level base

Pros of a Polytunnel Cons of a Polytunnel
More affordable

Generally bigger

Bigger space means more growing space

Can be used as a social space as there is more height and room to move about.  You can even have chairs inside.

Doors at either end allow a flow of air through the tunnel

Increased space means you can potter about inside if it is raining or cold outside and move around

You can harvest even more water if you have good systems

Better for extending the growing season and growing more volume of veggies

Cross bars give you the opportunity to hang things like baskets, therefore using what might have been wasted space

Less need for shading in summer

Automatic irrigation, crop bars, ground cover mats, and freestanding or fixed staging are all available for polytunnels.

Easier to put up

Can even be constructed on a sloping site

Plastic will have to be replaced after a time

Some are susceptible to being blown away

Condensation can be an issue if the sides are not straight

They often need new covers after about 5 years

Water collection is harder


So, Polytunnel Or Greenhouse?

Well after weighing it all up, I’ve decided to go for a polytunnel. Here’s why:

1. I want to increase to volume of produce and extend the growing season, I will be able to grow more in the tunnel.

2. A polytunnel is better value for money

3. I can position it so that it will face onto my sitting area and be an extension of this.

4. It’s much cheaper per square meter of growing area

5. Less risk of wind damage

6. It will be easier to put up

7. I’m getting excellent customer service and support from First Tunnels. They even have a 7 day a week construction line, taking away the fear of the putting it up. This hand holding is a big plus for me.


Mom of 3, keeper of mad collies and chickens, in search of lost perennial veg and into all thing permaculture. Writer, thinker and blogger. Maker of WordPress websites and internet geek.

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