Author(s): MCKEE ANDY AND GATTER MARK
A polytunnel can be used as an affordable, low-carbon aid to growing your own food all year round, from crispy salads and fresh vegetables in the dead of winter to juicy melons and mouth-watering grapes in high summer. But once you've decided to invest in a polytunnel, there are many questions to be answered, including: * Do you need planning permission? * What are the different sizes and types you can buy? * Where should you put it, and how do you put it up? * What can you use it for, how do you look after it, and what are the likely problems? The Polytunnel Handbook looks at all aspects of using a polytunnel, from planning your purchase to harvesting the rewards, and includes a step-by-step guide detailing how polytunnels are put up and maintained. There are chapters on developing healthy soil and preventing pests, and a jargon-free guide to the range of often mystifying accessories that many tunnel retailers offer. For the DIY enthusiast there is a full set of instructions for building a polytunnel from scratch, and the authors explain how to keep your polytunnel productive in every season.
Polytunnels have a key role to play in the grow-your-own revolution, and a comprehensive guide such as this is long overdue. -- Simon McEwan, Editor Country Smallholding magazine
Andy McKee first grew vegetables with his father at the age of five, and since then he has grown in situations ranging from a seventeenth storey window box to guerrilla gardening in the middle of a Christmas tree plantation. He had his eyes opened to the potential of polytunnels during a visit to one featuring a hot tub warmed by a clay oven. He lives with his wife and family in rural Dorset, and is entirely selfsufficient in vegetables.Mark Gatter began growing vegetables while homesteading in north California in the early eighties and has been a keen gardener ever since. He's a firm advocate of an organic, raised-bed approach and relies on a polytunnel to keep fresh food on the tableright through the winter. He and his wife share their smallholding in Wales with 11 sheep, several chickens and two dogs.
Introduction 1. Planning your purchase 2. The big day 3. Self-build tunnels 4. The tunnel environment 5. Planting through the year 6. Preventing pests 7. Thinking outside the tunnel Afterword Appendix 1: Further information and suppliers Appendix 2: Further reading Appendix 3: Glossary