Polytunnel or Greenhouse

We are often asked the question  Greenhouse or polytunnel? So what is the difference between a polytunnel and a greenhouse as far as food production is concerned?

There is lots of discussion about this, especially as people seem to think that a greenhouse looks better in the garden but as we continue to see food production under threat and increasing prices in the shops, the need to ‘grow your own’ is becoming more and more popular. Not only is is better for the environment but knowing exactly what has happened to your food before it arrives on your plate is becoming more important to more people. Maybe we shouldn’t worry so much if the greenhouse looks better than a polytunnel but consider whether it works better than a polytunnel.

If you purchase a polytunnel from Five Star Polytunnels you will know you are receiving a top quality polythene specifically designed for growing fruit, vegetables or  flowers. The polythene is supplied by XL Horticulture who are the biggest importers of polythene into the UK. The polythene have been scientifically designed to maximize production and we now offer polythene with an 8 year Ultra Violet warranty. We have several types of polythene, some with thermic properties, and light diffusion Superthermic EVO AC   ideal for foods production right through the year, with a layer  to prevent condensation and keep the tunnel warmer, giving better frost protection. Sunmaster diffused offering light diffusion properties, but no thermic properties to maximize flower production whilst enhancing colours, ideal for nurseries and summer stock, or cut flower production. A polythene, Sterilite Superthermic especially designed to cut out the lower end of the light spectrum ( under 300 nanometres), this polythene is ideal for organic growers, the moulds and aphids thrive in the lower end of the light spectrum and this polythene reduces the chances of this in your tunnel.   Polythene is always being developed and we will be able to sell our tunnels with Super Diffused, very soon, which will have a certain level of thermic properties and an 8yr UV warranty.

These specially designed polythene covers lessen leaf scorch, which can be a common problem under glass. Glass provides a warmth and a protection from wind but does not offer any of the other attributes of a professional polythene cover.

With sufficient concrete around the ground tubes, and adequate management of airflow through the tunnel  it seems that polytunnels are withstanding the wind much better than rigid greenhouses. The polythene clad hoops have a certain level  of movement and flexibility in the wind, and although no guarantee can ever be given, so long the ground tube foundations are up to specification, the polythene is drum tight and  air flowing into the tunnel can get out the other end, then mostly polytunnels are staying put.  We do suggest that where possible tunnels are installed  by our recommended  teams.

Our polytunnels are available from as small as 8ft x 10ft so sizes are available to suit gardens, allotments and small holdings

Five Star14ft wide

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