Polytunnel - Ideas for a good environment

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    • Polytunnel - Ideas for a good environment

      Hello across users,

      I am currenlty in the process of building my first polytunnel and in the past week been considering some key factors.

      1. Ventilation - side vents release too much heat therefore I was wondering if you could use a fan heater to help ventilate and also heat at the same. Time.

      2. Plant choices - my question was 'if I separated all my plants ecording to uses i.e. Foodplants at the back and nectar at the front what would happen' or is it better to place a mixture of plants including both host and nectar plants together to make a better habitat.

      3. Humidity - here in Scotland there is a really high amount of rainfall and a low amount of sun meaning that I am relying on temperature and humidity for the butterfly and moths to thrive. My plan for keeping the polytunnel humid was to keep a small pond covered with netting near the fan heater therefore keeping an equal amount of moisture in the air but not too much leading to the plants rotting.

      I greatly appreciate helpful comments on my theories and hope this may help some other people.

      Kind regards.

      Connor Hegarty
      Buy and Sell with Peace of Mind
    • Hi Connor, I live in a warmer area, in Sicily (south Italy). My polytunnel (83 square meters) is exposed to sun for many hours and this is a problem in summer when Humidity get very low, so i have to use overhead misters to increase it. Next summer I have to put a shade-cloth, otherwise temperature go over 40-45°C in summer: I don't use any plastic sheet over the netting. at least for this year, but I had butterflies flying inside until early december. I put nectar plants and foodplants in alternate rows, both along the walkway and along the walls. It's better to put taller plants close to the walls and smaller plants close to the walkway. But my polytunnel has the maximum height at the center so I have the taller plants (four 40 years old Citrus trees) at the center, close to the walkway.
      Mario
    • Hi

      That's is really good to know. Sadly I don't have the opportunity of sun all day and lack of humidity but to me it sounds like you have a very sufficient set up. The other slight problem is that my area is very shaded by some large pine trees that I will be attempting to get cut down or cut back. Do you use a ground mat or just open soil as I though that there would be an abundance of Harmful insects that may intrude the polytunnel. I had also considered some overhead irrigation but I had originally thought that it may effect the butterflies and moths flight ability. Have you used your polytunnels for moths or only butterflies?

      Kind regards.

      Connor @mario73
    • I use open soil. The main enemies are lizards and mouses wich sometimes enter by any small hole they find and sometimes from underground. Also Ants can be very harmful, but, once eradicated a small (unknown) species last year, the remaining ant species wich estabilished in my polytunnel seems not interested in butterflies and larvae. I use mainly for butterflies and sometimes for some hawk-moths. For any other moths I prefer cages.
      Mario
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