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August’s Jobs for Inside Your Polytunnel.

August brings an abundance of delicious, fresh and healthy, home grown produce, together with a great sense of achievement for the polytunnel gardener. Heat-loving crops, such as tomatoes, pepper, corn cobs, cucumbers, aubergines, melons and many more quickly fill even the largest of baskets this month, so be ready to pick, pickle and freeze! Friends and family, neighbours, work colleagues (and even the postman in our case) will be happy to relieve you of any surplus fruit and veg!

You may have more produce than you know what to do with, but it is important to KEEP PICKING so that plants keep producing new fruit well into the autumn.

Don’t forget the two important rules of polytunnel growing during the summer months…

  1. Keep VENTILATION to a maximum and allow air to circulate between the plants. Overheating can kill plants. Polytunnel doors should be opened as soon as the sun shines… Because it will shine sometimes!
  2. Keep WATERING regularly and carefully. If the atmosphere is very dry, mist overhead and hose down paths.

CUT BACK foliage and REMOVE any unwanted, diseased or damaged, yellowing foliage as soon as they appear to help prevent the spread of fungal diseases, such as mildew and botrytis, and allow air to move more freely throughout the polytunnel.

Keep FEEDING ripening crops and plants in pots regularly. Switch to high-potash fertilisers to encourage tomatoes, melons, and cucumbers to continue to fruit well.

COLLECT seed once it is dry and store in paper envelopes in a cool, dry place until next spring.

POT ON seedlings until they are ready to plant out.

POT UP strawberries for next year’s undercover crop.

PRUNE fan-trained peaches and nectarines.

PINCH OUT the tops of tomato plants when they have reached the required height, removing the entire stem to just above the topmost pair of leaves. This helps to concentrate the plant’s energy on ripening tomatoes, rather than getting taller. Repeat this process every week or so, when needed.

STAKE peppers and aubergines to help support the plants, keep them upright, and keep them off the ground where they are vulnerable to pests or rotting.

REMOVE any shading net or mesh at the end of the month when daylight hours are getting shorter.

It may only be August, but in the polytunnel it is not too early to be thinking about winter… PREPARE beds for overwintering crops – CLEAR AWAY any spent plants and rejuvenate the soil and beds with fresh compost, and keep SOWING autumn and winter crops.


French beans, Kohl rabi, Winter lettuce, Spinach, Oriental greens (eg; pak choi, mizuna), Rocket, Lamb’s lettuce, Land cress, Swiss chard, Florence fennel, Coriander, Beetroot, Potatoes.


Tomatoes, Peppers, Sweetcorn, Cucumbers, Aubergines, Basil, Melons, Grapes, Salad leaves, Courgettes, Pumpkin and squash.

Special Occasion for Premier Polytunnels!

This Saturday (the 4th August), the Premier Polytunnels website celebrates its 3rd birthday! Hip, hip, hooray!

Premier Polytunnels would like to say a big THANK YOU to our customers, friends, and associates for all of their continued support.

We have had a fantastic year and, with a number of new projects and developments planned, we are looking forward to the next 12 months.

Here’s to another great year!

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Polytunnels in personal garden design.

The approach of the spring and summer months cause some excitement amongst gardeners, but the seasons are often sadly short, limiting the time gardeners have for growing their crops in ideal conditions outdoors. Why not get them covered? Polytunnels are a practical addition to the home garden, allowing gardeners to grow a wider array of flowers, fruits and vegetables and increasing the usefulness of the garden spaces. A garden table and chairs is a good addition to a polytunnel garden, to give you and your visitors a place to relax and admire the fruits of your labour.

When designing a polytunnel garden, first measure out the available space and then decide on the size of polytunnel that you need. The shelter offered by a polytunnel, as well as the temperature and humidity control, allows early-season gardening. Plants that need a longer growing season may be planted in the safe shelter of the polytunnel for a maximum growing season. A polytunnel essentially extends the growing season, allowing gardeners to take advantage of temperature and humidity control and grow plants that require a longer growing season, a more sheltered existence, or both.

Allowing plenty of room between pots and plantings serves a dual purpose: it leaves aisle ways for walking and also allows plenty of air movement between the plants, which helps reduce disease and blight. Diseased foliage should be removed promptly, to avoid having the problem spread to other plants. Liquid feeding is advised every seven to ten days during the peak-growing season, to nourish the plants as they produce fruit. Regular watering, especially during hot, dry spells will help control pests and keep humidity and moisture at optimum levels.

Designing a useful, practical garden space takes time and patience. Creating a plan for plant placement and a schedule for planting and harvesting helps gardeners keep track of their successes and adjust for better planting choices next season. Choose strong, healthy plants to start and the end result will be a superior crop. Harvesting fruits and vegetables at the peak of ripeness ensures the best flavour.

Start planning your own practical garden today and take advantage of the fantastic prices at Premier Polytunnels.

Order your polytunnel online at www.premierpolytunnels or call the Sales Team on 01282 811250 to discuss your requirements and request a brochure.

Author: Sarah Parker – Horticultural/Lifestyle Writer.

Polytunnel Garden

Polytunnel Garden

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Big Day for Blooming Barnoldswick.

Judges from the Royal Horticultural Society will be visiting Barnoldswick on Monday 30th July to see how blooming great the town is!

Last year the town won the Best Newcomer award in the regional Britain in Bloom event and a RHS Gold Medal.

This year the aim is to scoop the award for the Best in the North West. Winning this award would mean Barnoldswick could enter the national Britain in Bloom competition.

The Barnoldswick in Bloom group have been working hard to get the town ready for the big day, and local company Premier Polytunnels has helped by providing polytunnels to grow 4000 plants for display.

Now Barnoldswick needs your help to win! The town needs to be clean, tidy and blooming beautiful!

Barnoldswick in Bloom depends entirely on volunteers and fundraising. If you would like to get involved and help out at one of the Bloom Community Action Days, contact the Ken Hartley on 01282 817535 ( or David Whipp on 01282 666777 (

Best In Barlick!

Barnoldswick in Bloom is running the first ‘Best in Barlick’ competition this year. This event celebrates the brightest and best gardens, streets, businesses, canal boats, public displays and container displays in the town.

Judging will take place later this month and the winners in each class will be awarded trophies.

You can nominate your own garden or business or anyone who you think deserves to win. Download a form at

Grow your own gold medal winning plants in a Premier Polytunnel!

10% off Garden Polytunnels and Additions –

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July’s Jobs for Inside Your Polytunnel.

Everyone is asking the million dollar question: “When is summer going to arrive?”

Well, we can’t promise that the weather will improve anytime soon, but you can be sure to guarantee summer 2012 in a Premier Polytunnel!

July is the time to enjoy the tastes of summer as your kitchen should be full to the brim with fresh fruit and vegetables straight from your polytunnel.

July has a reputation for being the wettest month of summer, but high pressure can also result in a heat wave for at least part of the month… Maybe summer will arrive yet!

Here are a few hints and tips to help you get the best from your busy undercover garden this month…

VENTILATION is vital in the summer months. You can avoid a lot of problems, such as moulds or wilting plants, if you maintain good ventilation in the polytunnel during summer. Leave doors and vent screens open on hot, sunny days for maximum air movement. It may be worthwhile leaving doors and vent screens open overnight if the sun is up before you. If you need to reduce wind chill or keep unwanted visitors, such as cats, rabbits, and birds, at bay while the doors are open, hang windbreak/shade net or anti bird net across the door openings.

DAMP paths inside the polytunnel and MIST overhead on hot days. This will help to keep the atmosphere humid and discourage red spider mite.

WATER regularly. Careful watering is essential at this time of year. It is recommended that you water your polytunnel plants in the evening or early morning, rather than during the heat of the day, as this reduces the amount of water lost through evaporation. Plants in pots and containers may need watering daily, unless they are stood in a tray of water. Why not make use of the July rainfall and collect rainwater in water butts.

If you are going on holiday in July, our Premier Irrigation kits are the ideal way of ensuring you can go on holiday safe in the knowledge that the plants you have tended and nurtured will still regularly receive the right amount of water. A Premier Irrigation kit is an overhead irrigation system, which is supplied in single, twin or triple line specifications, and includes an adjustable pressure regulator for those areas where water pressure is high. This kit also includes a top of the range Galcon battery operated tap timer, doing away with the need for a watering can or even the presence of a person!

REMOVE any unwanted and infected foliage, and keep bulky foliage TRIMMED, ensuring that light and fresh air can reach all areas of the polytunnel.

PATROL the polytunnel daily, ensuring you are in CONTROL of any pests and diseases.

FEED fruiting crops, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, peppers, and aubergines, with a high-potash liquid feed.

CLEAR early summer crops and start SOWING for autumn and winter crops.


Parsley, Spinach/spinach beet, Beetroot, French beans, Spring cabbage, Chard, Fennel, Pak Choi, Broccoli, Turnip, Potatoes, Oriental leaves.


Tomatoes, French beans, Cucumbers, Basil, Courgettes, Melons, Strawberries, Peaches.

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Get Blooming.

Barnoldswick will be a blooming sea of flowers for the next few weeks as the town strives to achieve another gold medal in the regional Britain in Bloom event.

Last year, Barnoldswick scooped the best newcomer award and members of the Barnoldswick in Bloom group are hoping that 2011’s efforts planted the seeds for success in 2012.

Horticultural activists are aiming to win the award for the best town in the region this summer, and organisers have thanked local company, Premier Polytunnels, for providing polytunnels to grow the thousands of plants cultivated by the group for display.

Coun. Marjorie Adams, chairman of the Barnoldswick in Bloom group, said: “Without the local company’s assistance we’d have struggled to grow the flowers”.

Now the group is encouraging the town’s residents to play a part in the initiative and get involved in a massive planting session tomorrow.

Ms Adams said: “Barnoldswick in Bloom is for everybody. It’s about having a pride in the town and working together to make it better.

“This week we’re launching the first Barnoldswick in Bloom ‘Best in Barlick’ competition to find the best kept gardens, streets, business premises, and canal boats.

“At the same time, scores of local school children are helping us to complete new summer bedding schemes in town centre beds and we’re holding a community action day tomorrow where everyone can help brighten up Barnoldswick by helping to plant 4,000 bedding plants.

“The Bloom judging is on 30th July and we’re working hard to bring the town to a peak of perfection for when the judges visit.”

Tomorrow’s Community Action Day begins at 9am meeting at the Rainhall Centre. Entry forms for the ‘Best in Barlick’ competition will be available there and at the council shop and library. The entry forms can also be downloaded from

Premier Polytunnels

Deborah Wood, of Premier Polytunnels, with flowers grown in the company’s display polytunnels which will be planted in the town.

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Going Under Cover.

Why are polytunnels right for your plot?

Grow Your Own magazine asks the big questions…

So tell me about polytunnels. How do they work?

Polytunnels protect plants from harsh weather and low temperatures. They’re not that different from a greenhouse, but instead of being covered with glass they use a specially made sheet of polythene. Traditionally tunnels are semicircular, often with a door at both ends. The crops inside are protected from severe weather and the higher levels of heat and humidity lead to a longer growing season. Soil warms up quickly for earlier sowing and the extra heat lets harvests continue for longer. Some companies offer built in vents, but in summer most gardeners control temperatures by simply opening the doors.

What are the other advantages?

The extra warmth won’t just extend the season; with a bit of planning it also allows year-round plants. Try growing fresh oriental greens, winter salads and radishes throughout the colder months. If you’re aiming to produce heat-loving veg you could even add some extra insulation during the chilliest weather. A polythene cloche is similar to double glazing – it’s a second layer of plastic that helps to keep frost off crops and saves on heating (see Premier Polytunnels for available sizes). Pest and disease resistance are two other pluses. Although some plant problems target humid atmospheres, others are less of a risk for under cover crops. Blight, a common tomato problem in warm, wet weather, is less prevalent on plants in polytunnels.

Sounds promising. What other crops can I grow?

If vegetables grow well outside, they’re likely to do even better under cover. Plants that thrive in warm, sheltered conditions can be grown in a polytunnel – watering, weather and ventilation are all under your control. Tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers will produce larger, earlier crops. Exotic fruit and veg that usually struggles to cope with the UK’s chilly climate are back on the menu too. The higher temperatures could let you grow your own sweet potatoes and melons or overwinter tender lemon and olive trees.

A lot of people use them, then?

Allotmenteers aren’t the only polytunnel fans; commercial growers rely on them, too. They’ve been used around the world for over 40 years so, even if you’ve never set foot in one, there’s bound to be a tunnel on an allotment or in a field near you. Premier Polytunnels estimates that polytunnels are used to grow 90 per cent of Britain’s strawberry crop as the protected conditions stretch the season from early spring to late autumn. In fact, the company revealed to GYO, that its own structures have been sent to everyone from individual gardeners and allotment associations to farms, Pinewood Film Studios, country estates, NHS Trusts and Knowsley Safari Park.

Are they better than greenhouses?

Greenhouses and polytunnels both create a warm microclimate for your crops. Each product has its strengths, but polytunnels tend to be less expensive per square metre, making them ideal for growing plants under cover at a relatively low cost. Choose carefully and you may find a high-quality 3.6m x 6m (12ft x 20ft) tunnel for the price of a 2.4m x 3m (8ft x 10ft) glasshouse. Plus, as many polytunnels won’t need concreting in, there’s rarely any need to splash out on a costly base.

If I’m spending less overall, I can afford top quality. What should I choose?

Only you can decide which polytunnel is best suited to your plot. Check how much space you have available then work out what you need. For extra strength and rigidity, choose a frame made from a tough material, such as high tensile galvanised steel. Large diameter hoops will offer plenty of growing space and Premier Polytunnels offers wide 81cm (2ft 8in) doors as standard – a handy option for wheelchair and wheelbarrow users. If you’re in a breezy spot, remember that timber framed, hinged doors will have better wind resistance than roll-up blinds. Plus, if you pick a good quality polytunnel frame it can last two decades or more. The cover may need replacing every four to five years but, if you opt for a material with resistance against UV degradation and mend any accidents with repair tape, it may last as long as 8 or even 10 years.

How do the polytunnel covers actually work?

Not all covers are made from the same material. The humid atmosphere inside a polytunnel can lead to water evaporating and droplets forming inside the cover that drip on to plants, causing damage and disease. Thermal Anti Drip polythene (also called Anti Fog) has additives within the film to stop large droplets forming and splattering crops. The thermal effect prevents heat radiation from being lost, maintaining a higher foliage temperature, drier plants and leading to lower heating costs.

Let’s get a bit technical. What are polytunnel covers made of?

OK, bear with us here! 25 years ago the additives and resins in polytunnel covers were all mixed together to make a single layer, even if this caused undesirable results such as haziness or reduced transparency. Luckily the clever bods who create these things, realised that for a polythene film to be as efficient as possible it was necessary for a particular additive to perform on the upper or lower layer of the film and not randomly wherever it was found. These days, 5-layer technology allows the separation of incompatible additives into separate layers. A single cover can offer light diffusion, stabilisation against UV breakdown, blocking of ultra violet radiation, anti mist, and other options (see Premier Polytunnels website for more details).

And finally…

I’ve ordered my polytunnel and I have a free weekend – Can I put it up myself?

A warm, still weekend would be the ideal time for construction. You’ll need an extra pair of hands, so invite a friend around to help. Polytunnels are often placed straight onto a soil base with the only preparation being simple site clearance. Sloping ground is easily accommodated as long as it’s smooth and the tunnel’s ends are in-line with the slope. Traditionally, a trench is dug around the structure and the edges of the one-piece cover are stretched taut over the frame, clamped in position and buried to hold the whole thing in place. Some companies offer instructional DVDs or You Tube clips to get you started, but the simplest models won’t need more than a construction guide that can be taken to the plot for reference. If you’re a Premier Polytunnels customer, don’t worry if any questions pop up during assembly – the company’s Construction Advice Helpline is open 7 days a week until 9pm, so just give the staff a ring.

With thanks to Grow Your Own magazine –

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June’s Jobs for Inside Your Polytunnel.

Polytunnels fit for a Queen!

10% OFF Garden Polytunnels & Additions

during the Diamond Jubilee month.

Order online or call the Sales Team on 01282 811250.

For those of you whose polytunnel is already up and running, here are few expert tips to help you get the best from your undercover garden this month…

June can be the hottest, sunniest, and often the driest month of the year. Daylight hours are long and things can get very hot in the polytunnel, meaning that the best times of the day to work inside the polytunnel are mornings and evenings. However, with the UK weather being what it is, on wet days the polytunnel ensures you can continue to work undercover… There is nothing more tranquil than listening to the rain clatter down on your polytunnel while you relax and tend your plants inside.

SPF! You can still get a suntan while working inside a polytunnel that is covered with a standard or Thermal Anti Drip polythene cover, so don’t forget the suntan cream!

WATER regularly and carefully. Check the soil regularly to ensure it is not to dry and not too waterlogged – Overwatering can be just as damaging as drought. The soil should just be moist.

MULCH, using hay or grass cuttings for example, to keep the soil moist.

If you are off on your summer holiday this month, there is no need to worry about whether or not your friend, neighbour, or family member will remember to water the plants that you have tended and nurtured – Our Premier Irrigation kit (available for all sizes of polytunnels) includes a top of the range Galcon battery operated tap timer, doing away with the need for a watering can or even the presence of a person, meaning that you can go on holiday safe in the knowledge that your crops will still regularly receive the right amount of water.

Anyone who has stood inside a polytunnel on a sunny day will know how hot it can get under a polythene cover. VENTILATE the polytunnel early on sunny days – Open the doors and side vents to give valuable air circulation.

Timber Side Rail kits (available for one or both sides of the polytunnel) are the ideal way of providing extra ventilation during the summer months. If your polytunnel does not currently have side rails and net ventilation, these can be easily added when it is time to replace the cover. Polythene Ventilation Screen kits are also available to cover the net during the colder months.

Provide SHADE and keep temperatures down under the hot midday sun by using a Net Polytunnel Cover. Our green 47% shade net is idea to be used on a polytunnel with or without a polythene cover in place. Used on its own, a net cover provides shade, full ventilation, significant reduction in wind speeds, and still allows rainwater to filter through to the plants. It also provides excellent crop protection from birds and insects. Placed over a polytunnel with a polythene cover in place, the net provides shade and significantly reduces the temperature inside.

Alternatively, add SHADE and reduce temperatures by tying shade net above head height on the inside of the polytunnel – Try using cable ties to secure the net to hoops, ridge bars, or Crop Bars.

NIP OUT or tie in side shoots and new growth to prevent overcrowding inside the polytunnel.

FEED plants in pots and grow bags, such as tomatoes and cucumbers.

POLLINATE melons and THIN grapes.

WATCH OUT for undercover diseases and pests, such as whitefly and red spider mite.


Cucumber, Basil, Lettuce, Salad leaves, Sweetcorn, Spinach, Beetroot, Parsley, French beans, Broccoli, Florence fennel, Kohl rabi.


Tomatoes, Potatoes, Courgettes, Sugar peas, Carrots, Cabbage, Kohl rabi, French beans, Lettuce, Salad leaves, Broad beans, Basil.

A whole wealth of information, including a month-by-month guide, and expert advice, hints and tips are available in ‘The Polytunnel Book – Fruit and Vegetables All Year Round’ – The most comprehensive, practical guide to polytunnel gardening available; whether you are a complete beginner or a more experienced grower, this book has got what you need. Available to buy from our online shop at a special promotion price.

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