Autumn can often bring with it some sudden storms and other dramatic weather. While autumn is less harsh than the depths of winter, it can still pose a threat to your polytunnel. In order to make sure that your polytunnel remains safe, it is a good idea to think about how you will protect it from autumn storms. Now is a good time to consider how you will keep your polytunnel safe and secure during the months to come. Here are some of the measures you should think about taking this month to protect your polytunnel from autumn storms:
Make Sure the Plastic Cover on Your Polytunnel is Taut & Secure
The plastic cover on your polytunnel should be kept as taut as possible but can loosen up over time. Take a look to make sure it has not become loose. If it is a little loose, make it taut again by raising the hoops, or tautening it at the base rail. If your polytunnel is trenched, make sure the plastic is still firmly help beneath the soil all round the structure.
Make Sure Polytunnel Doors Latch Properly and Are In Good Repair
Over time, polytunnel doors may begin to sag on their hinges or the latches may begin to stick, or not fasten properly. It is a good idea to check over your polytunnel doors and make sure they are in good repair before autumn storms arrive. Storms could easily damage a polytunnel whose doors swing wildly in the wind.
Every year around this time it is a good idea to walk around your polytunnel and to make sure that no foliage or branches are threatening the structure. Branches that are too close to the polytunnel’s cover should be cut back, as, in windy weather, these could rub against the plastic and may even damage the material. It is also a good idea to check all nearby trees and shrubs thoroughly, and get rid of any dead or damaged material that could come loose and cause damage in a storm.
Consider Ordering Bare-Root Plants For A Windbreak Hedge
This month, you could also consider choosing and ordering new shrubs and trees to create a windbreak for your polytunnel as soon as the dormant period begins. If you have had trouble with your polytunnel in windy conditions in previous years then it could be an idea to think about creating a wind break to afford the polytunnel some extra protection. A well designed windbreak can make a big difference to how sheltered your polytunnel will be and how effectively it will be able to withstand extreme weather.
Making sure that your polytunnel is neat and tidy and clear of debris is also a good idea, as wind can easily whip through a polytunnel and cause damage in extreme autumn weather.
Is your polytunnel ready for what may come in the next few months? Learn more about preparing for autumn and winter in your polytunnel throughout this website, and let us know how you prepare for autumn storms in the comments below.
Elizabeth Waddington is a writer and green living consultant living in Scotland. Permaculture and sustainability are at the heart of everything she does, from designing gardens and farms around the world, to inspiring and facilitating positive change for small companies and individuals.
She also works on her own property, where she grows fruit and vegetables, keeps chickens and is working on the eco-renovation of an old stone barn.