A polytunnel can be useful for growing a wide range of herbs. This beginner’s guide to herb gardening in a polytunnel will help you avoid some common pitfalls and gather a successful harvest of herbs for use when fresh and dried throughout the year. It will allow you to get started with growing a wide range of useful culinary herbs in your polytunnel.
Why Grow Herbs in A Polytunnel?
First of all, it can be helpful to consider why we grow herbs in a polytunnel. There are a number of reasons why herb gardening in a polytunnel can be a good idea. Not only will herbs provide you with full flavoured additions that you can add to a range of recipes year-round, they can also serve to help polytunnel gardeners in a range of other ways. Herbs planted in a polytunnel can:
- Attract bees and other pollinating insects.
- Enhance the performance of other nearby crops.
- Distract or repel a range of common polytunnel pests.
- They can also be used in a range of herbal remedies, toiletries and other products.
Which Herbs Are Best For Polytunnel Growing?
One of the wonderful things about polytunnels is that they allow you to grow a wide range of different plants, including a huge variety of different herbs that would not necessarily do well outdoors where you live. For example, you may struggle to grow Mediterranean herbs such as rosemary, thyme or oregano outside in wet, rainy or cool areas, while inside a polytunnel these dryland herbs can flourish. Other wonderful herbs for polytunnel herb gardening include basil, coriander, dill, parsley and many more, each of which are examples of herbs that can benefit other polytunnel crops.
Identifying the Needs of Different Herbs
Almost any herb can be grown in a polytunnel. But in order to be successful in growing herbs in a polytunnel, it is important to be able to identify the needs of different herbs. For example, rosemary requires a free-draining growing medium and full sun, while basil needs sunshine but more moisture, and parsley likes things wetter still and will do well when given some shade in summer. These varying needs can all be met in a polytunnel, but it is important to remember that different herbs will have different needs as this can help you decide where in the polytunnel to place them.
Herb Gardening in the Ground Vs Container Gardening
Since different herbs have such different needs, it can be helpful to consider carefully how and where to grow them. One important question to ask yourself is whether it would be best to grow them in the ground, or in containers. Both options can have their benefits, which can help you meet the specific needs of different herbs.
Harvesting Herbs from a Polytunnel
When it comes to harvesting your polytunnel herbs, one final thing beginners should remember is that many herbs can be used both fresh and dried. Think about how you can store your harvest of some herbs for use later in the year.
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Originally posted 2018-05-21 09:00:29.
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.