Vegetable Garden

Warning: Brush Snow Off Your Polytunnel to Prevent Collapse.

December 1, 2010
Snow on your polytunnel - brush it off fast!

Four to Six inches fell this morninga word of warning for anybody lucky enough to have a polytunnel….. be sure to brush snow off it or it’s in danger of collapse.

Although it may seem like a good idea to leave the snow on to act as an insulating layer (it was 8oC inside mine today and
-3ºC outside), it isn’t!

A twitter friend @northcountryken who owns an organic farm in Newcastle, England posted pictures of one of his collapsed tunnels yesterday where they’ve been having very severe snowfall – several feet in places. It was a sight none of us would like to see in our own gardens, but even worse if it’s your livelihood.

bulging tunnelYou can see from my pics that it doesn’t need a massive layer to put pressure on the plastic, so if you’re able to get to your tunnel, try and remove as much snow as you can with a soft brush.

When the snow has cleared, check the plastic.  If you notice any tears or holes repair it promptly with special repair tape that you should be able to pick up from your local garden supplier or polytunnel supplier.  As polythene ages it can become brittle so repairing tears promptly will prevent them from getting bigger, therefore prolonging the life of your tunnel.


  • Reply Susan December 1, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    If you've a fruit cage with netting still up, check that too!

  • Reply The Secret Gardener December 1, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Good advice Dee. Good exercise and if you don't do it it will be costly to replace let alone the pain of losing a tunnel in this cold snap….

  • Reply Mr. H. December 2, 2010 at 1:34 am

    It sounds like we are both getting plenty of snow, I spent a good deal of time cleaning all of our row covers off for the third time this year. We had a new record for snow fall in November. Stay warm.:)

  • Reply Greenside Up December 2, 2010 at 1:56 am

    This is the most snow I remember having, either here or the UK…. we've just been out again at midnight to sweep the tunnel, making it over 30cm today alone… mad! You too :o)

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