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While the winter months may not be as bustling with activity in a polytunnel compared to the busy prep period of Spring and the height of summer, this period offers valuable opportunities for proactive care and preparation. Instead of idling away, polytunnel gardeners can engage in several essential tasks during the winter:

Attending to and Harvesting Winter Crops

Despite the colder temperatures, a well-planned polytunnel can still yield crops in winter. Harvesting the last of the summer salad and leafy greens, with some added protection, is feasible even in an unheated tunnel. Take advantage of the sheltered environment to maintain a variety of hardy winter greens for your kitchen. You can always add in fleece cloches to provide extra protection in cold snaps but if your polytunnel is well-maintained it will provide a protected, ambient environment for winter crops. Remember ventilation is still important at this time of year so allow air flow even if the outside temperature is chilly.

Indoor Seed Sowing and Planting

Although it might seem premature, winter is an ideal time to start thinking about indoor seed sowing. Early cultivation of tomatoes and peppers indoors can ensure a more substantial crop by the year's end. Additionally, consider sowing peas and broad beans indoors for later transplantation into the polytunnel. This method can prevent seeds from being consumed by mice or other rodents. It’s also a good time to start chitting your first early potatoes ready for the spring.

Refresh Fertility in Planting Areas

Winter provides an excellent opportunity to revitalise the soil in your polytunnel. Take measures in mid-late winter to enhance soil fertility. Consider practices such as mulching and adding organic materials like manure and compost to enrich the soil. Healthy soil ensures better support for your growing plants throughout the upcoming year. It’s helpful to let beds rest and settle for a while before planting again so once you’ve prepared your soil you can sit back until January when the days begin to get a little longer.

Tidying and Cleaning Your Polytunnel

With a potentially less crowded polytunnel during winter, it's an opportune time for a thorough clean-up. Sweep out cobwebs and get into all the nooks and crannies that may have been filled with produce over the summer to prevent pests and diseases. Organise plant pots and other gardening supplies and give everything a good wash and brush-up. This proactive cleaning ensures that your polytunnel is in top condition for the upcoming spring planting season. There are a range of products that you can use to clean mould and debris off your polytunnel cover and you can check out the parts section of the website or drop us a message for recommendations at

Checking door fixings and runners and a general once over is recommended to make sure all parts of the structure are in good working order.

Embracing these winter tasks not only keeps your polytunnel productive but also sets the stage for a successful growing season ahead. By reflecting on the year that’s passed and tending to winter crops, preparing for indoor seed sowing, renewing soil fertility, and maintaining a tidy environment, you'll be well-prepared for the gardening challenges and opportunities that the next season brings.

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