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Economical Approaches to Winter Heating for Polytunnels

A plant with ice on
A frozen Plant

With the onset of winter, the challenge of preserving crops in polytunnels becomes paramount. These covered structures extend the growing season but demand careful consideration for maintaining optimal temperatures during colder months. In this blog, we'll explore budget-friendly methods to heat polytunnels without specifying a particular heating system. Here at Polygrow we supply a range of Insulation Material, Thermal Fleece and Heaters to protect your crops. Drop us an email of call us to discuss how we can help you.

1. Passive Solar Heating

Harness the sun's energy as a cost-effective heating method. Position your polytunnel strategically to maximize sunlight exposure, and consider reflective surfaces on the north side to bounce sunlight back into the structure, amplifying its warming effect.

2. Thermal Mass

Incorporate thermal mass materials like water barrels or stone beds within the polytunnel. These materials absorb heat during the day and release it slowly at night, contributing to temperature stabilization.

3. Insulation

Effective insulation is critical for retaining heat. Use affordable materials like bubble wrap or thermal blankets to cover the polytunnel structure during the night, creating a barrier that traps warm air and minimizes heat loss.

4. Windbreaks

Combat cold winds by installing windbreaks such as hedges or fencing around the polytunnel. This helps reduce the impact of cold winds, preserving warmth within the structure.

5. Alternative Heating Sources

Explore various heating sources that can complement your polytunnel. Options like wood-burning stoves, propane heaters, or even compost heating can be considered, keeping in mind both cost and environmental impact.

6. Monitoring and Automation

Invest in a temperature monitoring system with automated controls to regulate the heating system based on the actual temperature inside the polytunnel. This ensures optimal energy usage for maintaining an ideal growing environment.


Maintaining a polytunnel during winter need not be an expensive endeavor. By combining passive solar heating, thermal mass, insulation, and other alternative heating sources, you can create a budget-friendly and efficient solution for safeguarding your crops from the winter chill. Strategic planning and a thoughtful blend of heating strategies will transform your polytunnel into a resilient haven for plants throughout the colder months, facilitating a continuous harvest and a flourishing garden.

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