Care guide for your polytunnel Garden in hot weather

The weather during British summer time is unpredictable to say the least! The hot weather has returned this week, which can pose challenges to gardeners, especially those with polytunnel gardens. While polytunnels – provide protection and create a controlled environment, they also trap heat and increase the temperature inside. To ensure the health and productivity of your plants during hot weather, it’s essential to take certain precautions and implement proper care strategies. Take a look at our valuable care guide for caring for your polytunnel in hot weather.

Polytunnel in Norfolk
A Haygrove polytunnel garden in Norfolk.

Ventilate your polytunnel

You will want to provide adequate ventilation in your polytunnel during the warmer weather. It is crucial to prevent excessive heat build-up inside the polytunnel. Keep doors, vents and windows open to allow the hot air to escape and the fresh air to circulate.

Consider installing more ventilation in preparation for warmer weather, such as additional vents or adding an extra door if you only currently have one. These will all help to regulate the temperature.

Contact us if you need to discuss your ventilation options, we’d be happy to help!

Install shade covers in your garden tunnel 

Installing shade covers inside your polytunnel can help protect your plants from intense sunlight and reduce the temperature inside the polytunnel. Use shade cloth or netting to provide partial shade, especially during the hottest parts of the day. Positioning the shade covers above the plants will ensure they have sufficient light penetration for healthy growth and will be protected from the sun. 

Polytunnel rain gutter for irrigation.
A Haygrove Garden Tunnel rainwater gutter.

Water plants more frequently 

Hot weather increases evaporation, so it’s essential to water your plants regularly and properly. It’s important to check the moisture level of the soil more often and adjust your watering schedule accordingly. Be sure to water your plants directly in the roots to avoid water loss. You will find certain plants will require more water and will need to be watered more than once a day. You can get irrigation systems for your polytunnel –  to help keep on top or watering or soaker hoses. 

Time your watering

As important as it is to water your plants more often if they need, you can also time your watering to the best parts of the day. Watering in the early morning or in the evening once the temperatures have dropped a bit, allows the plants to absorb the water before the heat of the day sets in. Avoid watering during the hottest hours of the day as the water may evaporate before it reaches the plant’s roots. 

Mulch the soil 

Apply a layer of organic mulch –, such as straw or wood chips around your plant. There are many benefits to mulching your soil such as deterring pests, improves soil nutrients, improves soil moisture in summer and protects roots from extreme high or low temperatures.

There are different types of mulch you can choose such as biodegradable mulches like garden compost, straw, wood chips and leaf mould. It acts as a protective barrier against extreme heat, keeping the soil cooler and conserving water. 

Shade sensitive plants in your polytunnel

Certain plants will require a bit more shade than others due to being more susceptible to heat stress. You can shade these plants individually using shade cloth or temporary shade structures that will help to protect them from direct sunlight and reduce the risk of wilting or scorching. If your plants are in pots you may decide to move them out of your polytunnel garden. 

Keep an eye out for pests and diseases

Hot weather can create favourable conditions for pests and diseases. It’s best to regularly inspect your plants for any signs of pest infestation or disease. Take immediate action if you notice any issues, such as applying organic pest control methods and removing any infected plants to prevent the spread of disease. 

Caring for your polytunnel garden during the warmer weather requires careful attention but when done correctly you can create a comfortable and suitable environment for your plants to thrive even in scorching temperatures. Making these small adjustments will help you maintain and enjoy a healthy and productive polytunnel garden throughout the summer months.

Take a look at our blogs –  for more support and advice when it comes to growing in a polytunnel.