82: Unlock the Secrets to Growing Stunning Flowers Year-Round in Polytunnels!

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It's Roz Chandler here with a special solo episode of The Cutflower Podcast. Today, I'll be diving into a topic that has sparked a lot of interest – growing flowers in a polytunnel. Whether you're a seasoned flower farmer or just starting out, this episode will provide valuable insights and tips on how to optimise your flower growing efforts under cover.

Summary

In this episode, we explore the advantages of using polytunnels for flower farming. Polytunnels provide a controlled environment that protects plants from extreme weather, pests, and diseases, while also extending the growing season. I share my personal experiences and practical advice on how to make the most of these structures, including what types of flowers thrive best in them and how to manage the unique challenges they present. From climate control to water efficiency, we cover all the essential aspects of polytunnel cultivation.

Key Takeaways

  1. Climate Control: Polytunnels offer a stable environment, shielding flowers from extreme temperatures, wind, rain, and frost, which leads to consistent growth conditions and higher quality blooms.
  2. Extended Growing Season: These structures allow for an extended growing season, enabling farmers to start earlier in the spring and continue later into the autumn and winter, thus maximising market opportunities.
  3. Pest and Disease Management: Polytunnels act as a barrier against many pests and diseases. Although not foolproof, they make it easier to manage and control infestations, particularly with the use of biological pest controls.
  4. Water Efficiency: With fine-tuned irrigation systems, polytunnels ensure optimal water usage, reducing waste and stress on plants, which is crucial for maintaining plant health and flower quality.
  5. Improved Flower Quality: Flowers grown in polytunnels are often of superior quality due to the protection from weather and pests. This leads to more pleasing and marketable blooms.
  6. Specific Plant Needs: Different flowers have different requirements. For instance, roses benefit from the controlled environment to avoid weather damage, while delphiniums and dahlias thrive with protection from wind and rain.
  7. Planning and Investment: Investing in a polytunnel is significant but worthwhile. Careful planning of what to grow and where to place your polytunnel is essential to maximise benefits and return on investment.

Join me as I delve into each of these points, sharing tips from my 15 years of experience and how we do it at Fieldgate Flowers. I'll also touch on our specific use of p

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