How to harness plastic in pursuit of bumper early crops that you can grow under surprisingly cheap-and-easy-to-put-up polytunnels.
More and more people are discovering the delights of growing fruit and vegetables. Even a small garden can produce a surprising amount of food - but, if you want to raise the stakes and grow better crops all year round - you should consider buying a polytunnel.
A polytunnel is a cheap, quick way of covering a growing space. Once you get one, you will never look back: tomatoes are easy to grow, peppers are a pleasure and salad through the winter isn't difficult at all.
Both crops and gardener are sheltered from the worst of the weather, so when it's cold and wet outdoors it can be pleasantly warm to work inside.
Start by buying in some young plants such as tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, all-female cucumbers (easier than males as you don't need to remove the flowers) and aubergines; then move on to growing a range of winter salad leaves from seed. By the time one year has passed, you will be a polytunnel enthusiast.
The freezer will be full of tomatoes, a grape vine or melons might be on the agenda, and you will see how easy it is to grow food for the table all year.