At the moment, our tomato plants are still tiny. They have begun putting on some growth since being planted out in the polytunnel but, by the end of this month, they will have started to grow apace and, if we don’t get some supports up soon, we’ll be kicking ourselves when they need tying up. This polytunnel doesn’t have crop support bars so it’s time for DIY-man to get out his tools again.
By the door, you can see one of the stakes that is helping hold the frame rigid. It is fastened into a metal stake, hammered into the ground, and there is one supporting every upright. I got some more 2.4m lengths of treated timber yesterday and this frame design bolts into support timbers on either side.
I’ve tried hard to keep things as simple as possible. The lengths I’m working with are halves and quarters of the original timber length, which avoids wastage. I did wonder if it would be stable and spent some time researching the engineering of support braces but decided to press ahead with a physical prototype. It turns out to be nice and sturdy with respect to lateral forces. It does have movement forward and back but that should be resolved when I add one or more runs of timber along the length.
I’ll decide on the design for that once I have completed all the sets of lateral supports. Working things out in theory is well and good but, as I’ve reminded myself today, there is nothing like trying a design out, either as a model or, if materials aren’t too expensive, at full scale.