About Our GROW Tunnels
What are the covers made from?
Our GROW Tunnel covers are made from Solarweave, which is much longer lasting than standard plastic covers and also more durable in extreme weather conditions. The cover keeps wind and rain out of the tunnel and can handle moderate hail. The cover is also fully recyclable and can last up to 10 years before a replacement is needed.
How long will my GROW Tunnel last?
The tunnel's structure is made from high quality galvanised steel and has a warranty of 10 years. The covers are made from Solarweave – a durable interwoven plastic material – and has a warranty of 3 years. However we have had tunnels up for 7 years and the covers are still going strong. As long as you look after your tunnel you could get 8+ years from the cover and 20 years or more from the frame. The covers are easy and relatively cheap to replace, in the event of a severe hail storm damaging them. They are also fully recyclable!
Are Solarweave covers included in all greenhouse kits?
Yes, unless you have a specific request and we can then customise a covering suitable for your requirements.
Are your structures made with quality products?
Yes, all of our materials are made with high grade galvanised steel, specified to Blueband - BS1387 (British Standard) and durable ‘Solarweave’ 160gsm 15% shade cover film.
How can I irrigate my crops?
Which crops you’re growing will help determine what type of irrigation setup is best for you. What growing region you are in will also play a role in the irrigation type you choose. For example, a Sub-tropical region will experience a much more humid environment in your GROW Tunnel compared to a temperate climate.
Drip line irrigation will reduce any humidity build-up in the tunnel compared to overhead irrigation, but does not work as well for very small seedlings or crops grown direct from seed who’s root zones aren’t yet established.
The majority of our existing vegetable and herb growers opt for a combination of drip irrigation and overhead irrigation, which can be automated through an affordable irrigation computer and solenoids. We also recommend having a couple of taps inside your tunnel for filling up backpack sprayers and hand watering if necessary. We can provide an irrigation package as an extra service.
Looking After Your GROW Tunnel
What type of warranty do you have?
The steel frame is made from high quality galvanised steel and has a warranty of 10 years. The covers are made from Solarweave, a durable interwoven plastic material, and have a warranty of 3 years.
How much wind can the structure tolerate?
As long as your GROW Tunnel is built correctly and the covers attached properly they should tolerate 100km-130km wind gusts.
What Maintenance does my GROW Tunnel require?
Regular cleaning of the tunnel's gutters and checking the bolts for tightness on the key parts of the tunnel is recommended a few months after construction and after storm events. Cleaning of the covers may also be necessary every 12 months if it becomes dirty to allow more light into the polytunnel.
How can I increase the life of my Solarweave cover?
Firstly, it’s important that the cover is installed correctly and pulled as tight as possible. Don't erect your GROW Tunnel under trees or overhanging branches, in order to reduce the risk of tears in the cover. Annual cleaning is also recommended and if any small holes do form from debris, patch these as quickly as possible.
Is the cover environmentally friendly?
Our covers are made from Solarweave, which is ultimately a man made plastic. However, we have chosen to use these covers as they are much more durable than many standard polytunnel covers, and should last 8-10 years. They are also fully recyclable at the end of their lifespan. We are working on developing a durable cover made from fully recycled materials, that will be available in the future.
Do you provide maintenance or replacement parts for existing structures?
We don’t provide a maintenance service but can issue replacement parts if needed. Due to current restrictions spare parts can take up to 4 months.
Delivery & Installation of Your GROW Tunnel
Do you deliver or can I pick up?
If you have your own truck you can arrange to pick up your GROW Tunnel. We also offer a fully insured, cost-effective, delivery service through our partner, Ballina Crane Trucks, who can service most of the East Coast and inland Australia. Special arrangements can be made for SA, WA, FNQ and the NT.
Where do you deliver?
We deliver Australia wide. International delivery for our Commercial and multiple tunnels orders can also be arranged.
How long will delivery take?
Delivery timeframes depend on whether we have your tunnel in stock, or if it is a custom order. Delivery may take between 1 week to 4 months accordingly.
How heavy and big are the structures?
Do I need a permit/council approval?
This will depend on the zoning of your land and the size of your structure. It is advisable to check with your local town planner or council if you are unsure. We can not take any responsibility for this.
What am I required to do to prepare the site?
The site should be level before the construction of your GROW Tunnel and the holes for the footings will also need to be augered. If putting in any underground irrigation and/or electric it is often best to do this before the tunnel is complete.
How long does installation take and how many people are needed?
This depends on the size of the tunnel you purchase and your construction skill level. Our Rural tunnel range (excluding earthworks) should take about 14 labour days to construct with 2 people. The Mini Commercial should take about 42 labour days and a minimum of 3 people is recommended along with a scissor lift and/or cherry picker. For larger tunnels, we recommend using a construction company.
Are there any extra costs involved in setting up the GROW Tunnel?
We recommend using portable scaffolding for the Rural tunnel range and for the Commercial range a scissor lift and/or cherry picker will be needed along with 6M long ladders and harnesses. An electricity source is required for the extraction fans, and automated irrigation systems. If there is no nearby power source, you can get in touch with the team at PROSOLAR. Your tunnel will need to be placed on level ground, so earthworks may be required, along with installation of a water supply for adequate irrigation.
Do you provide installation services?
Yes we can provide installation services in most of NSW and SE QLD. We also have a full set of comprehensive instructions that are issued at the time of purchase and can be followed by a qualified builder or self builder.
Are your installation crews employed by GROW Tunnels or are they contractors?
We don’t employ any installation crews directly but we can suggest experienced contractors.
Are the GROW Tunnel greenhouse kits difficult to install?
This depends on your level of building experience. The Rural range are moderately difficult to construct and the Commercial range are for skilled and experienced builders only.
Do I require any specialised tools to install a greenhouse kit?
A set of battery operated power tools is necessary, ladders and ideally a scissor lift or cherry picker. We issue instructions with our GROW Tunnels and a list of necessary tools is given.
Growing in a GROW Tunnel
What are the advantages and disadvantages of GROW Tunnels?
There aren’t really any disadvantages of having a GROW Tunnel as long as you run it properly. Often GROW Tunnels are used on mixed farming systems as an extra income stream and can offer many advantages such as season extension, more climate control, reduced insect and disease pressure, dry environment to work in when raining. You can learn more about the benefits of growing in a GROW Tunnel here.
There is of course the capital cost of buying and constructing a GROW Tunnel, but as long as the system you're setting up is run properly and you have worked out your returns correctly, it should pay for itself in a year or two.
What can I produce in a GROW Tunnel?
You can grow anything in a GROW Tunnel that can be grown outdoors. The main difference is that you will have a different season. This is because in the winter months the GROW Tunnel can be kept warmer by rolling the sides down and closing vents, enabling you to grow crops in the winter that you couldn’t grow outdoors. The benefit of extending the season like this is that you can often get a premium price for your crop as there is less supply. Due to the capital cost of setting up a GROW Tunnel it makes more sense to grow higher value crops eg Tomatoes, Cucumbers and Herbs rather than crops such as Potatoes and Sweetcorn.
GROW Tunnels are not just limited to fruit and vegetable growing and can be used for a range of primary production enterprises such as flowers, chicken houses, compost making, microgreens and licensed medicinal cannabis.
What should I consider when deciding where to place my GROW Tunnel?
The best location is away from any overhanging branches of trees as if these fall they could damage the cover. The tunnels are best located on flat ground so if you have an area of your land that is already fairly level this can save costs on earthworks. Other factors to consider are access to the tunnel for ease of harvesting, water supply for irrigation and power supply if running fans or any automation.
What are your suggestions for internal layout?
The internal layout of your tunnel will be determined by what crops you are growing and how much money you want to spend. We have a range of growers using different techniques. Some grow directly into the soil, some on tables or in pots and some in raised beds. The main aim is to maximise your return per square metre but at the same time ensuring the ergonomics of the tunnel work, allowing enough room for walkways and trolleys etc. Get in touch, if you'd like to discuss what is most suitable to your growing endeavours.
How do I control the environment inside my tunnel?
Extraction fans, roll up sidewalls, dual-end double-layer sliding doors, side roof vents all with insect mesh and a retractable UV stabilised shade net* allow you to control the internal environment of the tunnel. Couple these features with our SmartFarm Sensors, which give you total knowledge of what's happening inside your tunnel, so you can adjust things accordingly.
*Note: some of these features are optional extras and not available on all models. Explore our complete GROW Tunnel range here.
How much can I make from a Polytunnel?
This really depends on what crops you grow and whether you sell your produce wholesale or are direct to retail. We have a range of different farmers and growers using our GROW Tunnels for different things, from flowers, through to nursery trees. It also depends on your level of experience. If you are new to growing it may take a while to reach the output levels of a more experienced grower. As an indication some organic herb and vegetable growers are achieving $200-$300/sqM per annum in their GROW Tunnels. Not sure where to sell your produce? Check out our GROW Marketplace.
Pest & Disease Management
How do we stop insects thriving in the GROW Tunnel?
All of our GROW Tunnel range come with insect mesh sides and doors, which are great for allowing air flow on hot summer days but also good for keeping insects out of the tunnel and therefore reducing crop losses from pest damage.
What about Disease Management?
Disease management is much the same as growing outdoor crops, with prevention being better than cure. Regular crop monitoring to identify any disease issues early on is paramount. Using disease resistant varieties that are adapted to your region is also important. In the event of disease, depending on what it is, there are a range of Organic Inputs available from Organic Crop Protectants that can be suitable for problems such as mildew.
Growing Organically with a GROW Tunnel
Does my entire farm need to be certified organic?
Absolutely not, you can have a part of your farm certified and this is fairly common for existing growers who want to explore the option of seeing if organic growing works for them, without having to change the management practice of their whole farm at once. It is particularly easy to certify a GROW Tunnel as organic as there are effectively 4 walls and a roof, that act as a physical barrier and therefore reducing the risks of spray drift from neighbouring farms etc. To learn more about growing organic food in a GROW Tunnel, get in touch with us here.