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ALI TUNNELS

Limerick, Ireland

www.alitunnels.ie
POLYTUNNEL 1800 909 909

CONSTRUCTION
GUIDE
Model TR6M
Table of Contents
1. Introduction ............................................................................................. 2
2. Planning ................................................................................................... 3
3. Before you start ....................................................................................... 3
4. Technical Specifications ........................................................................... 3
5. Contents................................................................................................... 4
6. Tools Required ......................................................................................... 5
7. Marking out the Polytunnel ..................................................................... 6
8. Constructing the Frame ........................................................................... 6
9. Digging the Trench ................................................................................... 8
10. Applying the Anti Hot Spot Tape ............................................................. 8
11. Covering the Frame in Polythene ............................................................ 9
12. Conclusion.............................................................................................. 11

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1. Introduction
Purpose of these instructions
We have been selling polytunnels for over twenty years and have combined
all our experience into these instructions and the online videos. It is
important you follow our guidelines to ensure years of growing wonderful
fruit and vegetables in your polytunnel. These instructions will guide you
through building your polytunnel and covering the frame with polythene.
Please refer to instruction leaflet TR6M – Doors for directions on making the
doors and frames. We recommend you complete these in advance.

Getting help
Building a polytunnel is like making flat-packed furniture anyone can do it,
however you will need help. Three people should complete the build in one
day. If you need assistance call us on 1800 909 909. We are available Monday
to Saturday 9am-6pm.

How to use these instructions


Follow each numbered step in sequence. Each part is labelled in the contents
section and the part letters are used throughout the instructions.
When you see this symbol, you will get important additional information
that will help you with your build.

For your safety


Warning
Keep children and pets away from the work area.
Always wear safely glasses and ear defenders where
applicable.
Follow the safety instructions supplied with electrical power
tools.
Caution
Wear gloves when working with the metal parts.
Get help lifting heavy items.
Place step ladders on a firm level surface.
Never overreach when working on a step ladder.

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2. Planning
2.1 Read through these instructions fully and watch the video online at
www.alitunnels.ie/construction to help you plan your build. Select the
video for model TR6M – trench style 6 metre polytunnel.

2.2 When choosing your site ensure you have at least one metre of space
around the polytunnel. Avoid areas close to trees or bushes as roots can
be a problem when digging your trench. Your chosen site should be level;
however, a slight slope from end to end is fine.

2.3 East to west orientation is best for your polytunnel to ensure maximum
sunlight.

2.4 Remove all vegetation from the site.

2.5 Choose a still dry day to build your polytunnel. A warm day is best for
covering the frame in polythene as heat makes the plastic more pliable.

3. Before you start

3.1 Verify that you have all the contents listed on p.4. If you are missing some
items call us on 1800 909 909. We are available Monday to Saturday 9am-
6pm.

3.2 Check you have all the tools you need from the list on p.5.

4. Technical Specifications
Width 3.7m (12ft)
Length 6m (20ft)
Space between hoops 1.5m (5ft)
Overall height 2.3m (7ft 7in)
Door Opening Width 0.7m (2ft 3in)
Door Opening Height 1.8m (6ft)

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5. Contents
10 Ground Pegs (Part A) 16 Clips (Part G)

10 Half Hoops (Part B) 8 Spacer Nuts and Bolts (Part H)

2 T Connectors (Part C) 16 Self-tapping Screws (Part I)

3 X Connectors (Part D) Polythene

4 Ridge Bars 1.5m (Part E) Anti-hot Spot Tape

4 Prop Bars 2m (Part F) Repair Tape

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6. Tools Required
Measuring Tape

20m String and 4 Pegs

1 Hammer

1 Piece of Timber (2x1 inch)

1 Spanner

1 Drill

1 Shovel (per person)

1 Stanley Knife

2 Step Ladders

1 Box of 5cm Nails

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7. Marking out the Polytunnel
7.1 Mark out the outline of the frame, 6m long and 3.6m wide.

7.2 Place a peg in each of the four corners and tie the string around the pegs
to mark out the four sides.

7.3 The distance from corner to corner should be the same; see the dashed
line in Figure 1. This ensures your outline is squared.

7.4 Mark out the door position at each end. Remember the door is 0.7m
wide.

Peg

Door position

Figure. 1 Polytunnel outline and position of doors

8. Constructing the Frame


8.1 Next hammer one ground peg (Part A) into each corner and at 1.5m
intervals along the length. 20cm of the peg should be visible above the
soil.
Place a piece of timber on top of the peg when you are hammering
it in. This will act as a cushion and prevent damage to the peg.

8.2 Join two half hoops (Part B) with a T connector (Part C) in the middle. This
will be the end hoop.
Check the hoops fit snugly into the ground pegs. If the ridge inside
the hoop is loose the space will need to be filled with tape to make it
more secure.

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8.3 Mount the hoops onto the ground pegs covering the exposed 20cm of the
peg.

8.4 Repeat step 7.3 for the other end of the frame. The flat side of the T
connectors should be facing outwards as this is the outer edge of the
polytunnel frame.

8.5 Now complete the three hoops for the middle of the polytunnel. Join two
half hoops with a X connector (Part D).

8.6 Mount the hoops onto the ground pegs. Repeat this step for the other
two hoops.

8.7 Connect the 4 ridge bars (Part E) to the top of the hoops using Part D.
Push the hoops and ridge bars completely into the connectors. This will
keep the polythene taut.

Figure 2 shows where the prop bars connect to the hoops

8.8 The final task is to connect the prop bars (Part F) with the clips (Part G) as
shown in Figure 2. Connect the prop bars to the hoops with the spacer
nuts in the middle (Part H) as shown in Figure 3 at the top of p.8.

8.9 Tighten the clips onto the bars with the self-tapping screws (Part I). These
must be on the inside of the tunnel so that the head of the screw does
not rip the polythene.

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Polythene

Self-tapping
screws

Spacer Nut

Figure 3 shows how the prop bar connects to the hoop

9. Digging the Trench


9.1 Dig a trench along each side of the frame and around the corners of the
door posts. The trench should be 15cm outside the frame. The trench
should be 30cm deep and 30cm wide.

You can use a mini-digger to dig the trench but be careful that you
do pull the corners of the polytunnel away by accident.

10. Applying the Anti Hot Spot Tape


This protects your polythene from metal abrasion and excessive heat.

10.1 Apply the tape to the outer curves of the metal bars where the frame
will be in contact with the polythene see Figure 4 below.

10.2 Cover the end hoops with tape on the top and the front curve of the
bars, using either two narrow strips or one wide strip of tape.

Figure 4 applying anti hot spot tape to top and front

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11. Covering the Frame in Polythene
The door frame needs to be in place before you begin.

11.1 Take a break and watch the video on applying the polythene at
www.alitunnels.ie/polythene.

11.2 Unfold the polythene and roll into a sausage shape lengthways. Lay the
sheet on one side of the frame. Ensure that you have the polythene
facing outwards. This is clearly marked on the polythene.

Figure 5 shows 2 people drawing the sheet over the polytunnel

11.3 Draw the sheet over the frame as shown in figure 5 until it hangs down
an equal amount on each side.

11.4 Tighten the polythene from the top of one doorframe to the top of the
other doorframe. Trim the sheet and fix it to the inside of the top of the
doorframe. Ensure there is plenty of tension to keep the polythene taut.

Ideally you should wrap the polythene around a wooden batten and
fix to the inside both doorframes as shown in Figure 6.

A. Roll a 60cm long wooden batten tightly in the polythene.


B. Put the edge of the batten on the inside ledge of the doorframe.
C. Lever the batten into place slowly, keeping it very taut.
D. Fix the batten in place with 5cm nails.

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Figure 6 fixing the polythene to the doorframe

11.5 Place soil at the four corners to tighten polythene between the 1st and
2nd hoops. Then put three or four shovels of soil at the centre of each
hoop along the length of the polytunnel.

11.6 Standing near the ends grab the polythene and pull the sheet from the
centre to the end to remove any bagginess as shown in Figure 7. You
may need to replace any soil that has moved. This will ensure the
polythene is taut.

Figure 7 shows 2 people tightening the polythene along the side

11.7 At each section lift the sheet and the soil 15cm from the bottom of the
trench. Stretch the sheet by treading down heavily on the soil. This must
be done on both sides at the same time.

11.8 Make a gash in the polythene at the base of the trench between each
hoop to allow for drainage.

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11.9 Add more soil and compact it down before you remove the pressure
from your feet. Fill in the trench completely on both sides.

11.10 Tighten polythene at the sides of doorframes with wooden batten just
like 11.5 above. Neatly trimming any unwanted polythene. Fill in trench
at both ends

12. Conclusion
Your polytunnel is now ready to use. Follow these maintenance tips to
improve the lifespan of your polytunnel.

Maintenance Tips
Immediately repair any tears to the polythene. Ensure the surface is clean
and dry. Place tape along the length of the tear keeping the two sides
together. Place shorter pieces perpendicular to the longer piece of tape.
Repair both the inside and outside of the sheet if possible.

Clean polythene regularly. Hose the polytunnel with water and use a soft
sweeping brush to gently brush the dirt from the surface. Rinse away any
remaining dirt.

Improve ventilation. Keep the doors open regularly even in winter to prevent
a build-up of excess condensation and mould.

Clear off snow. Brush off any accumulation of snow immediately as the
weight of snow on the roof can tear the polythene.

Troubleshooting
If you have questions, please check our website www.alitunnels/faqs or
contact us by phone or email.

Phone - 1800 909 909 Monday to Saturday 9am-6pm

Email – info@alitunnels.ie

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