welcome, and thank you for joining me on my farm and studio in southern lancaster county, pennsylvania

Saturday, October 10, 2009

the new low tunnel

Here you can see the start of my new low tunnel for winter growing. (in the foreground is a small fall radish patch, way overgrown.) The hoops are simple flexible electrical conduit (1/2" x 10'). They are fitted over bamboo stakes which were pounded into the ground. Through the middle of each pipe I drilled a small hole and threaded some strong twine. I made a loop with the twine over each hoop so it would stay in place, then at each end, it was tied off to a notched stake. Hopefully this will give the whole thing some stability. Now, don't be too impressed because I didn't come up with any of this on my own - it came from Coleman's book.

Once this was all together, with the onions and carrots planted and watered, I got the roll of plastic out of the barn, unrolled it, and measured it to make sure it was long enough. Of course not. That would be way too easy. Off to the local hardware store.

Back home, it took me most of the rest of the afternoon to get the plastic on and weighed down on the edges. I hope most of this time can be attributed to learning curve because that's way too long for something that's supposed to be quick. But either way, most likely next year I'll do something a bit more permanent by way of structure for any low tunnels that are used. Maybe a wooden base that both hoops and plastic are attached to. Because I have a sneaking suspicion that as windy as it gets here, that plastic may end up in the next county sometime in January. If not before. I may tinker with this a bit more because the way it is now, it's not easy to get into or to vent. And as warm as it still is this fall, it certainly will need venting to let some of the heat out in order to not cook the seedlings.

1 comment:

Jody M said...

Lovely. I would like to put up something like this...but not this year. Unfortunately.