Monthly Archives: December 2013

The High Tunnel Continues 12/11/13

Things have slowed down because of the weather around here. The rain has made working around the high tunnel/ greenhouse sloppy. We can always put on more clothes to stay warm but it’s hard to work in the muck. All along we have planned on having the tunnel up by January 1st in order to start our seeds for planting on March 1st. Well looks like that’s not happening, so we are going to have to move to plan B. During the next week or so the sun-room here at home will be turned into our starter greenhouse for at least a month. We will have to build a seed starting rack along with some lighting to get our seeds to germinate for the March deadline. We have already placed our first seed order so we will have them ready to start the first of the year. There’s always projects to get done but this is one that I was not counting on.

So far we have gotten all the initial frame work in for the high tunnel. We laid off and squared up all our corners and started setting the base pipes. I cheated and used the tractor auger to drill the holes cutting my labor on hand digging by hours. With our land not being completely level I opted to raise the front instead of hauling in dirt. We will add several more inches of topsoil and compost but want be completely level. After studying on it for a while we decided the high end would make great raised beds for our herbs. Just another project down the road.

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The first part was putting together all the hoops which make up the tunnel. We elected to go with a Gothic style for two reasons. Hopefully this house will be converted to a full greenhouse someday when we build our second high tunnel. The second reason was cost. Most of the Gothic type are cheaper to build because of the materials used.

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Next we installed all the base post. After drilling with the tractor auger we installed strings for our level line and cemented all of our post into the ground. By cementing each post hopefully it will never come out of the ground.

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Next I had to go back and add my 4″x 4″ post where the raised beds will be at. This will allow more support for the tunnel post also. The metal post were bolted to the wood post with lag bolts and carriage bolts.

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Getting the first hoop up and plumed should make all the rest go up easier. We took 2″x 4″‘s and braced off the first hoop. Then we went back and added metal braces so it would not move. Now to get the rest of them up.

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Finally got all the hoops set so next we will have to install our base boards, ridge purlin, hip boards, end wall & doors, roll up sides, more compost, more topsoil and then it will be time to put the plastic on. You just thought we didn’t do anything in the winter. The finished tunnel will be 20′ wide x 60′ long and 10′ high allowing us to still get the tractor in when needed.