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Sep 12 / Michael

Building a polytunnel

While we’re not done, we feel like we’ve made good progress on our polytunnel (aka high tunnel, grow tunnel, etc).  The hardest part was driving the ground pipe (1.66 inch diameter galvanized steel) into the ground.  The hoops are then attached to those ground pipe using self-tapping metal screws.  There were 13 on each side for a total of 26 pipes that needed to be set into our exceptionally rocky soil (with very little margin for error in placement).

Out of 26 pipes, only 4 didn’t go in pretty much right away.  Three of the remaining four could be set using a shovel to move smaller rocks out of the way.  One pipe could only be set after we used the tractor’s bucket to dig out a rather large rock.

The hoops are spaced 4-feet apart for a total length of 48 feet.  The polytunnel is 14-feet wide and 10-feet tall at the peak.

We hope to have it covered and enclosed before the really cold weather sets in.  Our aim is to grow some late greens this year and get a jump on spring in 2010.

2 Comments

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  1. 1
    Tom / Jan 8 2010

    Hi Michael,

    The tunnel looks great. Did you bend the hoops yourself and, if so, how did you do it? What size material was used for the hoops?

    • 1.1
      Jamie / Jan 10 2010

      It was a kit that we purchased from FarmTek. Each hoop comes in about six pieces of one inch pipe that fit together. It was fairly easy to put together, we used self tapping screws and duct tape to secure it and make sure there were no protruding parts for the cover to snag on. I believe, if you are interested, that there is currently some sort of program sponsored by (USDA?) some organization that is offering massive grants and rebates to farmers who purchase grow tunnels. Something worth pursuing if that is something you see in your future.

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