High Tunnel Gardening

  • High Tunnel Gardening

    Posted by OKSteader on September 10, 2022 at 2:35 pm

    Considering purchasing a high tunnel – NE Oklahoma Anyone here have any experience growing in a high tunnel? Looking for pros and cons before we pull the trigger.

    • This discussion was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by  OKSteader.
    JerseyGiantChick replied 1 year, 8 months ago 17 Members · 39 Replies
  • 39 Replies
  • KatyYvette

    Member
    September 10, 2022 at 2:45 pm

    I’ll put up a high tunnel this year in northern Michigan and I’ve had a great success. I bought a cheaper one off of overstock.com and then my husband reinforced it with metal bars on the inside and built me raised beds. We liked it so much we bought a second one for next year. I have to find the other photos that show the reinforcement bars these are the initial photos when we were putting it up.

  • OKSteader

    Member
    September 10, 2022 at 2:51 pm

    Apparently you liked it if you purchased the second one. Did you find it extended your growing season much? Did you have more/less pests and or disease issues? Do you plan to change the soil in the raised beds frequently? I have read that salt will build up in the soil in a high tunnel but not sure how many season it takes for that to happen. This was our first year with a big garden and not sure I am ready to go all in with a high tunnel but we had tomato blight and I would like to extend the season if possible. So many questions!

    • runningwellranchHS

      Member
      September 12, 2022 at 1:36 am

      We went with a traditional-height greenhouse from growers solution (TY Danny and Wanda). Snow loads and how we would remove it was a factor. All-in-all, it was a good decision for us.

      • runningwellranchHS

        Member
        September 12, 2022 at 1:41 am

        Also, no in-ground growing. All containers. Temps can be brutal here in the summer, so there’s an exhaust fan on one end and an evaporative cooler on the other. And the roll-up sides stay up all summer. And, yes we grow all year (zone 8b here).

      • OKSteader

        Member
        September 16, 2022 at 12:43 pm

        Thanks for the response. The in ground/pot issue is one thing I am trying to work through.

  • SoonerMom50

    Member
    September 10, 2022 at 2:58 pm

    We also live in NE Oklahoma and are planning for a high tunnel. At this point, we are looking at a double cattle panel tunnel, simply because we already have several panels. We’re looking at 16′ wide and 16′ high in the middle. Those measurements may change, but for now that’s the rough plan. I’ll take pictures as we do the build, but it will be simular to the one Marie built on Homestead Heart.

    • OKSteader

      Member
      September 10, 2022 at 3:36 pm

      Awesome. Look forward to seeing your pics.

  • Gran135

    Member
    September 10, 2022 at 3:06 pm

    I put up a high tunnel in Feb. I also have raised beds just outside of the high tunnel. I’m in the Willamette Valley in Oregon and had lots of cool weather and rain in the spring. Summer has been very hot. I have seen a huge difference between the two growing areas. The high tunnel started producing much earlier, fewer pests and protection from the overhead junk from streaking in the valley. I built one similar to Danny and Wanda’s tunnel and have not regretted it.

    • OKSteader

      Member
      September 10, 2022 at 3:35 pm

      Thanks! I am hoping to retire the end of this year and think I will enjoy but want to gather all the Information I can before pulling the trigger.

      • Gran135

        Member
        September 10, 2022 at 3:40 pm

        Good idea. Since this is my first full growing season I still want to see how far I can push the season. We don’t typically get freezing temps until November so we will see. I added pebble pathways and some brick to a small area for passive heat. We will see if it makes a difference

  • JackieC

    Member
    September 10, 2022 at 3:32 pm

    We bought 3 and are going to be buying 2 more. We love them and we are in Texas.

    • OKSteader

      Member
      September 10, 2022 at 3:33 pm

      Did you design them yourself or buy a kit? What size? What was your experience with the heat in the summer? Texas and Oklahoma are close in weather conditions.

  • JackieC

    Member
    September 10, 2022 at 10:53 pm

    We bought them 25x10x7

    • OKSteader

      Member
      September 16, 2022 at 12:44 pm

      Can you tell me which brand you purchased. We are looking at the Zimmerman one but open to other options.

  • JackieC

    Member
    September 10, 2022 at 10:54 pm

    We have to leave both doors open for the ventilation in the heat but for the most part.

    • OKSteader

      Member
      September 16, 2022 at 12:44 pm

      Do the sides roll up or down? The summer heat is one of my concerns.

  • Private_Cluck

    Member
    September 10, 2022 at 11:02 pm

    We have gotten a quote from Growers Solutions for a 20×60 and will be placing the order on Monday. We are getting the same one that Kevin and Sarah at Living Traditions Homestead has. They really like theirs. This is our first high tunnel. We are in Texas and plan to use it for fruit trees and vegetables. Big selling point was using it for the fruit (mainly citrus) trees after we lost most of ours in the big freeze a couple of years ago. No in-ground planting is planned for it. Self-wicking container buckets for the veggies and large pots for the trees.

    • OKSteader

      Member
      September 16, 2022 at 12:46 pm

      Thanks, I’m leaning toward growing in pots so the soil can be changed/amended easier.

  • GrowinVeggiesInMS

    Member
    September 10, 2022 at 11:24 pm

    I have two high tunnels 30×75 here in central MS. One is populated by fruit trees in containers. It’s taken a while to position each tree where it’s happy with how much sun it gets. The second tunnel has 19 planter beds that I had built a couple months ago that aren’t planted yet. Seeds have been started and they will all be planted out within a month. Deer have discovered the fruit trees have tasty leaves and one of my plum trees had some leaves stripped a few days ago. So we are attaching 5×16 cattle panels to keep them out. Also going to put up poultry wire to keep hungry bunnies out. The smaller tunnels are probably a lot easier to fortify but maybe harder to keep cool enough, depending on your location. I can’t recommend high tunnels enough. Invest in frost protection if funds are available, and I don’t throw out old sheets. It will allow you to grow even into January depending on your zone–I’m in 8A. I’m also planting stuff that is cold tolerant, so that hopefully gives me a little advantage with being able to grow brassicas into Jan. (if the sun cooperates)🙏🤠

    • OKSteader

      Member
      September 16, 2022 at 12:53 pm

      We are in zone 7b. We have considered a 30 x 90 – just not sure I have time to take care of that much since I currently work full time-hoping to change that soon. Decisions, decisions – maybe I am overthinking it! Your setup looks very nice. What is the ground cover I see in the one on the right?

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by  OKSteader.
  • UnwokeInAmerica

    Member
    September 11, 2022 at 10:16 pm

    Our 30’ x 48’ was a kit, which was about half the total cost.

    The biggest mental adjustment I had to make was watering. When it rained and we had regular gardens, that’s one less thing to do. Not so with a high tunnel – it isn’t raining inside!

    Shade cloth is a must, otherwise your stuff might burn up.

    Ventilation is also a must to prevent mold. The closer you plant things, the more important ventilation becomes.

    We definitely had larger, healthier plants that stayed healthy much longer into the fall.

    • OKSteader

      Member
      September 16, 2022 at 12:49 pm

      If I understand correctly, the kit was 1/2 the total cost? Wow! What were the other costs associated with them if you don’t mind my asking. It appears the sides on your roll down instead of up. I am thinking that is option I want as I have read you can let cool air in without it being right on the lower plants. Do you like that option?

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by  OKSteader.
  • Danny

    Member
    September 11, 2022 at 10:52 pm

    We have Three high tunnels. We absolutely love them. It will be the way to grow in the future. We have multiple videos on them on our channel. I would encourage you to get one. We have a link on YouTube that will give you a 10% discount from growers solution if you’re interested. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with. Happy gardening.

    • OKSteader

      Member
      September 16, 2022 at 12:57 pm

      Danny, you are one of the channels I watch that started my interest in the high tunnels. I enjoy seeing what you and Wanda have growing in your tunnels. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and making all those videos!

  • PackersRboss

    Member
    September 11, 2022 at 11:18 pm

    Does the weight of snow collapse them? Thinking about getting one but we get alot of snow here (WI).

    • SunshineKid-GardenCoach

      Member
      September 12, 2022 at 1:55 am

      Not sure if the high tunnels will hold up to the snow but we are in southeast Texas so don’t have to deal with a lot of snow. However, if you want a greenhouse that will hold up, check out Grandio Greenhouses. I have one from them that is 8×16 and we had a high wind storm that caused a tree to fall beside it with several heavy limbs falling on top and it held up fine. The frame is powder coated steel with 10mm polycarbonate panel instead of the standard 4mm panels that most greenhouse kits come with. It also held up very well last year when Texas had the historic Snowmageddon storm. My greenhouse had about 1/2 sheet of ice on the roof for several days and the sliding doors froze shut but I had C9 Christmas lights hung inside and they kept everything inside warm. Didn’t loose any of the citrus trees and tender plants in it, only a couple of flats of tomato seedlings were lost.

    • OKSteader

      Member
      September 16, 2022 at 1:02 pm

      We don’t have a lot of snow here but I have read you can buy kits that have reinforcements to prevent damage due to snow load. We are looking at the package from Morgan County Seeds with the reinforced roof. We have some high wind on occasion and that is why we are considering that.

  • Backstitch

    Member
    September 12, 2022 at 2:09 am

    Just finished on ours here in NW Wyoming on Friday. This morning it was 47 degrees outside and 78 inside at 10 am.

    20x36x14 from growers supply

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by  Backstitch. Reason: Additional info
    • OKSteader

      Member
      September 16, 2022 at 1:03 pm

      Can you explain the purpose of the orange fence? Is it critter prevention?

      • Backstitch

        Member
        September 17, 2022 at 2:14 pm

        Yes, it is to keep our free-ranging chickens out when the sides are rolled up.

  • Blondie

    Member
    September 12, 2022 at 2:20 am

    My husband and I put up a 32×100 high tunnel from Growers Solution this spring. GS staff were really helpful.

    I planted a late crop of greenbeans, crowder peas and tomatoes. It’s getting over 100 degrees in there most days. Afraid we won’t cool off enough in time for blooms to set. We have a 40% shade cloth we can put on, but don’t know how that will affect winter growing, especially starting seedlings. We will hopefully be putting ventilation fans in early spring. Were in SC zone 8a.

    While we are just starting to grow food in it we grew a lush crop of grass in it July-August that looked better than our yard. Lol

  • JerseyGiantChick

    Member
    September 13, 2022 at 7:56 am

    So glad to see you all with greenhouses and high tunnels, also her blessed with both. But we just only plant flowers in rainbow colors…

    • Mud

      Member
      September 16, 2022 at 12:54 pm

      I get 70 mph winds and cant use tunnel greenhouses unless I constantly babysit them.

      I bought typical aluminum frame greenhouses, and built a wooden skeleton inside each one, and hot glued every panel to the frame + holding clips + machine screws top and bottom of each panel. I had to hot glue the windows on the wind side but theyve held up for 3 years now.

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