Building a High Tunnel: A Comprehensive Guide from The Sunny Mary Meadow Podcast

business growth high tunnel tools Nov 28, 2023

This blog is a summary of an episode of the Sunny Mary Meadow Podcast. Listen to it in its entirety below. 

I want to share with you the exciting journey my fiance and I embarked on as we built our high tunnels for Sunny Mary Meadow. In a recent episode of The Sunny Mary Meadow Podcast, I had the pleasure of chatting with my fiance, Brent, about our experience building these structures, and I'm thrilled to share some key takeaways and insights with you.

First and foremost, building high tunnels has been a game-changer for our flower farm. Not only do they extend our growing season, but they also provide a controlled environment that helps us grow healthier and more vibrant flowers. If you're considering building your own high tunnels, here's a comprehensive guide based on our experience:

  1. Choose the Right Size and Style: When deciding on the size and style of your high tunnels, consider your specific needs and climate. We opted for two high tunnels, each with a different purpose—one for early-season crops and another for late-season blooms.

  2. Prepare the Site: Proper site preparation is crucial. Make sure the ground is level and that you have access to water for irrigation.

  3. Install Rebar Stakes: This is one of the most time-consuming parts of the process but essential for the stability of the structure.

  4. Assemble the Frame: Once the stakes are in place, assemble the frame according to the manufacturer's instructions. This is where having a good team comes in handy!

  5. Secure the Plastic Cover: Securing the plastic cover is key to protecting your crops from the elements. We found that installing rope along the edges helped tighten the structure and prevent tears.

  6. Consider Ventilation and Access: Dutch doors and zipper ends are great options for ventilation and easy access. They provide functionality while ensuring your crops are well-ventilated.

  7. Add Finishing Touches: Once the structure is in place, add any finishing touches, such as wind bracing, to ensure stability and protection.

  8. Think About Optional Features: Depending on your needs, you may want to consider additional features such as irrigation systems or shade cloth.

  9. Maintenance: Regular maintenance is essential to keep your high tunnels in top condition. Check for tears in the plastic cover and make repairs as needed.

Overall, building high tunnels has been a rewarding experience for us. It has allowed us to grow a wider variety of flowers and extend our growing season, ultimately leading to a more successful flower farm.

I hope this guide inspires you to consider building high tunnels for your own farm or garden. It's a manageable process that can have a significant impact on your growing operation. Happy gardening! 

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