Friday, January 7, 2011

Low tunnels work well on a smaller scale too

Our winter caterpillar tunnels and low tunnels trials on Johnny's Research Farm have been frequent stars in the blog recently. And for good reason.

Mother Nature, in the form of a Nor'easter, gave them a heck of a test a couple of weeks ago. We were quite pleased to see that the 40' caterpillar tunnels and 100' low tunnels shrugged off more than a foot of snow and withstood 40-plus mph winds.

But what if you need something smaller than what we've been testing at the farm?

Here are a couple of photos captured at different times of the year. These are shots of smaller low tunnels that were built on 4' x 8' raised beds in front of Johnny's Retail Store. The tunnels were constructed with metal hoops bent with our four-foot Quick Hoops™ Bender, row cover, and greenhouse film.

January 3, 2011
The above photo is of our overwintering trials. In mid-September, we planted Bright Yellow Swiss chard, Napoli carrots, White Globe turnips, Winterbor kale, and Purple Kolibri kohlrabi in the front tunnel.

In early November, Sessatina Grossa broccoli raab, Deer Tongue lettuce, Vit Mache, Claytonia, Elegance Greens Mix, Arugula, and Spectrum Greens Mix were planted in the tunnel to the right in the background.

Check back in March after we've peeked under the covers to see how everything fared.

June 25, 2010
The photo above shows how things looked last summer after an early spring planting. Among the crops growing in these tunnels were: Avignon radish, Space and Tyee Spinach, Touchstone and  Ace beets, Nelson carrots, Bright Lights Swiss chard, Mei Qing Choi pac choi, and Evergreen Hardy white scallions.

If you are a backyard grower or have limited space and want to extend your growing season, it's easy and inexpensive to build these structures. Learn more about low tunnels.

No comments: