Here are some resources for purchasing floating row covers, plastic, or other season extension materials:
Row Covers and Accessories - Johnny's Selected Seeds
Floating Row Covers, Supports, and Plastic Seven Springs Farm (they do custom cuts)
Purchase a kit from Farmer's Friend (my cousin Jonathan). This is one of the most cost effective options unless you want to do everything from scratch!
Click Here to Get Your Caterpillar Tunnel Kit
Here is an instruction mannual from Johnny's Selected Seeds on using their Quick Hoops™ High Tunnel Bender to build your own metal high tunnel out of 1 3/8" fence top rail:
Build Your Own High Tunnel - Johnny's Selected Seeds (PDF)
Here is how Windflower Farm made their own caterpillar tunnels:
Caterpillar Tunnels at Windflower Farm - University of Vermont (PDF)
Learn more about protecting your winter garden:
Protecting Your Veggies
Paul, I loved watching how these protectors were built. Of course, I’ll never need one in my tiny 10′ x 7′ garden, but it was so informational. Thank you!
You bet! Glad we could share it! 😀
I’m really excited about getting row covers! I have a question though, I visited the links you shared to get the row covers, but I’m having trouble finding the PVC pipes at Johnnys or seven springs. I noticed you used PVC pipes but on these websites I’m finding only wires. Could you give me a direct link or help me find them on these websites. Seven springs has something similar to what you used, but it appears it does not have a place to fit the re-bar in once ready to placed in the ground.
I believe they suggest to just put the wiring in the ground but I anticipate that not being strong enough to fight against winds.
Hope this all makes sense.
Is it better to build tunnels or hoop houses oriented north-south or east-west? Or does it not make a difference?
i tried an experiment back in 2010. i set up a hoop house using heavy mil clear plastic. i harvested some willow for the hoops. i didn’t use rebar to anchor the willow hoops and since it was not hollow like the conduit i did have a low spot along the edges. i did gain some space along the edges when i drove down stakes cut from tree branches. to fasten it i drove dowels into the hoop and the steak and then lashed them for added reinforcement. i compensated for that when i planted. I Laid down 2″ thick of fresh horse manure along the edges of the hoop house this would create heat as it decomposed as well as be good fertilizer. this manure had a lot of earth worms in it and the worms would be an added benefit for the next season, if they survived..the sun helped this decomposing and helped warm the air inside the house. i chose an inexpensive cool weather crop like spinach. my spinach lasted until December 6 when we had below zero temperatures and gale force winds. it happens in this area but not very often. in spite of the cold snap i still felt successful raising a crop when the winter temperatures are below zero. maybe i should have done differently but at that time i was less experienced than i am now.
Vivian le Roux
What is the thickness of the plastic used for the caterpillar tunnel and what material is used for the hoops, or what would you recommend?
Vivian, South Africa
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