row cover in the high tunnel

yeah, yeah not too exciting i know, row cover, but when i decided to do this blog i really wanted to share plenty of farming info and methods.  so for the sake of remaining true to the game, i give you row cover in the high tunnel.

so i’ve put row cover in the high tunnel since we have had it, always using wickets with 5 foot wide row cover. this year i decide to change things up after ma bought 10 foot wide row cover to go on the quick hoops.  the idea was to use one long piece to go over the whole side instead of smaller pieces. first step was to run 2 sets of wire down either side.

left side of high tunnel with wires running down it

left side of the high tunnel with wires running down it.

if you look carefully you should be able to see the wires, i put them about 3 feet above the ground, and spaced them as wide as i possible could.

in order to keep them good and tight i used turnbuckles.



eye hook, turnbuckle, and swaged cable

i love the word turnbuckle cause it sounds like a fake word and makes me think of professional wrestling.  eye hook was put into the wood then the cable loop was made around the eye end of the turn buckle, swaged, and then everything was connected together.  i made sure the turn buckles were screwed as far apart as possible when swaging the cable so that when i wanted to make it taunt i had plenty of screw to screw in and make tight.  once it was all put together i made the cable taunt by turning the turnbuckles.  then the row cover got draped over it.  in case you care this is agribond 19 which is rated as giving 3-5 degrees of frost protection.  one of the more interesting things that eliot coleman had to say when he was here was that using fabric with better frost protection didn’t create warmer temperatures.  since the fabric with better frost protection is thicker it allows less light in and doesn’t warm the soil as much.  this means that less heat is radiated at night, and keeps over all temperatures under the fabric less.



row cover pulled over the wires

the row cover is not especially neat with it just pulled over the wires.  this might be a problem from a production standpoint as it means frost is more likely to touch the crops as well blowing around on windy days when the vent/door is open.  i also think it means a smaller air pocket for heat to be transferred though.  more important is the fact that it doesn’t look very neat.  i took care of the problem by attaching clothes pins to the row cover, first attaching it to the wire closer to the side wall, and then being able to pull it tight, and attach to the wire closer to the middle.



row cover pulled tight with clothes pins

now doesn’t that so nice and tidy and neat.  i should have at least one neat thing in my life.  one nice thing about the big long piece is that you can just pop you head under the cloth, and since it’s 3 feet high you can actually work under it.  unlike plastic sheets it doesn’t feel nearly as claustrophobic, and it’s self venting so the worry over it getting super hot under the row cover is less.  so far the only draw back i see is that if you want to work in the middle of the greenhouse, you have to push the row cover all the way to one end.  i’m thinking if i slit it into 2 parts at least it won’t be nearly as annoying.  only time will tell how it will work, but so far i’m already pleased with it.





2 responses to “row cover in the high tunnel

  1. Pingback: my fukuoka garden « little house on the urban prairie

  2. Pingback: quick hoop install « little house on the urban prairie

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