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Homesteading: Homestead High Tunnel

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Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 17, 2009
4:58 PM

Post #6280636

We've finally unpacked the big box in the back of the truck and started in on putting up the high tunnel. It's like a giant erector set, lots of pieces and pages of instructions.

Yesterday we spent the day driving in the ground posts, using a transit level and torpedo level to get everything lined up juuuuust so. Most of the posts went in pretty easily, but in one corner we hit a layer of pure clay that was a long time banging through.

Here's all the posts in position... the one on the nearest corner has the next piece inserted, for absolutely no better reason than I can't wait. LOL

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Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 17, 2009
5:07 PM

Post #6280679

Through a miscommunication, one post managed to get driven in too far. Naturally it was set in that clay corner, and nothing was budging it. We yanked and kicked, pryed, bent nails and broke bolts. Nothing. As darkness fell last night, we dug half way down, filled the hole with water, and went inside.

As soon as it was light enough to see (because the transit had to go back to the rental place first thing) we got out there and tried again. I bolted a board to it, put one end on a flat rock and a car jack under the other and slowly we cranked the jack up. And it WORKED! Nice and easy. Here's the set-up, if anyone ever needs to pry a stubborn something out. This picture also shows the hammers we used to drive the posts in... a #3 sledge and a maul.

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AZgrammie
North of Heber, AZ
(Zone 6b)

March 18, 2009
12:10 AM

Post #6282394

Nice trick. Looks like you have a good start there. Keep those pictures coming!
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 19, 2009
3:45 AM

Post #6288329

You need a post driver. Will it have hoops from post to post?
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 19, 2009
3:53 PM

Post #6289837

The post driver... on the left of the jack handle... came with the kit. =0) I just didn't want folks to think they could put one of these suckers in with a regular carpenters hammer... oi!

Yes, it will have hoops. I managed to get what will be the inside of the tunnel some kind of flat for assembling them yesterday. Figured that would be a very dull photo. I've got all kinds of up-potting to do today, maybe seed another section of pasture, so it'll probably be a couple of days anyway before I can get back to this project. =0)

So it goes...
Jay

This message was edited Mar 19, 2009 3:17 PM
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 19, 2009
5:34 PM

Post #6290266

What is the object of the high tunnel? I have never heard of one.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

March 19, 2009
7:26 PM

Post #6290734

I've had one for tomatoes for years. Last summer set up a couple more for various things.
They are nice for controlling temperature & wetness. Mine are a little more towards a greenhouse, as I have some fans in them.
Most things are grown in the ground just like outdoors. Less bugs & disease inside.
Bernie

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CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 19, 2009
7:35 PM

Post #6290789

That does look like a green house. Does it stay up year round?

Jay,
Will yours hold up with all the wind you get?
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 19, 2009
11:29 PM

Post #6291854

Made a little more progress today; putting together the rafters. Here's the pieces to one laid out and ready to screw together...

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Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 19, 2009
11:33 PM

Post #6291878

One screw in each joint... the kit comes with the self-tapping screws and the driver bit...

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CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 20, 2009
12:22 AM

Post #6292087

Well, that makes things a bit easier. Will yours be as tall as CG's? Looks like you did a good job with your leveling. This is an interesting project.

CG
It looks like yours has fencing around the bottom. Does it come with that or did you add it?
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 20, 2009
12:25 AM

Post #6292106

Mine is going to be 10'6"... says the box. If I put the right ends on it, I could just drive the flat bed loaded with hay into it in the fall... not have to unload and restack. =0)

I'll be able to grow some monster vines... tomatoes to the moon! Jack's beanstalk. LOL
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 20, 2009
2:19 AM

Post #6292690

Wow! That's tall. You'll have to pick your maters from a ladder.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 20, 2009
2:31 AM

Post #6292747

Rockets! I'll use rockets... we've got a commercial spaceport here in NM, maybe I can borrow one of theirs?
LOL

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

March 20, 2009
3:20 AM

Post #6292975

I bought all 5 of mine used. So we had to do whatever to get some the way we wanted.
The fence you saw was left over from trying to get yard long beans to climb. They never came up so that was a lost cause.
The fiberglass panels used to be the roof on an old homemade greenhouse. It was tore down to make way for the veggie barn. We use whatever works.
My total cash outlay for 5 greenhouses was $4550.00. First one was $500.00 about 15 years ago. Remember all were used.

This one is still used for bedding plants & potted Hostas & our veggie transplants. I was redoing the benches back in December.

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Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 20, 2009
1:15 PM

Post #6294250

Great pics, Bernie. Love those tables. =0) And to find them used... what a stroke of good fortune.

Are you also a commercial set-up? What sort of plants do you sell?
Jay
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 20, 2009
1:16 PM

Post #6294251

How do the ends connect to the sides? That's a really nice setup.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

March 20, 2009
2:37 PM

Post #6294565

All ends connect different. Some come with special clips, others we just rig stuff up.

We sell plants at the Farmers Market.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 21, 2009
11:03 PM

Post #6300883

Okey dokey... today the weather was perfect, the SO was feeling better from her bout of the cold, and I realized that I've got boo-coo tomato plants and nowhere to put them in a couple of weeks, sooooo...

framing day!

Here's the first arch up and braced. You can see our stuporvisors watching with great wonderment in the background.

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CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 21, 2009
11:07 PM

Post #6300906

How many hoops make the whole thing? Does it come with the cover and is the cover plastic like visquine (sp?)
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 21, 2009
11:07 PM

Post #6300908

It started off a lovely sunny day, and as we worked, the 'scattered thunderstorms' moved in. The valley over the hill looked like it was getting a little wet, but we got nada.

The arches get added one by one, the purlin (that's the pipe running along the top; it serves to brace and space the rafters) gets added in sections as you go. It took us about 2 hours to get the whole thing put together to this point...

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Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 21, 2009
11:11 PM

Post #6300927

This one, being 24' long, has 7 hoops 4' apart. This kit does come with the cover... it comes with darn near everything to set up and go. =0) I don't know what visquine is, but this cover is like an opaque woven polypro tarp, only about 3 times heavier. It has a 5 year guarantee, I think. There is a slightly less expensive version of this that comes with 5 year greenhouse plastic.

Now we're working on the baseboards... well, except right now I'm taking a break. =0)
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 21, 2009
11:16 PM

Post #6300950

Visquine is a plastic. It comes in different thicknesses. Will the water go through yours or does it shed water? You have really got that thing going up quick.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 22, 2009
1:38 AM

Post #6301546

It'll shed water. That's why I've also ordered shade fabric to cover the tunnel; I'm going to pull off the heat retaining cover and replace it with shade fabric during the summer so the rain can get to the garden and I don't have to fuss with venting.

At least, that's the plan at the moment. =0)

I've been very impressed with how well this kit is designed for folks to put up themselves. The directions are clear, in good english not some bizarre (?) translation from the Chinese. LOL Only thing I wish they did was make recommendations for the baseboard and ribbon boards... no dimensions are suggested. I've used 2 x 6's for my baseboard. More on that when I download the camera...

=0) Jay
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 22, 2009
2:03 AM

Post #6301652

The shade cloth is a good idea for summer. No sense in not being able to take advantage of the rain.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 22, 2009
2:14 AM

Post #6301691

That's what I figure... =0) Now let's see if it happens! LOL
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 22, 2009
2:25 AM

Post #6301727

The only drawback I could see was a drenching rain storm but if your stuff was planted in the garden it would face the same problem.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 22, 2009
3:05 AM

Post #6301920

OK, here comes a whole slew of pics... this is for installing the baseboard. The baseboard helps keep the whole structure from settling any deeper, especially at varying rates. I'm using 12' 2 x 6 Trex board, a synthetic lumber made from sawdust and recycled plastic. It doesn't rot, it doesn't warp and it'll last forever. It's also pretty pricey, but for this it's worth the bucks to me.

Oh yes... the baseboard is not included in the kit, but the bolts are. =0)

Starting at one corner, I've measured down and in to make my first drill hole...

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Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 22, 2009
3:11 AM

Post #6301936

Here I've slipped the bolt in and lightly attached the board to the ground post.

Note: The trex was varying lengths, which caused us a bit of consternation. I finally measured each one, matched a longer with a shorter, and then measured my ground post spacing because there was some variation there, too. So the short board went with the shorter spacing and the longer went to the longer spacing. There is a short overlap in the middle... this is not according to the instructions, it's just how it happened here on our place. =0)

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Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 22, 2009
3:15 AM

Post #6301951

As these are 12' boards, the other end extends to the ground pole of the middle rafter. I slipped a bolt in and scored the end of the board with it, to mark how far from the end the next hole should be...

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Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 22, 2009
3:18 AM

Post #6301967

Next is to pull the board off, lay it down, and measure from the edge to where the hole will go. I just get it started, I don't go all the way through for this hole...

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Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 22, 2009
3:23 AM

Post #6301984

Now I hold the board against the ground post (or rather my lovely assistant does) and drill from the inside of the tunnel. This allows for a 'custom fit' of the bolt hole. If you simply measured and drilled, many of the holes will not match up because... well, things just aren't perfect. There's a goodly amount of variation in spacing and angle of the holes in the ground posts when you set them. This way that variation is taken into account.

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Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 22, 2009
3:29 AM

Post #6302013

The first board gets lightly bolted into position and we move on to the other board for this side. Again I locate and drill the one corner hole, lightly bolt the board up and then we get the overlap at the center ground post lined up juuuust so and mark it on both boards. This will be our lap cuts...

Oh, ignore that hole in the bottom corner... that was a boo-boo made before we discovered that manufactured, imitation boards are not all standard length.

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Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 22, 2009
3:32 AM

Post #6302032

This just shows the mark for the lap cut more clearly...

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Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 22, 2009
3:37 AM

Post #6302056

Boy, these pics sure take forever to load! I'm awfully glad the latest Small Farmer's Journal showed up in the mailbox today; I'm reading it as I wait...

Here's how to make a lap cut with a circular saw. The depth is adjusted to half the width of the board (in this case 3/4"), measuring from the flat 'shoe' to the end of the lowest tooth of the blade.

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Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 22, 2009
3:40 AM

Post #6302065

I just read a letter from a guy whose 81 years old and teaching his g'son how to farm with horses! How cool is that. =0)

Now several cuts are made from the mark to the end of the board...

Drat! that's the wrong picture! =0(

This message was edited Mar 21, 2009 9:42 PM

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CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

March 22, 2009
3:44 AM

Post #6302081

How big are your pictures. I had the same problem until I fixed them in Microsoft Picture Manager. I just went there & cut them down to roughly 1000 X 840. Don't ask me what that means, but when I load off my camera they are 3648 X 2736. They only take seconds to load now & show up faster when someone clicks on them.
I tried making them smaller on the camera, but lost sharpness.
Bernie
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 22, 2009
3:46 AM

Post #6302091

This is the pic showing all the cuts... the other shows using a chisel to break out the cuts. Always check the depth of the first cut, just to make sure you've adjusted the depth on the circular saw right.

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Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 22, 2009
3:52 AM

Post #6302115

Sorry you don't like the pictures, CG. They're down to 640 x 480 already. I'm on a slow dial-up, that's why it takes so long to load.

All the cuts get broken out and the area cleaned up with the wood chisel. It's really worth it to keep your chisel sharp and be careful with the edge when setting it down or storing it.

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Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 22, 2009
3:59 AM

Post #6302138

Once those are cleaned up and bolted back into place... lifting the outside board and coming through the previously drilled ground post and board to form the lap joint... then the rest of the holes must be drilled. Trex sags from its weight, so a little lift is needed to straighten it out for the drilling, again coming through the ground posts into the board to accomodate subtle variations... we used a shovel to get the lift... one person can eye the edge from end to end while another lifts to just the right height and holds it while holes are drilled and bolts are pushed through.

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Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 22, 2009
4:04 AM

Post #6302147

Once the top bolts are in, it's a simple matter to drill and place the bottom bolts. We were able to get the baseboards on both sides done today. I hope I didn't bore too many folks with the detail on this bit, but I figure there's other folks that don't have a ton of carpentary experience and might benefit from all the pics and learn from my boo-boos. Because the baseboard is actually optional, the instructions included with this kit aren't as thorough as an inexperienced person might like.

Anyway, thanks for your patience and have a good evening...
Jay

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

March 22, 2009
1:10 PM

Post #6302881

Jay, I love your pics. I didn't realize you were on dial-up. I remember those days!
We are on wireless now. What a difference!

Your project is looking really good. I remember you saying it gets windy there. We have the same problem here. Have to fasten everything super good. We put wind braces in each corner. A 2 x 4 long enough to get from the end to the 3rd hoop. Fasten about 4 ft off the ground on the end & at the ground on the 3rd hoop.

If you get done soon you can come help me with mine, LOL!

Have a good day!
Bernie
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 22, 2009
1:32 PM

Post #6302946

Good Mornin' Bernie,
LOL, in your dreams! I'll be busy planting and weeding by then. =0)

I think the bracing is next, along with the poles that go across the ends that the end fabric will be anchored to. If it doesn't get too windy today, maybe I'll be able to get to that. =0)
I was looking at all my hundreds of tomato plants the other day and realizing I had no place to plant them... they're supposed to go in the tunnel, and set-out date is April 15th (target date, you know how that is). OMG, I hope the weather cooperates! LOL

Jay
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 30, 2009
2:34 PM

Post #6339998

I'm feeling pretty gloomy today; it's windy, gusts over 40 mph, and I'm wondering what form of insanity befell me that I thought I could get a high tunnel up in the spring here. =0( We've got a week of high winds predicted, and then I'm going away for a week.

Here's the next step, which we did last week before the snow. There are four braces, one on each corner. A couple of clamps were slipped onto each of the end rafters before raising them and now one end of a brace is bolted onto each one of those, thus attaching it to the rafter. The rafter needs to be squared with the baseboard before the brace is bolted to the baseboard...

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Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

March 30, 2009
2:40 PM

Post #6340018

While my patient and cheerful assistant held things just so, I pre-drilled the hole and then screwed in the lag screw to hold the other end of the brace to the baseboard. I'm using an adjustable wrench, not the best tool for the job, but I didn't have a socket in my socket set that was the right size... one of these days I've got to get a new set, it seems I never have the size socket I need.

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taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

April 19, 2009
8:11 PM

Post #6433108

wow you can come on over to my place and put up one of them
i can only tape a cattle panel hoop house for a GH. LOL
I am really enjoying reading about your cheerful assistant LOL :)
looks great !!
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 22, 2009
4:43 PM

Post #6447746

Okey-dokey, here we go! A ton of pictures and tales from the plastic side of life...

Once the frame is up and braced and you've waited for weeks for the stinking wind to quit, the next step is to lay out the ends, center them and clip them up. Here's a picture of one of the clips that holds the end plastic...

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taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

April 22, 2009
4:50 PM

Post #6447785

ooohhhh aaaahhhhh neat ' o
like it
i m excited for you . your gonna have a fun in thar.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 22, 2009
4:51 PM

Post #6447790

Those clips just push on, pretty easy with a little umphf. And to take one off, if you need to move the fabric a bit, just grab the loose edge of the fabric and give a hard yank up and it pops right off.

This next pic shows one of the ends (Sue, if you ever work with me, this is what I mean as an end LOL) clipped up. As you can see, this fabric comes with panels that will zip up and roll up out of the way.

We centered the end panel across the frame while the fabric was laying on the ground, then we lifted it up and clipped the top center to the center of the rafter. We stretched it across the bottom and clipped it, then worked from the top center down each side to the bottom, moving from side to side to keep things centered as we went along. We did need to adjust the first bottom clips we put on, but they kept things from flapping and moving too much, so they served their initial purpose.

This part went pretty quick. We were able to get both end panels on by lunch time. =0)

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Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 22, 2009
4:56 PM

Post #6447807

Boy, I sure hope I have fun! LOL Or I am gonna be seriously out of joint...

Here's both end panels on. Once we had them as tight as we could get them, we trimmed the excess edges.

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CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

April 22, 2009
5:01 PM

Post #6447825

Those are the same clips we called "wind clips" when we were working construction. They were used to hold plastic on the scaffolding in winter so it could be heated. A good wind would get most of them off.
Good luck!

Strawberries we planted in the high tunnel troughs now have a couple leaves. All else looks great, too.
I need high tunnels to cover 5 acres!

Bernie
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 22, 2009
5:04 PM

Post #6447836

At this point, I'm getting religion as they say. I've started praying the wind doesn't come up at this point and test the strength of this frame. =0)

The next step is to put up what's called the ribbon board. It's a board that runs the length of the structure that the channel which will hold the topper is attached to. It also makes the frame much more rigid. We put ours 4' high... the instructions said from 4-5'. It just depends on how high you want your sides to roll.

Here's a shot of the ribbon board up with the channel on it. We plumbed the rafters as we screwed on board to them... don't forget that part, it makes for a stronger structure when snow comes.

After I got this done, it was lunch time! Things were moving quickly! The excitement builds...

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Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 22, 2009
5:15 PM

Post #6447884

Hey Bernie, check out the Haygrove high tunnels... folks are indeed putting acres of crops under cover with them. Cut flowers, tomatoes, cherry orchards...

The clips are aluminun, so they hold a screw, because indeed if this was all that held the sucker together, it wouldn't last a day in our winds. LOL The top clips are also screwed with a Tek screw into the frame.

But here's the part that really holds things one... and it's kind of a stinky one. After installing the ribbon board, more channel is screwed onto the tops of the end arches. And the channel is straight and though aluminum, isn't all that fond of bending. So clamps, vice grips, what-have-you will definitely be needed to hold the channel in place while you stand in all kinds of awkward positions on a ladder to screw more Tek screws into hardened conduit. }=oP

So this is a pic of a piece of channel clamped down to be screwed.

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Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 22, 2009
5:22 PM

Post #6447905

The channel is started from one side and goes over the top to the ribbon board on the other side. Here you can see clouds have started to move in, the breeze is starting to 'freshen', and I am in the process of wondering how to propitiate the storm deities... I didn't mention that we started this in the mud from our 6" snow fall on Friday. Early on in the morning I'd slipped and fell right on my biblical end... splat! LOL We were installing the end panels with 10# mud boots. El yucko! And by midafternoon things had pretty much dried off, so the prospect of both wind and rain was not a pleasant one...

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CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

April 22, 2009
5:24 PM

Post #6447916

The ones we used were plastic, no strength.

A gal from Romania was talking about how they grow lots of the commercial veggies in high tunnels. Same thing in Spain & China that people have posted pictures of. If California runs out of water, there might be more of that here, too.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

April 22, 2009
5:26 PM

Post #6447924

The wiggle wire on the top of the gables might give you problems. Sometimes doesn't hold good there. It works great on the sides & bottoms.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 22, 2009
5:27 PM

Post #6447932

I managed to get all the channel screwed on, and quit for the day. We were plumb whupped, I'll tell you. Leftovers for dinner...

Next day and it's a little breezier than the day before... hmmmm. But we badgered on. So we drag out the topper and lay it out, measuring to see which is the longest side. Then I punched a couple of small holes about a third of the way along the top edge of the fabric in this pic and tie small ropes through it..

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Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 22, 2009
5:32 PM

Post #6447958

Good to know about the wiggle wire failure... I got strapping for anti-billow, so maybe that will help.

Toss the ends of the rope over the purlin (the pipe that runs lengthwise at the top of the arches) and drag the cover over. Have a ladder handy inside, 'cause the topper hangs up and needs to be encouraged a few times.

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Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 22, 2009
5:43 PM

Post #6448007

The previous picture is where things kinda went south for us. As I was up on the ladder at one end, trying to get things centered, and the lively breeze was trying to defeat our efforts, that disagreement over terms came up. I hollered go to the other side and pull it over and charming assistant ran to the other end... which of course I can't see, I just know suddenly she's not where I need her! I holler where are you and her voice comes from behind me... I'm where you told me to go! She's at the other END! Well, I'm sure you all can imagine how the breeze kicked up right then to fan the flames...

Anyway, in this picture we've regrouped and are working on getting the second end tied down. The instructions said to center from end to end and side to side, but we only did it side to side... I realized if we played our cards right, we could end up with a useful width of fabric for future cold frames or ? We got about a 4' x 28' length of fabric! Wooo-hooo!

This is my charming, patient, and thankfully forgiving partner pulling the fabric tight and wiglling in the wiggle wire that holds the fabric in the channel...

Thumbnail by Jayryunen
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 22, 2009
5:46 PM

Post #6448016

Here's a sequence showing the use of the wiggle wire. This is clamping down the sides, which is next after the tops of the ends are done.

Thumbnail by Jayryunen
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 22, 2009
5:48 PM

Post #6448022

You literally wiggle it up and down to get it in the channel...

Thumbnail by Jayryunen
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 22, 2009
5:51 PM

Post #6448031

The wire is made of spring steel, so it holds its shape and creates a tension clamp inside the channel.

Thumbnail by Jayryunen
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 22, 2009
6:03 PM

Post #6448083

Once we got ends and sides clamped down with the wiggle wire, we could take a few deep breaths. If a strong breeze came up, not much would happen but to flap the sides. Sheeeew! =0)

The next step is to create the roll-up sides with the remainder of the fabric hangin down below the channel. Pieces of conduit are screwed together and clipped to the long edge... measure and mark for distance from the ribbin board so the fabric will roll up evenly. They don't ell you in the instructions, but the pipe needs to extend about an inch past the frame on the end you'll be putting the roll-up mechanism. So I had to do this step twice... or more, cause it takes fiddling to get things to roll up evenly. {{sigh}}

The roll-up mechanism is assembled and installed, tested, fussed with, taken apart, side taken apart, rerolled, tested again... this was probably the stinkiest part. A) They aren't kidding when they say 1/2"... a hair off and you'll need to redrill. B) Drill straight, not at a tiny angle or you get to redrill. C) The folks are Farm Tek are friendly and helpful when the instructions are sufficiently instructive and they agree the instructions are a little vague on a couple points here.

After you've had a fine opportunity to practice patience, and gotten the roll-up part done, all that's left is installing eyebolts in ribbon board and base board and running a rope through to prevent billowing of the sides when they're down.

Thumbnail by Jayryunen
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 22, 2009
6:05 PM

Post #6448095

Voila! It's done!!!

Thumbnail by Jayryunen
Click the image for an enlarged view.

CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 22, 2009
8:21 PM

Post #6448700

That looks to be a right fine job you've done a a really neat contraption. Congrats!

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 22, 2009
10:01 PM

Post #6449103

Looks great, Jay... what's the size?

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

April 23, 2009
12:24 AM

Post #6449697

that is AWESOME !!!! congrats on doing such a wonderful job :)
i must say , me and my DH are not that talented at construction LOL remember tape is my friend :)
i think there is a real need for these high tunnels. Lots and lots of people will be doing this . IMHO :)
great job Jay
hugs
sue
AZgrammie
North of Heber, AZ
(Zone 6b)

April 23, 2009
12:35 AM

Post #6449746

Jay, AWESOME!

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

April 23, 2009
2:15 AM

Post #6450281

Nice job! Is that rabbit wire on the inside that I can just barely see.

What are you going to grow in there ?

DW & DS put T-Tape down in our newest tunnel this afternoon. Things are growing very fast in there.

Bernie
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 23, 2009
10:52 AM

Post #6451203

Thanks guys! =0) We're pretty impressed with ourselves right now and excited about the new addition.

It's the smallest tunnel Farm Tek offers... 14 x 24. We just going to grow our veggies in it, on sort of a french intensive scale. I am really looking forward to some vine ripened melons. =0) What are you growing in yours, CG?

That is indeed rabbit wire/dog wire/chicken wire along the inside. I wasted some time putting it up and wrapping it around the corners before I quickly realized that was going to get in the way of installing the end panels. So now I have to come up with a way to fasten it on the ends. It's all a process.

Tay, there are so many things around here held together with duct tape and hay string... I miss baling wire. I really do think the world is coming apart because there just isn't enough baling wire to hold it together anymore. LOL Hay string just isn't as good. IMHO

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

April 24, 2009
1:31 AM

Post #6454693

LOL :)

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

April 24, 2009
2:54 AM

Post #6455095

Ours got the wind test today. The big timbers we used for the foundation slid out of place. My son pushed them back with the tractor & put some stakes through them. Wind was up to 40 MPH!
Holding together otherwise.
Some really old plastic on another house tore some. Should have a new cover anyhow.
Bernie
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 24, 2009
11:30 AM

Post #6455919

Nothing like a good stiff wind to show you what needs to get done next! LOL
Sounds like yours is more of a porta-hoopy? Do you plan on moving it seasonally? Show us yours! =0)

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

April 24, 2009
11:53 AM

Post #6455975

It will stay where it is. This was easier to put up this way. We had no ground stakes & the timbers are out of our old barn that was tore down last fall.

Thumbnail by CountryGardens
Click the image for an enlarged view.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

April 24, 2009
11:55 AM

Post #6455981

This one is 24 x 60.
Inside.

Thumbnail by CountryGardens
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 24, 2009
12:03 PM

Post #6456007

Nice! Where'd you get the frame from? What are you using for covering? Neat use of rain gutter for 'flats'. =0)

Could you show us how you did the ends? That's seems to be the biggest flummox. =0)

From everything I've read and seen, anti-billow straps/ropes would be a good idea...

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

April 25, 2009
5:49 PM

Post #6461808

This one was sold by Poly-Tex. It was intended for a retail sale house that they set up in a parking lot. The wind caught it & bent some pieces. I went to the company & bought replacement parts.
It is covered with 6 mil poly. I am a scrounge. I bought the plastic, 40 ft x 100 ft on an online auction last year for $20.00.
There were brackets to bolt the 2 x 4 's to the hoops to make an end.

Updated pictures.

Thumbnail by CountryGardens
Click the image for an enlarged view.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

April 25, 2009
5:54 PM

Post #6461826

Company trimming trees under power lines give the chips to whoever wants them. Delivered right to my yard.

All things are planted in the house now. Some are plants, some seeded.

Big advantage, outside temperature today started at 39 & now is 49 with heavy overcast. Inside is probably about 75 & growing!

Thumbnail by CountryGardens
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 25, 2009
6:14 PM

Post #6461891

Thanks! I think I can get some of those brackets from FarmTek... already I'm not happy with the zip doors... the straps to hold them require a ladder to reach!

We're getting 40 mph gusts today, things are looking right and tight. =0) I've got the sides up just a tad to prevent overheating, and the billowing is not too bad. So the anti-billow straps don't have to happen TODAY... LOL

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

April 25, 2009
6:42 PM

Post #6461972

We only have the big doors on either end to open. We may need to roll up the sides later in the year.
It was 89 the other day with the big wind & didn't overheat.
Bernie
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 25, 2009
7:37 PM

Post #6462133

You may have said, but I don't recall...
what kind of ground anchoring did you use?

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

April 25, 2009
9:53 PM

Post #6462572

Just 2 ft pieces of re-rod drove into the ground through holes in the timbers. It won't lift up, but would slid sideways if not staked.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

April 25, 2009
10:09 PM

Post #6462640

Oh it'd lift up here. I've had winds lift a 12 x 24 ProPanel roof 100'... Amazingly landed intact and we were able to weld it back on... before it was just held on with Tek screws, all of which snapped.

Our little 40 mph gusts today are just irritating, not worrisome. I think those are due tomorrow... 50 mph gusts. =0)

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