Monday, May 16, 2011

~ Our Recycled Polytunnel ~

This kind of happened by accident. We were going to use the black pipe to make a hoop to drape the deer fence over the asparagus but when I saw how nice the pipe arched I just couldn't do a little hoop cover.

I found some medium fence posts in the garden shed, I think they are around a $1.70 at Menard's. The black pipe was one great big coil that we had used to water the horses before we had a hydrant in the barn. It ran from the house spicket to the pasture. I don't remember how much it was but I will look on Thursday and report back.

The black pipe fit over the fence post, creating a lovely arch. I thought I had a picture of this but maybe not. Kids were playing with the camera so one never knows.

We made the base 8' wide by 12' long. Eight posts were used with four pieces of pipe cut 12' long. To figure your arch take the width x 1.5

The plastic was just what we had one hand, the left over stuff that was on the ground under our ice skating rink. It had some good holes but we tried to just work around them. We will buy some nicer stuff, 12mil, as soon as we get the chance. We are going to build another door frame so that both ends have doors making it easier to vent. We will also frame in the bottom with some lumber so that we have something to staple the plastic to.

The high temp for today was 67 and inside the tunnel with the door wide open it was 98. The peppers and tomatoes are loving it. I finally have all the pepper and tomato seedlings in bigger pots. It should have been done long ago but was so cold outside and I just didn't have the room inside for all those 2" pots.
Fence post 8' apart.
At the moment, its not pretty. As soon as we get a chance we will get some heavier plastic for it. This will be the small tunnel and we will still make a big one by the chicken yard.
This was so easy to do, I could have done it myself but it was nice to have some muscle to help with bending the pipe. I had no idea how much faster it is to plant seeds and seedlings when you don't have to be neat. It only took me about an hour to re-pot 48 pepper plants, 12 eggplants, and 12 more tomato plants.

So, Thursday I go to the "big" town and I will add up the cost of what it took to build this little gem of a garden tool and report back.

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  1. Love this idea -- thanks for sharing! We live at 900' elevation and have a hard (cannot emphasize the hard enough) time getting a good start to our veggie garden. I've read about these polytubes on other sites, but yours is the first to show how to put one up. Blessings, ~Lisa

  2. I'm so excited for you! You will enjoy this so much. I answered your comment on my blog about the duck eggs. I am thinking... maybe there might be something different, species to species which some people are sensitive to? I would really like to explore this idea, if you could give me some understanding of what the duck eggs do to you. I did not even think of that when I posted it. In fact, I think I'll take it off just in case!

  3. P.S. Instead, I added to the post asking for input on this subject. Thanks, again, Megan.