Tag Archives: season extension

Pipe reality

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28' X 100' partially built high-tunnels I'm building in the Toynbee Valley. White arches are 1.25" PVC which are set upon .75" galvanized water pipe. 12' 2X4's are pinned to the top of the arches and screwed to sacrificial 2X4 posts in the ground and will provide structure for the forthcoming trellis. There will be three tunnels totalling about a fifth of an acre. Total cost will be a little more than $10k. So far, fewer than 30 hours invested.

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Close enough

Somehow the propagation-tunnel germinator has worked out more-or-less how I envisioned it, despite my previous lamentations.  It’s even plumb(y) and square(ish).  But, no, I won’t be quitting my day job soon.

I dumped several pails of water in the bed today to check for leaks in the polyethylene.  None, at least not up to the 1.25″ mark.  The 24 trays I planned to get in it actually fit with some wiggle room to spare.

In my opinion it’s a bit early to get the plants I want to start early going already.  But maybe in a week or two.  The question outstanding is whether the small electric heater in the cavity below the bed will provide enough heat to do much good.  I suspect it will for the cold-tolerant crops like greens and peas.

But I have no intention of starting things like tomatoes yet.  Even if they got enough  light (which is very doubtful on Rainbow) and grew normally, I’d have to pot them up to gallon+ sized pots while waiting for the overnight low temperatures of their final home to rise to a safe level.   I’m planning to set out a portion of the tomatoes by mid-April.  Subtracting 6 weeks for the plant start gives me an early March seeding date.  Mind you, I might get a few tomatoes going earlier for our plant start customers who have warm places to put tomatoes.

The only thing remaining for the germinator is a double ply of spun bond fabric (Reemay) which I will use to cover the trays at night.