The illusion of a finished high tunnel

jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)March 30, 2014

Finally got the plastic on Friday. I finished up covering the endwalls this morning, just in time for some 45 mph plus winds all day.

I still need to finish the doors, currently I just screwed some chipboard over the openings. I also need to complete the drop down doors on either side of the chipboard. I feel better to have them covered with the wind we are expecting today.

Jay

This post was edited by jrslick on Sun, Mar 30, 14 at 10:42

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cole_robbie(6)

Very nice as usual.

How are you holding down the plastic against the ground along the sides? I can never get that right. I try to weigh it down with sand bags, but windstorms inevitably detach it from my sandbags. My clearspan building has top rail that the roll-up sides roll around, and that is a little easier to weigh down with weights, but it is still the weak part of the design.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 1:48AM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

Cole, I have learned (by accident) that an easy way to keep the plastic down on the sides is by having extra plastic. I could have gotten by with 40 foot plastic, but the supplier only had 42 on hand. The extra foot on each side helps keep it sealed down. Also in rainy stormy weather, the side gets water in it and helps hold the plastic down. Not sure if it is right, but that is what works for me.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 10:21AM
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randy41_1

you can hold the sides down with anti-billowing rope or pieces of t-tape work too.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 12:38PM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

That is true too Randy41. I do have a zig zag pattern of smooth twine on the roll up side portion. I am sorry if I confused your question. You can't see the twine in this picture. I wanted to put a 1/4 rope on each side, but I didn't have it on hand and they didn't have enough at the store in town. I have thousands of feet of twine.

Jay

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 1:13PM
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Slimy_Okra(2b)

I shovel moist dirt on the extra plastic and stomp on it a few times to compact it.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 1:28PM
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cole_robbie(6)

Thanks.

The billow rope is on the inside, and it keeps the plastic from pushing in, right? And then the weight at the bottom is what keeps it from blowing outward?

I can never seem to seal the edges of the roll-up sides along the end hoops, either. The bottom 4' along each end hoop is not sealed at all. It tends to catch wind and billow outward. I tried spring clamps but the wind rips them off.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 1:57PM
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randy41_1

billow ropes on the outside generally attached from the hip board to the baseboard.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 2:58PM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

Billow ropes on the outside, the bows/hoops prevent it from blowing in.

Another thing you can do on the side wall is attach the sidewall to the last bow. I do this loosely and you can pull it up along the length of the side. This helps seal the end. Over time, you may rip the end of the sidewall piece, but it does work too. I am attaching a 4 foot piece of plastic between the last two bows on each side. Then I am going to attach a 2 to 3 foot wide piece of plastic on the outside to make a "clear" sandwich. The plastic will be attached at the hipboard and at the bottom baseboard with wiggle wire. I hope to prevent tearing with this on the main piece of plastic.

Jay

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 3:20PM
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cole_robbie(6)

ok, that makes sense. Thank you.

I followed the instructions for the Clearspan building that was my first greenhouse. They said to roll a piece of top rail around the bottom and use tek screws and washers to hold the plastic to the pipe. They didn't mention batten cord. Three years later, it is still functioning, but I can see it is not the smartest design. The pipe sags anyway when I try to roll up the sides. I have to prop up each side in the middle.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 7:01PM
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randy41_1

on one of my hoophouses i used chain link top rails for the roll up sides and used duct tape (the heavy duty waterproof kind)to attach the end of the film to it. 3 years and it still works perfectly. no sag issues even on the 100' tunnel.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 4:29AM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

Finally got it tilled last night. I will go back over it again then make some raised beds and finally start planting!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 9:03PM
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Rio_Grande

We can't till nothing thanks to all this snow and now rain.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 9:41PM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

Wish we had some rain. I got half the outside area tilled up yesterday and tonight I was able to make raised beds for the onions, leeks, carrots and parsnips. Severe weather south of us. I am hoping it does rain and it will smooth the raised beds down and I can plant when it dries out.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 10:22PM
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