high tunnels and floods

brookw_gwApril 19, 2011

Eventually, I hope to take greater control over my plantings by having high tunnels. Am I to assume that they alleviate many of the problems caused by too much rain or do they get soupy and sloppy too??

Brook

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boulderbelt(5/6)

If you get flooding rains they will get very very wet. I remember working in one a few years ago with an intern and we watched the ground go from dry to saturated in about 45 minutes. Outside there was about 6 inches of water on the ground.

I assume that is the state of the hoop houses today as we just got 3 inches of rain this morning and we are flooded. Fortunately we have a very well drained place and the water should be gone in a few hours.

But for normal rains they work very well at keeping the soil dry

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 2:32PM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

Brooke, It depends on how and where you build your high tunnel. Most of mine are build just straight in my fields, I have spent time to work the ground around them to get the rain to drain away. Even with this, the uphill side sometimes gets wet from water soaking in.

I would encourage you, as flooding is a problem, to build up "Pads" to build your tunnels on 18-24 inches higher than the area around them.

We had 1.5 inches of rain on Thursday night, I was tilling inside my high tunnels on Friday afternoon. It would have been Friday morning, but I had school!

For the most part it does help. I can work ground inside while it is raining outside. But if flooding is a problem, build up the area.

Jay

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 3:09PM
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brookw_gw

Thanks, I figured it would help, and I also planned on building up the dirt inside and creating outside drainage. I'm still at least a couple years away from getting one, but I am really anxious to do so as I believe there are great advantages to them. I have a lot of people wanting me to do a csa, but I'm not comfortable doing this until I have more control over the elements. I have used low tunnels in the past, but that really won't solve water issues. My mailing list has tripled over last year because of word of mouth, but once again I am totally at the mercy of the weather. I also believe tunnels would solve my critter problem as well. I know one thing: if I ever plant a food plot for deer, it will be all spinach and lettuce!!

Brook

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 10:00AM
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myfamilysfarm

don't forget eggplant, deer LOVE the nice healthy young plants.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 10:34AM
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hillbilly_hydro

plant some rhubarb the deer love it ...it doesn't love the deer they will get about 10 feet away and drop dead for you

    Bookmark   April 29, 2011 at 3:11AM
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brookw_gw

So that's what's happening to my rhubarb, but there's still no shortage of deer. I have 45 rhubarb now but lose several every year. They've been pretty tricky to get established. Good plants aren't cheap to replace either. I wish I could get rabbits and mice to eat them!!!

Brook

    Bookmark   April 29, 2011 at 9:33AM
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hillbilly_hydro

if it was deer you would find them dead 10 feet from the rhubarb

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 12:02AM
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