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??
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
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.
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!!
don't forget eggplant, deer LOVE the nice healthy young plants.
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
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!!!
if it was deer you would find them dead 10 feet from the rhubarb