Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sturdy Low Tunnels for Raised Beds, Part 1

For years now we have been excited to integrate season-extension concepts such as row covers into our gardening. That time has finally come!

We are going to call the below a low tunnel (rather than a row cover) because it's quite sturdy and more versatile than a row cover.

Here's what we did:

Made a frame to match the dimensions of the raised bed using 2x2s fastened together with long deck screws and strengthened with...

...corner gussets made of 1/2 inch thick plywood:

For the tunnel frame we used some salvaged fencing:

We attached the fencing with u-shaped fence staples and a lot of strategic wire bending and twisting:

Ends were cut from scrap fencing to fit, secured to the frame with fence staples and secured to the top by twisting loose wire ends:

 Here is the finished low tunnel frame:

Here's the frame atop one or our raised beds. This bed is chock-full of kale, cabbage and early purple sprouting broccoli:

Here you can see Jennifer fastening the low tunnel frame to the raised bed with a hinge so that we can access the green "goods":

Here we attach the fabric covering and then...

 ...the plastic covering. We can remove the plastic next spring when temps rise but leave the fabric covering on for insect and light frost protection:

The end-game: easily-accessed bountiful greens well into the cold season and, we anticipate, year round!

We love our greens!


  1. This is so interesting!
    The plants will still get enough light?
    Do you anticipate any problems with mold or the like since there is a plastic covering?

    1. We certainly hope so! It's an experiment, so we will post on this over the winter/spring. :) I don't think there will be any mold problems...plastic is used on many low tunnels. If the fabric does get moldy, we will know better for next year!

  2. Hi S&J.... you plans for longer season crops is awesome , and clever!!
    Enjoy those greens!! : )


  3. That's a grand idea...I like the hinge detail... very clever!!!


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