Currently we are experimenting with a few ways to enclose part of the growing area with high tunnels which are an economical option to a true greenhouse. These high tunnels can be used in a variety of ways. They can extend the season protecting certain crops from experiencing light and hard frosts. For example, we have a variety of bell peppers and hot peppers in one of the beds which have been producing all summer for us. Usually once frost hits, that's the end of the crop. By installing a high tunnel we can keep those plants producing for some time before having to pull them. Similarly, we can start planting heat-loving crops earlier in that bed once spring arrives again, protecting it from unwanted frosty nights and keeping the soil warm and hospitable. The other beds we started cold weather crops which don't mind cool temperatures. By using the high tunnel, we change the environment 1 1/2 zones further south. We're zone 6b which would mean the growing environment would now be equivalent to zone 7-8. If we use low tunnels to protect the individual beds in addition that also increases the zone a further degree.
Last updated on September 9, 2009 by Pam