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Movable High Tunnel at Horticulture Research Farm

Posted: May 6, 2011

Movable High Tunnel at Horticulture Research Farm

We have finished construction of a 30’ X 48’ movable high tunnel from Four Seasons Tools on a 162’ long track.  This unit sits on a V-track that is well attached to the soil with fifty-four 3’ rebars driven into the soil.  The high tunnel is than anchored to the V-track to stabilize the tunnel during high wind events (greater than 60 mph).  Because there are 3 distinctive growing areas along the 162’ track, we will be planting blueberries (variety-Chandler) at the south end of track, apricots at the north end of the track and tomatoes in the middle.  The high tunnel ends were designed so that the high tunnel could be moved from an annual to a perennial crop when the perennial crop needs protection from environmental stress, especially frosts and low temperatures in the spring.  Apricots will produce flowers early in the spring which is when the high tunnel will be moved over the trees until fruits are formed and chance of frost has passed.  The high tunnel will be moved to the blueberry crop in late May when flower buds start to break and flower and fruit production is initiated.  In addition to helping maintain a more optimum environment for fruit production, the high tunnel will help prevent loss of fruit due to birds.  Finally in late fall (September), the high tunnel will be moved to a late crop (planted in late June) of tomatoes that will be harvested through October.

We have also constructed an 18’ x 36’ movable high tunnel from Rimol greenhouse on a 80’ long track.  This high tunnel is anchored to the soil so that it doesn’t move or lift off the track during high wind events.  The 80’ long track will allow for 2 distinctive growing areas along the track and will probably plant late peppers and broccoli.  The most critical feature of a movable high tunnel is easy end wall removal to facilitate movement of the high tunnel from annual to perennial horticulture crops.  Movable high tunnels will allow for multiple crop production with one high tunnel. 

Visit us at the Horticulture Research Farm at Rock Springs anytime during the year to see the two movable high tunnels at the Center for Plasticuture’s High Tunnel Research and Education Facility.