Tomatoes Cozy in Low Tunnel

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Posted by @SteveandJeannie on
We took a cutting from what we observed to be a cold-tolerant summer 2015 tomato plant and put it fully rooted into a low tunnel in our zone 8b south-facing garden. It was still happy after some 28-degree nights in the beginning of February 2016.

This bed was begun August 8th by laying down cardboard, then table scraps and rabbit/goat/sheep manure, and lastly topping it with new straw. Table scraps were periodically added, as well as the manures. In November I added both red wriggler worms and European nightcrawlers to this large bed. When my husband dug down into it in January 2016, he couldn't find the cardboard. At this point we thought the bed was ready for the tomatoes and the low tunnel to protect them. We made the low tunnel frame with 1/2" PVC, 3 and 4 way joints from Amazon, and GrowGuard 34 fabric cover from Farmers Friend in Tennessee. We didn't glue most of the joints so we could store the parts more easily. We cinched the ends with jute string and tied the string to stakes on both ends. This low tunnel is only 2 feet tall, and the vertical pieces are partially buried about 4 inches. As you can see, this tunnel is not very tall and is only meant to protect the plants for a short time, enough to get a head start on tomato growing before our heat melts our plants! I laid bricks along the sides of the tunnel on top of the extra fabric that hung down on both sides, and I piled up the damp straw mulch also on top of the bricks and all along the sides. I was surprised that some of the plants under the tunnel were fine with 25 mile winds and temperatures down to 28. However, this weather killed some of the tomato plants due to operator mishaps. I'll be more careful next winter and I hope to get a big bunch of strong, healthy survivors!

Thumb of 2016-02-18/SteveandJeannie/a38300

Thumb of 2016-02-18/SteveandJeannie/32e18c

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Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Hello from South Georgia by borowordwrig Jan 26, 2017 11:06 PM 1

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