Step by step: build a small forcing tunnel for the vegetable patch

Step by step: build a small forcing tunnel for the vegetable patch

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Do you want to enjoy your vegetables longer before the rigors of winter? Do you want to start sowing before early spring for early harvests? The forcing tunnel meets all these requirements which make cultivation under cover a must have that every gardener must experience one day. The principle of growing under cover is no longer to be demonstrated today, it will protect your precious vegetables by providing them with a little warmth, protection against winds, predators, etc. If there is a plethora of models on the market, it is clear that a home-made forcing tunnel is still much cheaper. This is what we are offering you this month in gardening techniques.
Difficulty : easy Cost : - 1 6 X 3 m film (125 microns): 12 euros - 5 galvanized steel poles of 2.5 m: 15 euros - 1 round stake for pine tree: 4 euros - 48 mm tape roll over 10 meters : 10 euros Tools required : - The materials (see above) - A spade - Scissors or a sharp knife

Step 1: Position the hoops

Position your poles on the ground to define a regular spacing between them, about 80 cm. Do not increase the distance between two poles too much, set a limit of one meter maximum between each. Note: unless you want a more imposing tunnel, it is useless to buy concrete irons, because their price is equivalent, moreover they are not free from imperfections likely to damage the film. If however you wish to use them, slide them inside a garden hose, so that the film can move without the risk of tearing.
Plant the poles only on one side for now, in a straight line. You can place a tutor on the ground to follow a straight line. Your hoops - which are not yet - must be planted vertically. After laying the last one, you can start to give them the desired curvature. Transfer the cleat to the other side, parallel to the ones you have just planted, you will obtain a perfectly uniform arch.

Step 2: Dig the trench

Using the spade, make a trench about fifteen centimeters deep all around your construction, in order to bury the protective film. Move this trench 10 cm away from the base of the hoops so as not to weaken this place which must remain stable.
At this stage, it is possible to put a reinforcement in the length to prevent the hoops from bending inward. To do this, position a tutor along the entire length at the top of the hoops, but from below, avoid rubbing the canvas on the tutor. The advantage is that it will be possible to stretch the canvas more strongly, giving a more aesthetic appearance to the whole. The downside is that the tunnel will offer more wind resistance, instead of bending under its grip. In any case, if the wind is too strong (storm, strong gale) this kind of construction will not last long, so watch out.

Step 3: Cover ends

We cut the canvas to cover one end of the tunnel. The purpose of this maneuver is to allow the tunnel to open without having to dig up the canvas. The thickness of the film (125 microns) makes it not very flexible, therefore less easy to handle, but very resistant.
It is necessary to cut a width of film equal to a spacing between two arches, and to envisage the sufficient quantity for the descent to the ground, to which one will add 20 cm which will be buried.
Using the tape, brown a little film inward. We can then pull on the canvas to stretch it before burying it, without risking seeing the film escape from the arch.
The two ends are now laid, we will take care of the central part.

Step 4: Make the central opening

Use the necessary film so that the central part covers the ends comfortably. Bury the canvas opposite the opening, and wrap the rest around the tree stake. The guardian being heavy enough not to move in case of wind. Its circular appearance, meanwhile, makes winding the film very easy.
In this way, you will be able to open the tunnel and thus access very quickly any place of it, including the ends, without ever having to dig up the film.

Step 5: what next?

Open when the weather is nice to dry the condensation, which could cause the plants to rot if the humidity is too high, and water if the soil is dry. Check from time to time that slugs have not taken up residence there, and treat as necessary. Our practical gardening videos