Call it what you will, it’s soon to be completed and will act as winter housing for critters, then growing space for tender plants.
We chose to build a tall tunnel by bending our own hoops with a handy device from Johnny’s Selected Seeds. I’ve done the PVC greenhouse thing, but since this structure needs to protect our first commercial layer flock and survive the wind and snow that’s inevitable at 7000′, I wanted to go with something a little more durable. And secured to the ground. And not break the bank.
Johnny’s hoop bender is super easy to use! We grabbed some standard chain link top rail, secured the bender to the rail of our deck, and within about 20 minutes had twelve 10′ sections of pipe gracefully bent into the proper shape for our tunnel.
The process is pretty simple, too, And Johnny’s provides a swell detailed assembly guide and customizable spreadsheet so you’re sure to order all the pieces you need! (Just don’t order the standard 24′ width plastic and later decide to do taller ground posts so you’ll have to hold off on construction while you reorder the wider 28′ plastic.)
Lay out the footprint. 12′ wide by however long you want. Our is 20′ long. Follow the handy tips in the instruction manual to get your house square.
Pound in the ground posts at the proper intervals and to the proper depth. See note above regarding shorter or taller posts.
Insert the hoops and secure with self-tapping screws.
Install a ridgepole across the top center, a ledger board across the bottom legs, a hipboard partway up, and end panel framework.
Then screw in the Poly Latch Channel that will secure your plastic with Wiggle Wire. (This stuff is so cool! I can see a million uses for it!)
Then it’s time to cover your tunnel with plastic. That’s as far as we’ve gotten. We’ll cover up those ends and we’ll be in business! Woo hoo!