An enclosed polyethylene, polycarbonate, plastic, or fabric covered structure that is used to cover and protect crops from sun, wind, excessive rainfall, or cold, to extend the growing season in an environmentally friendly manner.
This practice only applies to crops grown naturally in the soil profile.
How it helps
High tunnel systems help improve plant health and vigor.
Plan supportive conservation practices to address all environmental concerns such as erosion, irrigation and runoff.
Locate the structure near a viable water source for irrigation.
Select a covering material thick enough to withstand temperature changes for a 4-year lifespan.
Consider a minimum clearance of 10 to 20 feet between side by side high tunnel installations for snow removal and cover installation.
Plan for proper disposal of the cover at the end of its useful life.
Raised beds may be installed to improve soil condition, fertility, and access. Raised beds are a maximum of 12 inches in depth.
Do not use high tunnels for sheltering or housing livestock, or to store supplies or equipment.
The frame must be constructed of metal, wood, or durable plastic; and be at least 6 feet at the peak.
Direct runoff away from high tunnels to avoid ponding. Provide a detention basin, storage reservoir, or stable outlet when runoff empties onto the ground surface with potential to cause erosion.
Manage the high tunnel to improve soil health by following a soil management system.
Remove or roll up side covers to control internal temperatures and humidity.
The cover may need to be removed during the snow season.
Inspect the cover regularly for wear and tear.
Periodically remove accumulated snow to avoid structural weakening or collapse.
Repair or replace the cover if damaged from wind, snow or other weather-related occurrence.