Planting a High Tunnel in August, zone 5

defrost49July 22, 2012

I have both of Eliot Coleman's books which are great guides to winter gardening in a high tunnel but I'd like to see if I can get some "extra summer" by planting some things now that ordinarily wouldn't have time to mature by fall frost (Sept 18ish).

Has anyone had success with planting zucchini and sugar snap peas in early August in a zone 5 high tunnel?

I hate to buy tomato plants from Loew's but they still have some healthy young tomato plants and thinking to try a couple.

Would love to hear about your experiences gardening in a high tunnel.

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rayinpenn(6)

I am adicted to Fall low tunnel gardening! Lettuce, broccoli etc for sure. Tomatoes well I dunno - maybe? my guess you need to get then going now! Just be careful and pay attention dont let them fry.

Remember it not only gets colder but there are less hours and less intense sunlight! Please post a follow-up and let us know how you fare.

Low Tunnels & Cold Frames

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 8:23AM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

defrost49- I wouldn't worry about your first frost date. With a high tunnel you can easily cover up plants and protect them. You can grow year around too, things just have to be planted early enough to ensure them getting close to maturity by late October/early November. The problem is each day is getting shorter. Probably don't notice it now, but it is happening.

Late tomatoes should have been in the ground by July 4th. Even if you plant them today, they probably won't produce unless you add a little heat late in the year and cover them up with row cover. Last year I got mine in on July 17th. I didn't start picking many until October. I also picked the remaining ones before Thanksgiving and had homegrown tomatoes until Christmas.

Zucchini would be a good choice, here is a picture of mine from last year that we planted on July 28th from seed. 1 seed a foot, 5 rows. We started picking on August 28th. It was crazy. I was hoping to start picking by September 15th.

You can start carrots now until August 15th and have sweet carrots until you run out! Napa Cabbage, Bok Choy, Kale, Lettuce, Spinach, radishes, turnips, green onions, if you have broccoli and cauliflower transplants available, cabbage, or swiss chard would be good choice.

We have 6 high tunnels and we grow in them year around. If you have other questions, I would be happy to answer them. I included a link to our website. Check our fall and winter growing seasons. I have included most planting dates on each post.

Good Luck!

Jay

Here is a link that might be useful: Jay's Jellies website

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 3:59PM
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defrost49

Thanks, Jay. I think it was your successes that you have posted before that helped us decide to put up a high tunnel. Thanks for the advice. I'll try a couple of tomato plants and see how they do.

I was very happy with low tunnel protection on bush beans because if they can get past that first early frost, we still have a couple more weeks of warmish weather.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 6:01PM
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