A High tunnel is made to extend our growing season….But developing good timing is half the battle! We have had our usual (and unusual) warming/freezing spells now for a few weeks. Spring seems to become more unpredictable every year here in the arctic. I find myself chewing my nails to the nub every year deciding when is the best time to put the plastic on. Too early and I risk losing the whole tunnel all together, too late and I don’t gain any real advantage during the growing season in grow time. Though our high tunnel is semi-protected by a small hill from the north winds (the most violent winds) it still takes a beating from our spring time winds which are unpredictable and gusty to say the least. We had a few days of a full on blizzard last week! I wrote in my notes that this year I should try and get the plastic up sooner than I did last year. Which gave us a good two weeks ahead of our normal outdoor growing season. But the weather has not cooperated at all. We haven’t had a calm day without windy gusts for a while, despite the happy sunshine. And random blizzard/rain.
The most I can do though is write in my notes my thought process, and hopefully in the future we can develop a better way to predict when it is best to put plastic up. I keep my eyes to the ground also, watching the native plants and keeping an eye on what they are doing. They know how to grow here the best!