June 12, 2011

Cucumber Low Tunnels

After seeing and learning about another method to raise cucumbers and other Cucurbits, without chemicals at the Great Plains Growers Conference, I thought I would give it a try. I am specifically growing cucumbers in this tunnel. I am trying to exclude squash bugs and more importantly the Cucumber Beetle. The reason for this is they transfer Bacterial Wilt.

Here is how we built this set up.

First we tilled the ground, made raised beds, buried the drip tape for irrigation and then covered the raised beds with plastic/fabric row cover. Then I filled in the middle with some old straw. Then we marked and cut holes every two feet. I was going to go every foot, but I didn't have enough plants to do that.


Then we placed the 6 foot 1/2 inch EMT hoops every 6 feet.


Then we planted.


I would have planted before I put the hoops on, but I didn't want to transplant them then come back after church and supper. The transplants were larger than I wanted.

Then we added the row cover. We buried all the sides. On the north end, we held it down with water filled two liter bottles. This way we can gain access, if we need to.


These rows are 45 feet long and I plan on leaving the cover on until time to harvest. When it is time to harvest, we will remove the row cover. The plants will be big enough to hold off any damage from the beetles.

I am doing another low tunnel next week with a different type of cucumbers.


  1. How will you control the heat in the tunnel? Especially if it is sealed on all sides. I know my pvc greenhouse can get hot very quickly if the ends are open and fans turned on. Just curious.

  2. I am curious about your plan for pollination?

  3. The row cover breaths. It doesn't get as warm as one would think.

    As far as pollination, the cucumbers are parthenocopic. They will set fruit without being pollinated.


  4. So the cover for the tunnel is more of a white landscape fabric rather than plastic? Makes sense.