Mini Tunnels To Get Seed Crops Through The Winter

Once upon a time, I used to overwinter brassicas and other seed crops in caterpillar tunnels.

But as the Tourne-Sol seed company got bigger, we had limited time to build tunnels in October and November, so we started growing seed crops in our greenhouses.

Last year we reached the limit of our greenhouse space for seed crops. We decided to go back to caterpillar tunnels and planted some crops to overwinter in the field.

It turns out we didn’t have any more time in November to build caterpillar tunnels.

We made a pretty rushed decision to try mini tunnels instead.

This is what that looked like …

November 5 – We Set Up Some Tunnels




November 12 – Winter Came Early

It got so cold and so snowy so quickly, we thought we’d lost our chance.

December 1 – We Got Another Chance!

Just in time for a snowy winter with a little …

January 11 – Miserable Ice And Slush

February 12 – Everything Is At Peace

I wanted to uncover these tunnels in late March or April …

But then COVID came to town and everyone decided they wanted to garden and we spent all our time filling seed orders.

April 28 – We Finally Uncover!

To Reveal Brassicas In Flower …

And some oregano, thyme, chervil, m√Ęche, larkspur …

July 1 – Most Seed Is Harvested But …

Time For Larkspur To Bloom!

Mini Tunnels Were A Sucess!

We’re already planning on repeating mini tunnels for next winter.

Let”s see what else we can get to over winter!

Are you tempted by mini tunnels?


9 thoughts on “Mini Tunnels To Get Seed Crops Through The Winter

  1. hey dan,

    Where do you get the plastic for the hoops (and other equipment) – this seems like a really good idea for us and we’re just trying to find where we can get the equipment. Most of Dubois’ stuff is all perforated right now, would that work?

    Jordan

    On Mon, Jul 6, 2020 at 8:57 AM Going to Seed with Dan Brisebois wrote:

    > goingtoseed posted: ” Once upon a time, I used to overwinter brassicas and > other seed crops in caterpillar tunnels. But as the Tourne-Sol seed company > got bigger, we had limited time to build tunnels in October and November, > so we started growing seed crops in our greenhou” >

  2. Sharing your adventures with us is very generous Dan, and exciting… My neighbors often look over the fence and shyly ask what I am doing.. Tunnels for my peas and beans on the other side carrots and beats thank goodness it’s all for fun because down the center of that same row are asparagus who meanwhile turned to ferns and grew very tall pushing up the row cover
    Well that’s all for my adventures.
    good luck

  3. Hello hello,
    did you direct seed those crops in December? or were they tps?
    super inspiring! well done and thanks for sharing.

    1. Hey Steph,

      These were mostly seeded in mid September and grew in the fall. The larkspur was transplanted. The thyme and oregano were dug out of the garden and placed under the tunnel – though they might overwinter most years uncovered.

      I think you’ll find these are great for growing seed!

      Dan

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