I’m Ron Patterson with Utah State University Extension in Carbon County. Last night we had some calm – it’s been kind of breezy yesterday – and so we had some calm and I put the cover on this high tunnel so we’re just about ready to start growing things in here. But I took a video of how I go through the process of putting the cover, the plastic, over the high tunnel so that’s what this clip is. Now we’re about ready to put the plastic over, and the trick with the plastic is to do it on a time when it’s calm; if it’s not calm the wind will carry you away, so whenever you get a calm moment that’s when you do it. The way I do it: I’ve thrown this piece of twine over the top of the high tunnel and then I will tie this with a sheet bend knot – another one of those Scout knots – tie that with a sheet bend and that will usually hang on to that plastic enough. And I’ll do this six or – depends on how big the high tunnel is – but I’ve got six or seven of these all the way across here so then I can pull each one of them, kind of jiggle them across as we go, and get – and get it to pull across.
All right come on, and come help me pull. So what we’re doing here is kind of jig – and this is – you can do with one person but it’s a lot easier with two or three or four people. Need to have someone on that side to lift it up over the things so that it gets over the board. Okay one thing you want to be careful of is to not let it snag on things and get get a hole torn in it. Gets up over the top it – it’s a little bit easier to pull each time you get it a little further on along…maybe not – just a second…okay now go ahead and pull it.
Okay, there we go. Let me see if I can pull this other one. One more loop over down toward this end. Okay, let’s try to get it centered before I fasten it in up here. All right, so we’re just putting the wiggle wire into the wiggle wire track along the sides now. It just kind of fits in like that; you want to keep it pulled… so that you’re not gathering and tucking too much. I’m trying to use this fold right here to keep my plastic even; it’s not a bad idea to leave a tag of the wiggle wire out like that, so that you’ve got some way to grab it when you’re ready to take the plastic off. Otherwise it’s kind of a pain to reach in there and grab the end of that wiggle wire, so I leave it out. We just keep going – we’ve got the sides done. As you fasten your plastic to the wiggle wire track here on the ends, I actually don’t go straight – I don’t pull this tight at the bottom – I come this way a little bit so that I have some slack, so as I pull it up I can get it up. I don’t need to worry about getting it up real high, but within the first couple of ribs I can get that pulled up to the hip purlin. As opposed to if I just…just put it tight around here it makes it a lot harder to pull that for ventilation up on the hip purnlin.
So I don’t pull the bottom end of the side curtain tight around here to fasten my wiggle wire track; I kind of angle it down towards the corner so I’ve got a little bit of slack here on the corners. To hold up the side curtains I put a piece of twine that will wrap around…I tie it on here on the inside of the arch, and then take it down so I’ve got about six inches there and cut that off. So that after I get the plastic on I know I’ve got enough length there that I can tie that onto a hook and hook it onto the eye screw; so I’ll show that when I get the plastic on I’ll show how I finish off this. And this is to lift the side curtain to give us some ventilation during the hot part – hot part of the day. Last night we had a bit of a calm evening and so I was all ready; put the plastic on, and put in the wiggle wire tracks in it…it got dark before I could get everything all finished so I did what I could. And then about midnight we had a big storm come up – well not a big storm, a small storm – but there’s quite a lot of wind, I could hear the wind about midnight. So I hurried out here and I did a few of these anchor ties just to keep a – just to make sure it wasn’t going to – and it was okay, it wasn’t blowing away – but I wanted to make sure so I put a few of these anchor ties in in place in several places. So I’ll show you here how I do the anchor ties here on the side curtains, and how we tie these up for ventilation. What I’m using here is a one and thirteen/sixteenths eye screw; it can be a little bigger or a little smaller but that size works quite well for me. When I fasten it into the high tunnel wall, notice that there’s where this bends over, I put that on the upside because I don’t like material snagging. If it’s turned down so that this end of the eye screw is down right here then they…when I put the shade cloth on that tends to kind of snag up into the eye screw, and I don’t like that. So I turn that up; this is one of those tricks that I’ve come across as I – as I’ve done this.
So this is the only intentional hole that I put in the plastic, sometimes I put some unintentional holes in there that gets snagged once in a while; I try – certainly try to not do that. I just use a wrench and hook it in to the eye screw: gives me something to twist it with, and I turn it so that the open end is up and it doesn’t snag materials as I try to take it off. Then what you do from here…we’ve driven these stakes in the ground and a way to fasten – to tie on to them…I just tie on to the – I weld a washer or a chain link on there…I make a bite on an overhand here – about that high – and then… get my pocket knife out. So all I’ve got to do now is thread that through the eye screw and thing’s set up; I tie this with a slip knot so that I can undo it quickly if I need to, but this gives us a way to hold that down.
This serves two purposes: keeps the purlins down, remember I don’t have those on tight there’re not fastened to the T post, so it keeps that down to the ground, but it also keeps this side curtain from flapping out in the wind. We put these eye screws right in line with the T post so that at every arch we have an eye screw that’s holding things down; we offset the stake – we drove it in at an angle – but also offset it from the T post a little bit. And that provides a little bit more of a pull on that stake so if the wind kind of lifts up on this at all, it’s not going to pull that stake out of the ground quite so easily. To do the side curtain supports I – basically I just loop through this washer that I weld it onto my stake, and then I just tie it off with a double half-hitch; couple loops right through there like that for the stake end.
Then up here at the top end, about 12 inches below my eye screw right there, I do…I make a bite – a bite is just a bend in the rope – so I make a bite and then tie an overhand knot, and that makes a non slipping loop; that’s all I’ve got there is just a non slipping loop. I measure up to the eye screw…down…give myself about six inches, and that’s where I’ll cut the cord; then I can thread that through the eye screw. Thread that through the…the bite on overhand and then what I do here is I just…just make a slipknot – just a single slip knot – so I’ve got the tail sticking out here and I can pull that and it’s loose. So I just go through the loop around and pull it through like that and then if I need to untie it real quick I’ve got that able – I’m able to do that very quickly with that slipknot. These side curtains need to be lifted for ventilation, so there’s lots of different ways you can do that. The way I like to do it is I get this…it’s a one inch S hook – just looks like an S – and I’ve tied off the twine on the inside. Now I take my pliers and I’ll figure out about how far I can pull that up and have the plastic be up good and tight, and then I’ll pinch that S hook closed. So now I’ve got a hook that I can tie on to with my twine so I get that about there… and I finish that off with a double half hitch.
Then when I need to drop the curtain I just unhook it from my eye screw here on the outside – get that hooked, when I’m ready to drop it just let it drop down; when we’re ready to ventilate just come in here and grab – hook my S hook…and they’re good. I can do that two or three places or I can do the whole side; when it’s summertime these will all be up holding that plastic up off the ground so we get good cross ventilation or – across the high tunnel. So that’s how I ventilate it; there are others you can do the roll-up thing, or whatever, but that’s pretty slick – does it pretty fast – doesn’t take me very long to lift up the side – the sidewalls on these high tunnels and make my hook and got my ventilation.
The straps on the ends here, because the the side curtain is fastened down on a corner right there, it’s going to be a little bit longer. It’s not going to be able to pull up as tight as these others and so this will be a little bit longer; when you hook this one up with your hook, hook it into your eyes – I don’t have a eye screw here yet – but hook that in there. But it’s going to be – it’s going to be down a little bit longer there because you’ve got to come up from the corner, and then as you get further out onto the high tunnel you’ll be able to get those pulled all the way up to your hip purlins.