Season Extension: Hanley Caterpillar Tunnels

The first area to discuss regarding season extension are those structures that are simple enough to disassemble and relocate to another spot-primarily referring to Hanley Caterpillar Tunnels.

The real lure of these buildings is their low cost and simplicity to move. Generally the area is prepared in advance and then the tunnel is moved over the area when the planting is to be done.

Since the original design specified 6′ hoop spacing, the intent was always to remove the cover before risk of heavier snow fall. More often now, growers are going to 5′ spacing (and sometimes 4′) to allow the covers to remain on longer or even permanently.

By having a smaller hoop spacing, it allows the cover to stay on permanently, which allows for a much earlier start in the spring.

The key to the concept of the hanley working is in the rope.

  • The back and forth pattern of the rope resembles the way a person would lace up a boot.
  • Typically there is a spring loaded clip at the base where the rope passes through.
  • Once the rope is fully installed, it is important to tighten it through three passes from end to end.
  • If the rope is not tight enough, the wind will create wiggle and movement sideways.
  • When the plastic is tight enough, it also allows the grower to slide the plastic up the hoop to allow ventilation.

Generally the plastic is about 25′ longer then the tunnel.
This allows the installer to bunch up (pig tail style) the extra poly at both ends between a pair of posts.
It is important to get the plastic as tight as possible lengthwise first.
There must also be a rope from the top of the last hoop to the tie off post.

There are a couple of challenges to consider with the hanley tunnels.

  1. One of these challenges is to create a proper entrance. Typically entrance is achieved by slightly lifting the plastic and ducking underneath.
  2. The other are of challenge is the low shoulder height of the structure. This restricts the use to a couple rows of taller items in the middle and a couple rows of shorter plants along the side. The width of the tunnel does lend itself to three regular size beds.

Once you have learned about the nuances of the hanley tunnels, and asked any questions that come up, you will be better prepared to have these efficient season extenders work for you and your application.

Feel free to look at our Hanley Application page for more information and photos, and give us a call with anything else you require.

We are pleased to have many happy customers these structures are working for, and look forward to you being next!

Check out our new book if you want to know more “So You Want to Buy a Greenhouse…Your Guide to Planning a Greenhouse Purchase”

Norm shared some nostalgia after Coffee Time with Norm this week. Check out his story here:

Organic Greenhouses/Shelters-uses and benefits

As we recognize and celebrate Organic Week 2020, we want to share a popular article from our website. We thank the organic farmers that go the extra mile for land stewardship and are proud to partner with so many of them. We will be sharing and highlighting some key organic related articles all week. We hope you find them helpful!

There are many benefits to having a greenhouse structure for organic growing and housing. They are often used a season extender for protecting crops from the elements, blight, and fungus. Since Organic growers and farmers do not use pesticides, this type of protection is often required for some of the more sensitive crops.smaller high profile

The structures are easy to move to allow the expansion of the growing area.These structures can easily help to give you the opportunity to grow more crops in a limited area. What many of our customers also do, particularly with Hanley Caterpillar structures, is start growing the early crops under the protection of the structure, and as the crop is stable enough, they move the structure to be able to start the next planting.

Knight Hanley Structure

Our structures are also used for organic livestock raising to ensure the animals have a healthy, safe and protected environment out of the elements. They are versatile structures, and only require the changing of clear to white plastic for the various uses. The environment allows the animals to have sunlight, but still get the shade they require.

Goats5

The combination of the double layer of plastic, roll up sides, and inflator fan, on both the greenhouse and livestock shelters, helps to reduce condensation and keep the structure ventilated. We are excited to be working on a solar powered fan option for those off grid customers or if the structure is out in the field away from electricity as we know many of our organic growers and farmers are in these situations.

Tips for How to Install a Cover and Wirelock & Growing Over Winter – Coffee Time with Norm ep.1

In the first session of Coffee Time with Norm, Norm answers Nathan Morrison’s question from Maple Grove Nursery and shares tips for installing a cover as well as growing in a greenhouse over winter

1:40 where is the end plastic attached to the end hoop?
Is it the same wirelock channel that I use for the top cover?
If so, how do I go about attaching the bottom of end wall plastic section where the roll up sides are located? (as there won’t be any wire lock down the bottom)
3:00 Norm discusses tips for installing the cover more efficiently on a greenhouse
22:40 Norm discusses growing in a greenhouse over winter and key things to keep in mind and plan for
37:00 We thank you for joining us and invite you to stay tuned for a special announcement about Self Sustainability and Our Greenhouses, coming soon!

The YouTube video mentioned in the video can be found here:
YouTube video “installing multiple covers into one wireless channel”

The article mentioned about being in a windy area can be found here:
https://multisheltersolutions.com/2020/02/28/youre-in-a-windy-area-we-can-help/
Subscribe to our website multisheltersolutions.com to be notified when the full article about Growing Over Winter goes live!

We created Coffee Time with Norm as a way to connect to everyone, regardless of which coast you live on. We aren’t able to attend trade shows this year, so this is our way of still being able to touch base face to face with customers, new and old. It will be a weekly feature, every Wednesday at 9am EST, with recordings posted on social media afterward for anyone who can’t attend live. Please send your questions to multisheltersales@gmail.com and we will address them on the next zoom call.

Please note this is a time for connection, brainstorming solutions to your challenges, learning some information about structures and other questions. If you have a question about an order, or would like a quote, please contact the office separately and we would be happy to help you.

We are excited to have you join us for this new event and we look forward to your questions!