Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
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Raise Strawberries Under Low Tunnels

Strawberries grow in low tunnels covered with clear plastic with ventilation holes. Photo courtesy of The Berry Patch

Strawberries grow in low tunnels covered with clear plastic with ventilation holes. Photo courtesy of The Berry Patch

May 14, 2020

At The Berry Patch in Stephentown, N.Y, Dale-Ila Riggs and Don Miles grow everbearing strawberries in low tunnels so that "instead of having to make it or break it in three to four weeks in June, we can have berries in late July or August and into October when nobody else has berries," says Riggs. The low tunnels consist of lightweight metal frames about 24 inches high covered with clear plastic with ventilation holes. Bungee cords hold the plastic to the frames. Thanks to low tunnels, the farmers can pick quality berries even after a heavy rain. The plastic sides stay down unless the temperature exceeds 70 F on a warm, sunny day; then bungee cords hold the plastic up near the shoulders of the frames. Read more about these farmers' techniques, presented at MOFGA's 2019 Farmer to Farmer Conference, in the spring issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener.

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