Note – the second video below is from 2-19-20 and the more recent of the two. At this point I am all in on the fleece for winter crops in my climate. That video also shows a huge difference between a protected crop in a new bed vs. a non protected crop in a bed that has been intensively managed for a year. The intensively managed soil even unprotected out produces the new bed with protection. Now imagine the two together.
Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.
Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Tierra Garden Easy Garden Tunnels. These are what I consider the easy button for season extension, providing shade or protecting from persistent pests. Over the past month I have examined a ton of potential solutions for this need, I chose this one because it has a great bang for the buck, is extremely easy to use and will store nicely when not in use.
These come in a variety of options, first option is size you can get them in “standard” or “giant”. I am going to recommend giant for most of you, because giant ain’t all that big as yo can see in my video in the PS below. The smaller size is 18 vs. 24 inches wide and only 12 vs. 18 inches high. I consider that to low for most plants other than low growing greens, or may be just early protection for things like broccoli and cabbage. Unless you need to conserve space go with the big ones, again watch the video, they are not that big.
Now we are down to covering type there are four options…
- Poly – provides the most thermal gain
- Fleece – will work for many of you in climates that are not that cold
- Micromesh – some thermal gain but mostly for protection against persistent pests
- Net – Provides some shade during really intense summer heat and heavy sun
So as you can see they have all of it covered. I again chose this solution over things like cold frames for a bang for the buck reason and due to the fact they collapse flat for storage when not in use. Super light weight, easy to handle off the shelf solution.
Why over a more conventional and more economical “row cover” though. Well most of those can certainly be wider and cheaper and higher if you need it. But they work like this, you buy arches, then material and sort of build the tunnel on the fly. If you are growing at a market garden or larger scale that makes sense, but for a home gardener it is mostly a pain in the ass.
You have to weight or stake down the sides and ends, God help you if you go out to work on your garden and the wind kicks up. As you see in the video even with one hand managing these is simple. The ends have locking drawstrings to keep them closed or open on warmer days for more airflow.
If you want a simple way to extend some of your gardening into winter, get an early start, provide shade or pest protection I really recommend checking these out. They will cost 20-30 odd dollars depending on the options you select per 12×2 foot of coverage. You can grow a lot in that space, if you beds are 8 feet long, no worries, just collapse one end accordion style and push the hoops in the ground.
Three big heads up on pricing.
- One – If you just search for these on Amazon you’ll get one of those listings with “available from these sellers” and pay over 50 bucks a pop for them. The links I provide have direct pricing and the lowest pricing available that I can find, if you can do better great but use my recommended listing as a base line.
- Two – Pricing seems to bounce around on them a lot. I say in the video the fleece was less than the poly, well when I bought them on the 2nd of January I paid 25.98 for the fleece and 29.97 for the poly. Today the poly is 29.98 and the fleece option is 31.00. So if you want to buy more than a few it may be an item to price watch.
- Three – On the shade net option. My link takes you to were this option is selling for 44 bucks. If you look to the top of the listing you will see Lower Priced Items to Consider. There you will see the same item for only 25 dollars, for some reason I can’t link directly to that listing. But you can find it and save almost 20 bucks so do it.
So consider giving Tierra Garden Easy Garden Tunnels in poly, fleece, net or micromesh a shot in your back yard. Again check out the video for how easy they are to use, deploy and service even with one hand on the camera. Perhaps you want a greenhouse but can’t afford one right at the moment, well these are effectively mini greenhouses that go to your plants.
Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com
P.S. – Here is a video of two of the option in my new garden area.