Last week we picked up our carrot isolation tents and we are ready to set them up this week. So I headed out to Pitchfork Farm with my son to give it a try!
The tents are 10′ x 20′ with 6 x 8′ posts. The structure was relatively easy to set up. Jeremy had the area staked and we simply sunk the posts into the ground at set points then attached the fittings and the cross pieces.
You can watch the time lapse video here (you may want to lower your volume!)
The structure went up in about 20 minutes, but there were a few things we realized through the process which we need to consider to get the structure finalized:
- Adjacent beds: The sides of the tents have 12″ flaps at the base which are to be buried to help anchor the structure ans seal it from pollinators The beds were already built so to dig the trench now would mean disrupting the bed. Luckily they were not planted yet, but if they were we would have damaged the crop.
- Lesson: Prepare your trenches ahead of time and leave space around the structure for setting up the tent and access
Bracing: We sunk the posts into the ground about 1 1/2′ to stabilize the structure, but this reduced the height of the structure which has a few effects:
- The lower structure will have poorer air flow
- The tent will now have the flaps and some of the mesh buried which will damage the mesh
- Lesson: There are two options here:
- Use 10′ posts and sink them 2′ into the ground to stabilize the structure. This would require a post pounder to get them in the ground
- Use 2′ sections of 1 1/’2 post anchors to sink the posts into. A bolt can be placed 6″ down on the anchor to give a stop point for the posts and the anchor can be sunk 18″ so the final posts are flush with the soil at the base
So I will now get some 1 1/2″ posts and cut them into sections for anchors. I think in the future I would use 10′ posts and pound them into the ground.
Carrots have been planted and we are still a ways away from flowering so there is no rush but we would like to get this done soon. We will keep the tents off the plants until they are closer to flowering to give them better air flow and to help strengthen the plants in the wind. Thus, if we remove the tents after flowering finished the plants will be stronger and will better stay upright (though they will also be staked). Removing the structure will allow for much better air flow and easier management.