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High Tunnels

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson extension and Making It Grow! High tunnels are a relatively new addition to many southern specialty farmers – they are not greenhouses but actually plastic covered structures large enough to drive equipment through. They aren’t heated – the cover holds enough heat to grow strawberries in all winter unless we have exceptionally cold temperatures. In the warm months, growers raise the sides and can have protection for crops from rains that can cause leaf disease and damage the fruits and vegetables being grown. At BushNVine in York, Sam Hall told me he plans to grow raspberries in his high tunnel – this fruit which has a hollow base is easily knocked off the plant by rainfall and and can’t be harvested. With the protection of the high tunnel, many South Carolina growers will be able to have produce summer crops with higher than normal quality as they are protected from rainfall.

Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.