Season Extension: Types and Construction

Season Extension: Types and Construction

Season Extension: Types and Construction

High Tunnels and Other Season Extension Techniques

Learn how to build a variety of season extension structures, and discover construction techniques for specialized features. You will find high tunnel construction plans, hoop house design and other high tunnel farming information. In-depth information is available in these specialized subtopics:

The Basics | Winter Storage | Other Design Considerations

Season Extension: Types and Construction: The Basics

Constructing a High Tunnel


This Rutgers University website includes a 61-image demonstration of high tunnel construction, with detailed information on site selection, design, cost and crop management.

Constructing a Low-Cost High Tunnel


Specs, diagrams and photos of high tunnel construction, by Utah State University Cooperative Extension.

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Design and Construction of a High Tunnel in West Virginia


Detailed information on hoop house or high tunnel construction, with specific considerations for West Virginia.

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High Tunnels


This manual on using high tunnels or hoop houses for season extension includes case studies, a supplier list and chapters on marketing, site selection, construction and types, and soil, pest and environmental management.

Download File (2.39 MB)

Kansas State High Tunnel Video Series


This video series was developed by Kansas State Research and Extension, and includes segments on the following topics related to commercial high tunnel or hoop house production:

Overview | Design | What to Plant | Basic Management Considerations | Intensive Management | Resources

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Season Extension: Types and Construction: Winter Storage

Expanding Winter Harvest and Sales for New England Vegetable Crops


This University of Massachusetts website offers resources on winter vegetable crop storage, marketing and low-cost season extension through structures such as hoop houses and low tunnels. 

Walk-In Coolers for Winter Storage


Resources for farmers interested in on-farm winter storage options for season extension. Each resource offers a case study for a specific facility construction, and both outline important considerations for a winter storage facility.

Winter Storage Options for the Northeast


To help farmers in the Philadelphia area learn about various winter storage options, the nonprofit Fair Food conducted site visits of well-established winter storage operations in Pennsylvania, Vermont and Quebec.

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Season Extension: Types and Construction: Other Design Considerations

Comparing Four Ultra-Low-Cost Season Extension Structures on a Missouri Farm


This project compared winter production using four structures: EZ Build-n-Gro Cold Frames (Farmtek); cattle panel greenhouses; modified low tunnels; and standard small cold frames.

Download File (1.39 MB)

New York Farmer Uses Hanging Gutters to Utilize Overhead Space in Hoop House


This project looked at increasing the productivity and cost effectiveness of growing more crops in a hoop house by utilizing the overhead space through innovative design.

Download File (1.32 MB)

Rainwater Catchment from a High Tunnel for Irrigation Use


This Iowa State University video/fact sheet describes how to build a system to catch, store and reuse the rainwater for high tunnel irrigation.


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Additional Resources

The following resources, which were not funded or produced by SARE, contain valuable information.

Building a Passive Solar Greenhouse (a University of Missouri webpage with design specs and other information)

Construction resources and equipment suppliers from

Greenhouse Site Selection (online article from Rodale Institute)

Hoop House How-To (a website of The Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture)

How to Build a Low-Cost Hoophouse, Hmong version and Spanish version (a video by the Spring Rose Growers Cooperative, of Madison, Wisc.)

Properties and Recommended Conditions for the Long-Term Storage of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables (a University of California, Davis resource)

Product specs
Format: Topic Rooms
Year: 2012
How to order

Availability varies by resource (many are accessible for free online). See individual resources for more information.


Rainwater Catchment from a High Tunnel for Irrigation Use

The cost of installing rain gutters, rainwater storage tanks, and an electric pump is estimated at $1,200. A solar-powered pumping system will add approximately $700 to that cost. Learn more.

An extensive list of high tunnel structure and equipment suppliers is available at