The Gourd Tunnel is mostly just a fun project for us to try this year. I have seen images of these go absolutely crazy on Pinterest, and thought I should try this out. The idea is that you make a living tunnel of gourds, who’s fruit hangs down where you would walk through.
We designed ours out of straw bales, t-steaks, and re-mesh. It is really quite easy to put together. There is nothing magic to the design and you can easily make one in your own yard.
When you design a tunnel like this, you should think about how you are going to care for the yard around it. We have grass and thought it would be important to be able to drive our lawn mower down the middle. Our lawn mower has a 60 inch blade so we set our bales out with about 62 inches in the middle.
Then we pounded the t-steaks in every 4 feet (the width of the re-mesh) and used tie wire to fasten them together.
Once we had each of the sides built, we bent a couple of pieces of the re-mesh to make a peak and attached this middle piece to each of our uprights on the sides. This was both for looks and for strength in the design. We thought it would be too wobbly because of the width to do a curve all the way across. You can see the peak below.
Then, because I’m lazy, I set up the irrigation for the bales. We had a water timer in one corner and dug a trench to the other side with a splitter so that both sides are watered evenly.
After conditioning our bales, we went to our seeds that we started and planted them.
With any luck, they will start growing their vines and we can help train them up the re-mesh in the beginning. Over the year, they will gradually close in on each other at the top and as their fruit grows, it will fall down and hang in our tunnel.
It seemed like it took forever for the tunnel to take shape but with some hot weather and lots of rain the vines finally took off. The tunnel is taking shape!
More heat and the tunnel filled in more!
This is easier than it looks. You should try it.
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