How To Build Your Own Garden Film Tunnel

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:24 pm

Do you also love to dream yourself to warm places on frosty days? Understandable! Your vegetables feel the same way … Because kohlrabi and radishes also like cozy warm temperatures. And you can give them that with a film tunnel. In this article, we’ll show you how to build a film tunnel for your bed and raised bed and which vegetables feel particularly comfortable underneath.

A quick question: What is the purpose of the film tunnel in the garden?

Want to harvest long into the winter or start planting your baby plants extra early in the spring? You can have it, and with a film tunnel in the garden! These unbeatable benefits of a homemade film tunnel will warm your vegetables and your heart on cold days:

How To Build Your Own Garden Film Tunnel

A film tunnel …

protects your vegetables from frost, uncontrolled precipitation, wind and snow loads.
stores heat or balances the temperature.
creates an ideal climate for your baby vegetables to survive and grow in winter.
is cost-effective.
is extremely flexible and can be easily dismantled and reassembled.
can be stored in a space-saving way.

Everything ready? What you need for a film tunnel

As you can see, a film tunnel can make you and your vegetables super happy. Because with it you get crisp fresh vegetables from your garden all year round – wonderful!

If you want to build a film tunnel yourself, you don’t need a lot of utensils – just take the following and you’re ready to go:

  • garden fleece and greenhouse film as a cover
  • flexible spring steel rods
  • string and ground hooks

Garden fleece or greenhouse film? Both! Use a garden fleece first and pull the film over the tunnel from the end of November/beginning of December. This way you can better protect your vegetables from snow load and too much precipitation. It is important to stretch the film tightly.

See also  Designing A Garden On A Budget

Good to know: Depending on the size of your bed, the fleece, the film and the poles must of course be of different sizes. Tip from winter vegetable expert Wolfgang Palme: For a 1.20 m wide bed, use 3.5 m long poles and a cover 3 m wide. The length of the cover depends on the length of your bed – but don’t be too short.

Building a film tunnel: Instructions in 5 simple steps

Winter vegetables are unbelievable and will not be deterred by sub-zero temperatures. But by building a film tunnel for your plants, you protect them from too much snow and precipitation. And you’ll make it easier for your young plants to grow in the spring … sounds fabulous, right?

So, enough talking! Your vegetables are already waiting for cozy warmth! You’ve got all the materials together? Then just follow these instructions to build your film tunnel.

This is how it works:

  1. Step: Shape the spring rods into arches.
  2. Step: Place the first arch over your bed and tuck it well into the soil on each outer side so that it has a secure hold.
  3. Step: The distance to the next arch should be 50-100 cm – depending on the size of your bed. Attach all the prepared arches in this way.
  4. Step: Now stretch the cover over the arches and tie them down in a zig-zag with a firm string.
  5. Step: Now tie the string with the ground hooks. Important: Make sure that you tie the string tightly at both ends so that the whole construction does not start to flap uncontrollably in the wind.

When can you start building a film tunnel?

Ideally, you should set it up over your plants from October onwards. As mentioned above, use a garden fleece first and stretch the film over the tunnel from the end of November. From March you can remove it and store it away.

Good to know: Remember to regularly give your plants fresh air by pulling the film up at the sides. This will help prevent fungal diseases. If it is too much work for you to ventilate day and night, it is best to leave the film open a little. Better a little cooler than too humid.

See also  Fact: Why Are Spiders Not Insects?

Building a film tunnel for a raised bed: You must also pay attention to the following
Not only the plants in the bed like it warm – your raised bed vegetables also look forward to a roof over their heads. You ask yourself: Build a film tunnel for a raised bed? We say: That works super well! Here’s how to do it with a wooden raised bed:

You will need:

  • Garden fleece and greenhouse film
  • flexible spring steel rods
  • a drill
  • string

How to do it:

  • Step: Drill holes in the top of the raised bed 5-7 cm apart. The diameter of the holes should correspond to the diameter of the rods.
  • Step: Next, insert the poles into the holes.
  • Step: Pull the cover over the poles and fasten it well with a string.
  • Step: Remember to ventilate regularly!

Good to know: In spring, you can easily dismantle the film tunnel again and close the holes – preferably with small dowels or wooden pins.

And what do you do with a raised bed that is not made of wood?

Tip: If your raised bed is made of a material other than wood, screw rustproof eyelets to the upper inner edges of the bed. You can now insert your rods into the eyelets and secure them in this way.

Cool harvest: winter vegetable planting plan for your raised bed
Pull unapologetic veggies straight from your raised bed in freezing temperatures – this planting plan shows you how and when to grow them before then:

Growing Plan for Brightly Colored Vegetables You’ll Harvest in Winter

2 Delicious Recipes: Winter Oven Vegetables & Vegetables in Baking Dough

Ah – cozy warm: How to build a natural heater for your plants.
The temperatures under a film tunnel are already wonderful, but you can make your vegetables a little cozier with a homemade natural heater. Especially when it’s still freezing or snowing in March and April, this heat source will ensure that your little plants thrive.

Here’s how:

  1. Step: Dig a 50 cm deep pit where you want to place the film tunnel.
  2. Step: Enrich one third of the excavation with mature compost.
  3. Step: Line the bottom with vole wire and a 5-10 cm layer of straw and leaves.
  4. Step: Now fill the pit with fresh horse or cow manure to a height of 20 cm.
  5. Step: Now pour the soil-compost mixture over the manure until the pit is full.
  6. Step: Now set up your film tunnel as described above.
See also  What Type Of Fencing Is Best For Gardens?

Good to know: After 8-10 days, the decomposition process creates a heat of 18-20 °C. This is ideal if you want to sow seeds as early as possible in the spring or if you want to plant pre-pulled plant babies.

Building a film tunnel: your practical DIY greenhouse

Harvest and plant crisp vegetables all year round? You can, and with a film tunnel! If you want to build a film tunnel, you don’t need many materials. It’s easy to assemble and disassemble, and it’s an inexpensive way to protect your vegetables from frost and snow.

Check out our books – you’ll find tons of tips and tricks on how to keep your favorite veggies safe through the winter. So you can enjoy its incredible taste all year round!


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

    View all posts