Build your Own Poly/Shade Tunnels

Small shades for garden beds to large greenhouses

Over 20 people have attended this class
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Have you have ever wanted a cover for your veggie garden to extend the growing season, to shade your plants in summer, or maybe you want a large poly tunnel / shade house to propagate and grow your special plants in. If so, then this is the class for you.

This is a construction master class where Richard Lee from KABUU is going to build a new polytunnel at KABUU Urban Farm in Research and you can come along and learn through a hands on workshop.  What better way to learn how to build one yourself than to see one being built by an expert  and help as required.

Richard started with a 2mx1m hoop tunnel to cover his homegrown veggies from cabbage butterflies. Four years later, Richard has progressed to building larger and larger tunnels, learning and improving with each one, the latest being a 4 meter by 18 meter polytunnel. He has researched and tried everything he could find on the internet about DIY tunnels and greenhouses, and has build them from low cost plastic to strong metal structures that withstand the elements. He is also conscious of the animals that live in Melbourne and has incorporated ways to keep the animals safe outside and the produce safe inside.

This DIY masterclass will teach you how to build a tunnel for your home or farm.  The design being used can be adjusted to meet your needs. From bench covers for propagation, covering raised wicking beds, small propagation houses, shade houses to farm sized 50m rows.

Richard has tools to make metal poly tunnel widths that are 90cm wide, 1.2m wide, 1.8m wide or 3.6m wide. The depth/length of the tunnel is modular so can be from 90cm to 20m and beyond.

  • 0.9m and 1.2m  widths are good for garden bed covers.

  • 1.8m and 3.6m widths are small shade house /greenhouse.

As a part of this class you will learn about:

  • Planning a tunnel that meets your needs

  • The tools and materials required

  • Where to source supplies

  • Measuring, cutting and forming / bending materials

  • How to construct a tunnel safely

  • Optional extras you can build for your tunnel

We have allowed for 5 hours (including breaks) although time will need to flexible depending on number of attendees, quantity of questions and conversation and the weather.

Please bring a packed lunch / snack and water bottle.

Please bring gloves, safety glasses, covered shoes (work boots would be good if possible)

As this workshop is being held on private property in Research, we will send out the address once bookings have been made.

Note : As this is an outside class, we will be keeping an eye on the weather and will keep you updated we decide to rescheduled it.

About Richard Lee

Richard is the owner and operator of KABUU, a start-up enterprise based in Banyule and Nillumbik, Victoria which runs a micro-nursery and grow vegetables, herbs, baby salads and microgreens. Since May 2014 Richard has had a regular seedling stall at Victorian Farmer's Markets in and around Melbourne. His specialty is growing eco-friendly organic KABUU Seedlings using the Natures BoxPress method.

Richard is an aspiring ecological urban farmer and is committed to growing sustainably with the  goal is to transform vacant and underutilised urban spaces into thriving food producing systems; supplying quality fresh food to local communities.

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What you will learn
  • How to plan a shade / tunnel structure to meet your needs
  • What tools and supplies are need
  • How to build a tunnel
What you will get
  • Practical experience in building a new poly tunnel

What to bring
  • Gloves, Safety Glasses, Work Shoes, Packed lunch
What to wear

Work clothes and closed boots

Appropriate for

urban farmers, home gardeners, farmers, nursery owners, horticulturist

Sustainable Gardening Australia (SGA) is a not-for-profit non-government organiation dedicated to achieving a healthy biodiverse planet.

Its driving purpose is to:

  • Encourage, educate and enable home and professional gardeners to adopt sustainable gardening practices to protect or enhance the natural environment;
  • Provide information, education and undertake research about the natural environment;
  • Reconnect people to the natural world through gardening; and
  • Ensure an understanding of the impacts that gardening decisions about chemical and resource use have on the natural environment well beyond their neighbourhood.
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Refund & Cancellation Policy

SGA’s Cancellation and Refund Policy

  • No refunds will be given for non-attendance.
  • If there are insufficient numbers for an event it may be cancelled or postponed by SGA. If this is the case, you will be notified and given the option of either a full refund or a transfer to a different SGA event of equivalent value.
  • Attendee initiated cancellations - Refunds will be issued for cancellations if you give at least 7 days notice prior to the start date. Refunds will be reduced by 1) a $10 SGA administration fee 2) WeTeachMe fees (if applicable) and 3) any financial transaction fees (if applicable).
  • No refunds will be issued for cancellations with less than 7 days notice unless the event is successfully booked out, including the cancelled tickets.

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Terms & Conditions

SGA’s Booking Conditions

  • Bookings are considered final once payment is made and no refunds will be given for non-attendance.
  • If there are insufficient numbers for an event it may be cancelled or postponed by SGA. If this is the case, you will be notified and given the option of either a full refund or a transfer to a different SGA event of equivalent value.
  • Please arrive 10 minutes before the scheduled starting time for registration and seating

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5 Reviews
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1 star

28 October 2018 • Build your Own Poly/Shade Tunnels

EVerything is good except the toilet is a bit far. I am still waiting for the notes to be forwarded to me. I hope the notes will include the contact details for both Richards and the suppliers of parts to build a poly/shade tunnel.


24 October 2018 • Build your Own Poly/Shade Tunnels

The Build your Own Poly/Shade Tunnels is a worthwhile event with lots of learning as well as some practical experience. I would have liked to have spent some time practicing on a small residential block size vegie bed-size tunnel - it wasn't clear to me that we would be helping Richard build a massive one to support his business development. Nevertheless, I don't regret spending the day there, despite the occasional downpours, and it was great to find someone sooo committed to sustainable gardening practices.


24 October 2018 • Build your Own Poly/Shade Tunnels

A really enjoyable, informative day. Communication prior to class was good. The rainy weather was accommodated for. All the information was relevant and questions answered clearly. The practical work was helpful. The work being achieved on this private property was inspiring. The day was spent with a really good group of people. I look forward to building my own polytunnel in the future. Jodie.

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