Horti Generation

Benefits of Low-Tech Gothic High Tunnel Greenhouses for Small Fruit

Lower tech high tunnel can double the yield compare to open field agriculture

This post is also available in: English


The use of low-tech Gothic tunnel greenhouses can provide significant benefits for growing small fruits compared to open-field cultivation. The primary advantage lies in the greenhouse’s ability to protect the crops from the external weather conditions and create a more favorable microclimate for plant growth.

Another advantage of the Gothic tunnel greenhouse is its ability to extend the growing season for small fruits.

Air mass volume

One of the key benefits of the Gothic tunnel design is its increased air mass volume compared to other greenhouse structures. The pointed roof and taller sidewalls of the Gothic greenhouse allow for a larger internal volume, which acts as a buffer against fluctuations in temperature, humidity, and wind.

This buffer helps to moderate the environmental conditions, providing a more stable and optimal growing environment for small fruits as we can notice in the drawings below:

Version in fahrenheit below:

Gothic shape structure

More strength and ventilation

The Gothic design also offers improved structural strength, which is particularly important in regions with heavy snowfall or strong winds. The pointed roof and reinforced frame can better withstand these environmental stresses, reducing the risk of damage to the structure and the crops within. Furthermore, the Gothic tunnel’s design enhances ventilation and air circulation.

The increased height and the presence of vents or roll-up sides allow for more efficient passive ventilation, which is crucial for maintaining optimal temperature and humidity levels. This improved air movement can help prevent the buildup of pests and diseases, which can be a common challenge in open-field cultivation.

Protection and better light penetration

By providing a protected environment, growers can start their crops earlier in the spring and extend the harvest into the fall, effectively increasing the overall production window. The Gothic tunnel’s design also allows for better light penetration, which is essential for the proper development and ripening of small fruits. The pointed roof and orientation of the structure can maximize the capture of sunlight, ensuring that the plants receive the necessary light for photosynthesis and fruit production.

Adaptability with various growing system

Additionally, the Gothic high tunnel’s structure can be easily adapted to accommodate various cultivation techniques, such as vertical growing systems or hydroponic setups. This flexibility allows growers to optimize their growing space and maximize their yields.

In fact, the height and width of such tunnels provide more flexibility for tractors and other agricultural machinery to circulate inside the growing area. It is a key point to use less labour and get more consistency and efficiency to treat, prune or harvest the crops.


In conclusion, the low-tech Gothic tunnel greenhouse offers a range of benefits for small fruit cultivation when compared to open-field growing. The increased air mass volume, improved structural strength, enhanced ventilation, extended growing season, and adaptability make it a valuable option for growers seeking to optimize their production and protect their crops from the vagaries of the external environment.


Common Types of Greenhouses / YENA Engineering BV :

Indiana High Tunnel Handbook / Pudue Extension :

Seven reasons to have a greenhouse with a Gothic design :

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Corenthin Chassouant

As an agricultural engineer with over 10 years of experience working for greenhouse manufacturers worldwide and holding a Master's degree (MSc), I specialize in the greenhouse and horticulture sector. Leveraging my international background and extensive knowledge, I collaborate effectively with farmers and industry professionals around the world, providing them with expert advice and guidance.

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