High Tunnel Basics 2009

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Basics of High Tunnel Production. Presentation by Terry Nennich, University of Minnesota Extension Professor. From the 2009 Minnesota Statewide High Tunnel Conference held in Alexandria, MN on Dec. 2-3, 2009.

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High Tunnel Basics 2009

  1. 1. Basics of High Tunnel Production Terrance T. Nennich Extension Professor Vegetable and Small Fruit Production University of Minnesota Extension nenni001@umn.edu © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  2. 2. High Tunnel Research Sites in Minnesota Experiment Stations Grower Cooperators © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  3. 3. What are High Tunnels • High tunnels are not a poor persons greenhouse • High tunnels are a separate intense technology which allows crops to be grown up to three zones earlier and later and eliminate considerable risk. © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
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  5. 5. What are High Tunnels? • Structures that resemble some greenhouses - in appearances only • Use no artificial heat (except for emergencies) • Use no artificial ventilation such as fans, tubes or forced air • Plants are grown in the ground. • Many shapes and sizes © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
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  7. 7. What Can be Grown in High Tunnels in Zones 2 and 3. • Any crop that can normally be grown in the area • Most crops in zones 4 through 5. • Some in zone 6 and be on. © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
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  26. 26. Advantages of High Tunnels • 4-8 weeks earlier production in the spring • 2-5 weeks later possible production in the fall • Grow crops not usually grown in the area • Very high yield per plant • Crop mix • Very cost effective • Usually no pesticides needed • Organic production © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  27. 27. Advantages of High Tunnels • Natural disease control • Insect control • Control water • Guarantee a crop • Reduce cull fruit. © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  28. 28. Advantages of High Tunnels • Natural disease control • Insect control • Control water • Guarantee a crop • Reduce cull fruit. © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  29. 29. Concerns of High Tunnels • Cost involved • Education • Planning • Management • Time © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  30. 30. Key Components of high Tunnels • Good well drained raised soil • Roll Up sides • 6 mil UV treated plastic • Can be built from many materials © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
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  48. 48. Why High Tunnels Work • Lets review the principles of plant growth Time Heat Light Stress © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  49. 49. Time • All plants need time to advance in growth and mature • How much growth that occurs in a given length of time depends on how ideal the environmental growth factors are. • In northern climates heat is the one factor that we need to be concerned about. • Seed catalogs use maximum conditions in deciding growing days. © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  50. 50. Heat • Plants are classified by there ideal heat requirements. • Tomatoes , peppers, 80-90 degrees • Cucumber , melons , 85-95 degrees • Heat is measured in growing degree days • Duration of Temperature is Critical © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  51. 51. Growing Degree Units • Normal figure used for warm season crops is 50 low and 86 high • Growing degree Units = (high for day+ low for the day) – 50 Divided by 2 (86) (50) © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  52. 52. Growing Degree Days units for Tomatoes • Early to mid-season tomatoes will require 1400 to 1600 GDD to the first ripe fruit. • Late season varieties will require 2000 to 2200 GDD © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  53. 53. Growing degree day samples Low of 40, high of 60 = 5 GDD Low of 40, high of 50 = 0 GDD Low of 50, high of 70 = 10 GDD Low of 60, high of 86 = 23 GDD © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  54. 54. Growing Degree Comparison Inside and Outside Tunnel • Inside Tunnel • Outside Tunnel • March 281 GDU • March 5 GDU • April 435 GDU • April 99 GDU • May 502 GDU • May 183 GDU • June 570 GDU • June 366 GDU • July 624 GDU • July 505 GDU • Aug 544 GDU • Aug 374 GDU • Sept 570 GDU • Sept 396 GDU • Oct 303 GDU • Oct 101 GDU © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  55. 55. Growing Degree Days units for Tomatoes • Early to mid-season tomatoes will require 1400 to 1600 GDD to the first ripe fruit. • Late season varieties will require 2000 to 2200 GDD © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  56. 56. High Tunnel Planting Dates Northern Minnesota • Onions , radishes, lettuce Mar 25-Apr 7 • Cabbage, broccoli etc. Apr 7-15 • Tomatoes, peppers April 25 - May 10 © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  57. 57. Different Locations in the state • March 31 • Bemidji Minnesota high 45 Low 20 • Austin Minnesota high 47 Low 28 © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  58. 58. January 2006 © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
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  69. 69. Production Data • Tomatoes : first harvest in tunnel July 18 • First harvest outside Aug.11 • Yield 10-25+ per plant • Cucumbers: first harvest June 16 • Yield per plant 30-35 pounds © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  70. 70. Common Mistakes Beginning Growers Make • Tunnels get to hot >130+ • Don’t shut roll up sides early enough in the evening-loose growing degree units 5 GDU a day for a month = 5-8 day • Weed Control inside and out • Monitor the water uptake • Punning and trellising © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
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  72. 72. Tunnel Direction • Narrow end against prevailing high winds • The outside air direction has little to do with the cooling of the tunnel • Recommend tunnel construction for 100 MPH winds © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
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  100. 100. Yield Potential & Nutrient Needs • Yields in a high tunnel can be 3 to 4 times the yield obtained in the field • Higher yields will required more nutrients, but knowing how much to apply is a challenge – Lack of nutrients – deficiencies – Excessive nutrients – salt build up – Both situations affect yield and quality © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  101. 101. Cucumber Results Cucumbers All the fruit from all 26 cucumber plants were weighed and evaluated for quality. All data is in pounds per plant. Sweet Success First Harvest June 8 Total Yield/Plant 65.12 Culls 8.0 MKT/sq/ft 9,52 Total sq/ft 10.85 Total Yield Acre = 472,628 or 236 tons. © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  102. 102. Soil Nutrient Research Sweet Success Cucumbers 0-6 inch soil depth N P K Before Season 335 330 1050 After Harvest 12 175 256 © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  103. 103. Soil Nutrient Research Sweet Success Cucumbers 6-12 inch soil depth N P K Before Season 100 150 580 After Harvest 7 69 320 © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  104. 104. Tomato Results Variety First harvest Total yield Culls Marketable sq/ft Total sq/ft Cobra June 28 37.0 4.0 3.89 4.63 Sunshine June 24 16.5 5.1 1.90 2.75 Mt. Spring July 11 18.5 4.2 2.38 3.08 © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  105. 105. Soil Nutrient Research Cobra Tomatoes 6-12 inch soil depth N P K Before Season 100 150 580 After Harvest 8 80 320 © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  106. 106. Soil Nutrient Research Cobra Tomatoes 12-24 inch soil depth N P K Before Season 18 60 275 After Harvest 8 55 260 © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  107. 107. Soil Nutrient Research Cobra Tomatoes 0-6 inch soil depth N P K Before Season 335 330 1050 After Harvest 11 215 235 © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
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  115. 115. Berry quality © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
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  122. 122. High Tunnel Roof Vent © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
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  129. 129. Solar Heating of the Soil • Cucumbers – May 15 • Tomatoes – June 5 © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
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  132. 132. Local High Tunnel List Serve • Be sure to sign up for the Minnesota/North Dakota List Serve. • Talk to local producers, be informed of upcoming events. © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  133. 133. On line at: www.hightunnels.cfans.umn.edu Minnesota Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association – (763) 434-0400 © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  134. 134. Minnesota High Tunnel Web Site • http://hightunnels.cfans.umn.edu/ © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
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  136. 136. Upcoming Research • Plant density studies • Fertility studies • Variety Studies • Irrigation Studies • Raspberries, Perennial crops , Overwintering © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  137. 137. Seminars on High Tunnels • Getting Started with High Tunnels • Crops and Yields • Marketing • Soil Fertility/Nutrient Use • Irrigation • High Tunnel design • Organic Production • Fruit Production © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  138. 138. QUESTIONS ??????????? © 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota

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