Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.
Garden Under Cover:
Winter Vegetable
Production in
Low Tunnels
Cathy Rehmeyer, PhD
Four Petal Farm
www.gardenundercover.co...
Four Petal Farm
Because Locally-Grown Should Always Be ‘In-Season’
Banner, Kentucky
Our Climate:
Plant Hardiness Zone 6b
Winter Lows:
2014 = -8 F
2015 = -14 F
Average snow (season total) = 24 inches
Eliot
C...
Winter growing methods:
Open field and low tunnels covered with
fabric row cover (no clear plastic!)
Urban Ag. Holler Ag.
Farmer’s Market
W
i
n
t
e
r
C
S
A
Online Storefront
Restaurant Sales
Micro Greens and Edible Flowers
Farm to School
Value-Added Products
Summer is our “down-time.”
Find a niche and make it
work for you!
Winter Growing:

The Essential Elements
1. CHOOSING THE RIGHT PLANTS
The garden still freezes — the key is
selecting the right crops that can take it.
January 8, 2014
January 9, 2014
January 14, 2014 (-8 F the previous week)
January 24, 2014
Five Cold-Tolerant Crop Families
• Alliaceae (Leek, onion, garlic, shallots)
• Amaranthaceae (Beet, orach, spinach,
swiss ...
Crops Appropriate for Low
Tunnel Production: Root Crops
• Root Crops (carrots, rutabaga, daikon radishes, beets,
turnips, ...
Crops Appropriate for Low
Tunnel Production: Greens
Crops Appropriate for Low Tunnel
Production: Overwintered Brassicas
Heirloom varieties are
generally more cold hardy
Superior cold-
hardiness
• selection by
gardeners for
centuries/
decades ...
Winter Vegetables
(in decreasing order of cold hardiness)
Varieties
(open-pollinated italicized)
Mache Vit, Verte de Cambr...
Mache
(Corn Salad)
• $5 for only 3.5 oz in
Krogers and
Whole Foods!
• Very cold-tolerant –
stays beautiful with
minimum pr...
Baby Asian Greens and Kale
• Salad Greens =
$5 - $6 per 8 oz
bag
• Grown under
AG-30 or GG34
Root Crops
• $3-4 per bunch
• Grown under AG-30 or GG34
(Hakurei turnips an exception)
Cabbage
• $4-5 per head, with
leaves
• Savoy and January
King types overwinter
Purple Sprouting Broccoli
• continuous production
of broccoli florets
beginning late March
April 2, 2012
Variety REALLY matters…
Purple 68 Napoli
Winter Growing:

The Essential Elements
1. CHOOSING THE RIGHT PLANTS
2. CROP PROTECTION
– Dessication is more damaging to ...
Low Tunnel Construction and
Management
Low Tunnels made with
1/2” EMT
PVC vs EMT
• Cost comparable,
but MAJOR
difference in
structural integrity
Bending EMT with a
Johnny’s Selected Seeds’
Quick Hoops Bender ($59)
Low Tunnel Construction
Rebar isn’t required —
use with caution!
Opening and Closing Low Tunnels
Row Cover is Gro-Guard Medium Weight (GG34) from Deerfield Supplies
Extra-Low Low Tunnels
Mini-hoops for salad
greens
Space 2-3 ft apart for snow load readiness
Mini-hoops for salad
greens
Winter Salad Mix =
hardy Asian greens, mache, kale
High Tunnel
$1.40 per ft2
EMT Low Tunnel
$0.23 per ft2
x 2400 ft2 = $3360
x 2400 ft2 = $552
Replace plastic every 4 years ...
Cost Comparison for 4 ft X 50 ft bed
(200 sq ft)
EMT Wire Hoops
Cost of Hoops
11 hoops @ $2.35 each
$25.85
22 hoops @ $0.4...
Why low tunnels?
Topography
Why low tunnels?
Snow Happens
Effect of snow cover on low tunnel
temperatures
Snow
Ambient
temperature
0 F
No
snow
cover
Why Low Tunnels?
Versatility
• hoops can be used to
support insect
barriers in spring/
summer
• shade cloth support
Why Low Tunnels?
Mobility
• Avoid accumulation
of soluble salts
• At winter’s end,
tunnels are easily
moved to help other
...
Soil Fertility Matters: 50% of garden
in cover crop in any given season
WINTER SPRING SUMMER FALL
Block 1 winter salad mix...
Why Low Tunnels?
• Reduced dependence
on irrigation — row
cover is somewhat
permeable to water
• Jump start on spring
plan...
Why NOT Low Tunnels?
• Areas subject to frequent
straight-line winds would be
challenging
• Plant hardiness zone 5 and
col...
Winter Growing:

The Essential Elements
1. CHOOSING THE RIGHT PLANTS
2. CROP PROTECTION
– Dessication is more damaging to ...
Garden Under Cover: Winter Vegetable Production in Low Tunnels
Goal: Have crops nearing maturity (or
the size desired) nea...
Use days to maturity to count back from
Persephone Days onset (+2-3 weeks
slower growth in fall)
Enter the date of your
la...
Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar
Arugula :::: ::…. ^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^ |
Asian greens :::: ::::::: :…. ^^ ^^^ ^^^...
Soil Temperatures for Germinating Vegetable Seeds
Minimum (°F) Optimum Range (°F) Optimum (°F) Maximum (°F)
Bean, Fava 40 ...
Not all seeds are created equal.
• There can be CONSIDERABLE differences in cold-hardiness in a given
variety from differe...
Why grow your own seeds?
• Cost-savings?
• perhaps, depending on scale
• micro greens seed stock
• Control of seed supply
...
Choosing varieties for
winter growing/seed saving
Least Profitable Most Profitable
Broccoli Collards Arugula Carrots
Brussel...
Low Tunnel Management
• Heat is your enemy, not cold!
– Tunnel temps >65° F shift plant cold tolerance
and promote disease...
Consider your area’s unique
frost/freeze climatology
National Weather Service, Jackson, KY.
http://www.weather.gov/jkl/fro...
For More Information
• www.motherofahubbard.com
• Blog (Mother of a Hubbard)
• Facebook page
• www.gardenundercover.com
• ...
Garden Under Cover: Winter Vegetable Production in Low Tunnels
Garden Under Cover: Winter Vegetable Production in Low Tunnels
Garden Under Cover: Winter Vegetable Production in Low Tunnels
Garden Under Cover: Winter Vegetable Production in Low Tunnels
Garden Under Cover: Winter Vegetable Production in Low Tunnels
Garden Under Cover: Winter Vegetable Production in Low Tunnels
Garden Under Cover: Winter Vegetable Production in Low Tunnels
Garden Under Cover: Winter Vegetable Production in Low Tunnels
Garden Under Cover: Winter Vegetable Production in Low Tunnels
Garden Under Cover: Winter Vegetable Production in Low Tunnels
Garden Under Cover: Winter Vegetable Production in Low Tunnels
Garden Under Cover: Winter Vegetable Production in Low Tunnels
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Garden Under Cover: Winter Vegetable Production in Low Tunnels

1,324 views

Published on

As presented at the 2016 Ohio Ecological Food and Farming Association (OEFFA) conference (audio available for download via OEFFA at http://bit.ly/1QhdFzA). Cathy Rehmeyer (www.motherofahubbard.com) shares her experience offering a winter CSA in the eastern Kentucky mountains, successfully growing through some of the coldest winters on record. You’ll learn about low tunnel construction and management, planting calendars and formulas, and the most cold-tolerant (and tasty!) vegetable varieties for winter harvest. If you’re a market gardener wishing to extend your growing season, or a home gardener wishing to live more sustainably, you’ll come away with the knowledge and resources you need to get started growing next winter.

Published in: Food
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Garden Under Cover: Winter Vegetable Production in Low Tunnels

  1. 1. Garden Under Cover: Winter Vegetable Production in Low Tunnels Cathy Rehmeyer, PhD Four Petal Farm www.gardenundercover.com www.motherofahubbard.com
  2. 2. Four Petal Farm Because Locally-Grown Should Always Be ‘In-Season’ Banner, Kentucky
  3. 3. Our Climate: Plant Hardiness Zone 6b Winter Lows: 2014 = -8 F 2015 = -14 F Average snow (season total) = 24 inches Eliot Coleman
  4. 4. Winter growing methods: Open field and low tunnels covered with fabric row cover (no clear plastic!) Urban Ag. Holler Ag.
  5. 5. Farmer’s Market
  6. 6. W i n t e r C S A
  7. 7. Online Storefront
  8. 8. Restaurant Sales
  9. 9. Micro Greens and Edible Flowers
  10. 10. Farm to School
  11. 11. Value-Added Products
  12. 12. Summer is our “down-time.” Find a niche and make it work for you!
  13. 13. Winter Growing:
 The Essential Elements 1. CHOOSING THE RIGHT PLANTS
  14. 14. The garden still freezes — the key is selecting the right crops that can take it.
  15. 15. January 8, 2014
  16. 16. January 9, 2014
  17. 17. January 14, 2014 (-8 F the previous week)
  18. 18. January 24, 2014
  19. 19. Five Cold-Tolerant Crop Families • Alliaceae (Leek, onion, garlic, shallots) • Amaranthaceae (Beet, orach, spinach, swiss chard) • Apiaceae (Carrot, celeriac, cilantro, fennel, parsley, parsnip) • Asteraceae (Catalogna, chicory, endive, escarole, lettuce, radicchio, salsify, scorzonera) • Brassicaceae (Arugula, Asian greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, mustards, radish, rutabaga, kale, turnips)
  20. 20. Crops Appropriate for Low Tunnel Production: Root Crops • Root Crops (carrots, rutabaga, daikon radishes, beets, turnips, parsnips, scorzonera, salsify, parsley root)
  21. 21. Crops Appropriate for Low Tunnel Production: Greens
  22. 22. Crops Appropriate for Low Tunnel Production: Overwintered Brassicas
  23. 23. Heirloom varieties are generally more cold hardy Superior cold- hardiness • selection by gardeners for centuries/ decades prior to cheap transportation and the grocery store
  24. 24. Winter Vegetables (in decreasing order of cold hardiness) Varieties (open-pollinated italicized) Mache Vit, Verte de Cambrai Scallions Evergreen Hardy White Parsnips Harris Model, Hollow Crown Asian greens* Chinese Thick-Stem Mustard, Serifon Cabbage, overwintering Deadon, Marabel, January King Spinach, savoy types Tyee, Bloomsdale Longstanding Kale, Scotch types Dwarf Blue Curled, Winterbor Leeks, winter varieties American Flag, Blue Solaise, King Sieg Fava beans, small-seeded Diana, Sweet Lorane Broccoli, sprouting Matador, Santee, Early Purple Sprouting Garlic Inchelium Red, Georgia Fire Collards* Blue Max, Champion Rutabagas Laurentian, Purple Top, Gilfeather Kale, Napus types Ragged Jack, Russian Frills Cauliflower, overwintering Galleon, Mumbles Asian greens* Senposai, Komatsuna Carrots Napoli, Snow White, Danvers 126 Turnips, roasting Golden Globe, Purple Top Kohlrabi Early White Vienna, Winner Winter radish Black Spanish, Violet de Gournay Daikon Bravo, Misato Rose, Green Luobo Endive/escarole/catalogna De Meaux, Green Curled Ruffec Brussels sprouts Jade Cross, Diablo Lettuce Marvel of Four Seasons, Winter Density Swiss chard, green-stemmed Verde de Taglio Arugula Astro, Sylvetta Beets Cylindra, Red Ace Orach Orach Pink Turnips, salad Hakurei, White Egg, Tokyo Market Pak Choy* Tatsoi, Mei Qing Choi, Joi Choi Radicchio Bel Fiore, Palla Rossa Cabbage, standard Late Flat Dutch, Stonehead Broccoli, standard Calabrese, Premium Crop Garden Under Cover: Winter Vegetable Production in Low Tunnels Winter Vegetables (in decreasing order of cold hardiness) Varieties (open-pollinated italicized) Mache Vit, Verte de Cambrai Scallions Evergreen Hardy White Parsnips Harris Model, Hollow Crown Asian greens* Chinese Thick-Stem Mustard, Serifon Cabbage, overwintering Deadon, Marabel, January King Spinach, savoy types Tyee, Bloomsdale Longstanding Kale, Scotch types Dwarf Blue Curled, Winterbor Leeks, winter varieties American Flag, Blue Solaise, King Sieg Fava beans, small-seeded Diana, Sweet Lorane Broccoli, sprouting Matador, Santee, Early Purple Sprouting Garlic Inchelium Red, Georgia Fire Collards* Blue Max, Champion Rutabagas Laurentian, Purple Top, Gilfeather Kale, Napus types Ragged Jack, Russian Frills Cauliflower, overwintering Galleon, Mumbles Asian greens* Senposai, Komatsuna Carrots Napoli, Snow White, Danvers 126 Turnips, roasting Golden Globe, Purple Top Kohlrabi Early White Vienna, Winner Garden Under Cover: Winter Vegetable Production in Low Tunnels
  25. 25. Mache (Corn Salad) • $5 for only 3.5 oz in Krogers and Whole Foods! • Very cold-tolerant – stays beautiful with minimum protection (Agribon-19 or GG17)
  26. 26. Baby Asian Greens and Kale • Salad Greens = $5 - $6 per 8 oz bag • Grown under AG-30 or GG34
  27. 27. Root Crops • $3-4 per bunch • Grown under AG-30 or GG34 (Hakurei turnips an exception)
  28. 28. Cabbage • $4-5 per head, with leaves • Savoy and January King types overwinter
  29. 29. Purple Sprouting Broccoli • continuous production of broccoli florets beginning late March April 2, 2012
  30. 30. Variety REALLY matters… Purple 68 Napoli
  31. 31. Winter Growing:
 The Essential Elements 1. CHOOSING THE RIGHT PLANTS 2. CROP PROTECTION – Dessication is more damaging to plants than cold temperatures – protect them from winds – Gro-Guard 34 (equivalent to Agribon 30) is ideal – add additional layer when <15 F* – no more clear plastic in production system to minimize labor (e.g., venting on clear days)
  32. 32. Low Tunnel Construction and Management
  33. 33. Low Tunnels made with 1/2” EMT
  34. 34. PVC vs EMT • Cost comparable, but MAJOR difference in structural integrity
  35. 35. Bending EMT with a Johnny’s Selected Seeds’ Quick Hoops Bender ($59)
  36. 36. Low Tunnel Construction Rebar isn’t required — use with caution!
  37. 37. Opening and Closing Low Tunnels Row Cover is Gro-Guard Medium Weight (GG34) from Deerfield Supplies
  38. 38. Extra-Low Low Tunnels
  39. 39. Mini-hoops for salad greens Space 2-3 ft apart for snow load readiness
  40. 40. Mini-hoops for salad greens
  41. 41. Winter Salad Mix = hardy Asian greens, mache, kale
  42. 42. High Tunnel $1.40 per ft2 EMT Low Tunnel $0.23 per ft2 x 2400 ft2 = $3360 x 2400 ft2 = $552 Replace plastic every 4 years = $0.20 per ft2 Replace cover* every 4(?) years = $0.03 per ft2 * = Polypropylene Fabric Need low tunnels in high tunnels in extreme weather Why low tunnels? Inexpensive!!! Garden Under Cover: Winter Vegetable Production in Low Tunnels
  43. 43. Cost Comparison for 4 ft X 50 ft bed (200 sq ft) EMT Wire Hoops Cost of Hoops 11 hoops @ $2.35 each $25.85 22 hoops @ $0.48 each $10.56 Cost of Row Cover $15.42 per 60 ft length X 2 $30.84 $15.42 Sandbags 0.70 0.70 Total Cost $57.39 ($0.28 per sq ft) $26.68 ($0.13 per sq ft) ($0.11/sq ft relative to high tunnel covered paths) ($0.23/sq ft relative to high tunnel covered paths) Garden Under Cover: Winter Vegetable Production in Low Tunnels
  44. 44. Why low tunnels? Topography
  45. 45. Why low tunnels? Snow Happens
  46. 46. Effect of snow cover on low tunnel temperatures Snow Ambient temperature 0 F No snow cover
  47. 47. Why Low Tunnels? Versatility • hoops can be used to support insect barriers in spring/ summer • shade cloth support
  48. 48. Why Low Tunnels? Mobility • Avoid accumulation of soluble salts • At winter’s end, tunnels are easily moved to help other crops get an early start • Cover crops (reduce dependence on compost/fertilizer)
  49. 49. Soil Fertility Matters: 50% of garden in cover crop in any given season WINTER SPRING SUMMER FALL Block 1 winter salad mix cover crop (Ph) cover crop (Ph) alliums & kale Block 2 alliums & kale alliums & roots alliums & roots (B) roots Block 3 roots cover crop (CS) cover crop (CS) cover crop (R,V) Block 4 cover crop (R,V) cover crop (R,V) solanaceae roots & Asian greens Block 5 roots & Asian greens spring salad mix cover crop (H) cover crop (O,CC,F) Block 6 cover crop (O,CC,F) corn & beans corn & beans fall salad mix & peas Block 7 cover crop (R,P) cover crop (CS) cover crop (CS) heading brassicas Block 8 heading brassicas peas & potatoes cover crop (B) cover crop (O,CC,V,P,F) Block 9 cover crop (O,CC,V,P,F) cover crop (O,CC,V,P,F) winter squash cover crop (R,V,P) Block 10 cover crop (R,V,P) cover crop (R,V,P) sweet potatoes winter salad mix Garden Under Cover: Winter Vegetable Production in Low Tunnels
  50. 50. Why Low Tunnels? • Reduced dependence on irrigation — row cover is somewhat permeable to water • Jump start on spring planting with relatively drier beds
  51. 51. Why NOT Low Tunnels? • Areas subject to frequent straight-line winds would be challenging • Plant hardiness zone 5 and colder? Only try plants with greatest cold tolerance. • Areas with continuous snow cover (tunnel access is difficult) or extended #nights in sub-zero temperatures
  52. 52. Winter Growing:
 The Essential Elements 1. CHOOSING THE RIGHT PLANTS 2. CROP PROTECTION – Dessication is more damaging to plants than cold temperatures – protect them from winds – Gro-Guard 34 (equivalent to Agribon 30) is ideal – add additional layer when <15 F* 3. DELAYING HARVEST – Plants must reach desired size before really cold temperatures and less light arrive
  53. 53. Garden Under Cover: Winter Vegetable Production in Low Tunnels Goal: Have crops nearing maturity (or the size desired) near onset of “Persephone Days”
  54. 54. Use days to maturity to count back from Persephone Days onset (+2-3 weeks slower growth in fall) Enter the date of your latitude’s last 10 hour day: 11/22 Crop Days to Maturity Transplant? (1 = yes, 0 = no) Target date to sow seed (direct, or for transplants) Target date to set transplants in field Carrot, ‘Napoli’ 58 0 September 11 0 Broccoli, ‘Arcadia’ 63 1 August 9 September 6 Turnip, ‘Hakurei' 38 0 October 1 0 Brussel Sprouts, ‘Jade’ 120 1 June 13 July 11 Carrot 75 August 25 0 Garden Under Cover: Winter Vegetable Production in Low Tunnels
  55. 55. Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Arugula :::: ::…. ^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^ | Asian greens :::: ::::::: :…. ^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^ | Beets :::….. .. ^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^ Broccoli, standard t tt TT ^^^ ^^^ ^ Broccoli, sprouting t tt TT ^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^ Broccoli raab (rapini) ::: ^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^ Brussels sprouts tttt TT ^^ ^^^ ^ Cabbage, Asian ::: ^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^ Cabbage, heading t tt TT ^^^ ^^^ ^ Cabbage, overwintering ttt tt TT ^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^ Carrots :: :::::… .. ^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^ Cauliflower, standard tttt t TT ^ ^^^ ^| Cauliflower, overwintering tttt t TT ^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^ Celeriac tt T TT ^^^ ^^^ ^| tttttt Collards :::::: ….. ^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^ Daikon :::: ::… ^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^^ Endive/escarole/catalogna tt ..TT ^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^ Garlic bbb bb Greens, specialty* :: :::…. ^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^^ Kale :::::::: ::.…. ……. ^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^ Kohlrabi tt :::T T ^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^ Leeks t tt T TT ^^^ ^^^ ^^^ Lettuce :::::::. ……. .. ^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^ Mache ::: ::::… ^^^ ^^ Mustard greens ::::: ::::… ^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^ Onions, bunching :::::Garden Under Cover: Winter Vegetable Production in Low Tunnels
  56. 56. Soil Temperatures for Germinating Vegetable Seeds Minimum (°F) Optimum Range (°F) Optimum (°F) Maximum (°F) Bean, Fava 40 60-95 70 85 Beet 40 50-85 85 95 Broccoli 40 45-85 85 95 Cabbage 40 45-95 85 100 Carrot 40 45-85 80 95 Cauliflower 40 45-85 80 100 Celery/Celeriac 40** 40-75 70 80 Chard, Swiss 40 50-85 85 95 Collards 40 60-95 85 100 Endive/Escarole 35 35-85 70 80* Kale 40 65-85 80 100 Kohlrabi 40 65-85 80 90 Leek 40 45-95 75 90 Lettuce 35 40-80 75 85* Mache 40 40-70 68 70 Mustard/Asian greens 40 45-85 80 100 Onion 35 50-95 75 95 Parsnip 35 50-70 65 85 Pea 40 40-75 75 85 Radish 40 45-90 85 95 Radicchio/Chicory 45 45-85 70 85* Rutabaga 40 45-85 80 85 Salsify/Scorzonera 40 65-75 70 - Spinach 35 50-70 65 85* Turnip 40 60-105 85 105 Garden Under Cover: Winter Vegetable Production in Low Tunnels
  57. 57. Not all seeds are created equal. • There can be CONSIDERABLE differences in cold-hardiness in a given variety from different companies. • Find seed suppliers nearest your own climate • colder climate seed sources aren’t always better • be aware that some companies may source their seed elsewhere • Patronize seed companies/growers that specialize in winter growing • Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Osborne Seed Company, Adaptive Seeds, Wild Garden Seed, High Mowing Organic Seeds • Even’ Star Farm (available via Southern Exposure Seed Exchange) • Seed Savers Exchange Yearbook and local seed swaps
  58. 58. Why grow your own seeds? • Cost-savings? • perhaps, depending on scale • micro greens seed stock • Control of seed supply • kale seed shortage in 2014 and 2015 • seed no longer listed by company • crop failure due to disease outbreak/GMO contamination in major seed hub (beets in Skagit Valley)
  59. 59. Choosing varieties for winter growing/seed saving Least Profitable Most Profitable Broccoli Collards Arugula Carrots Brussels sprouts Kale (baby) Asian greens Kale (mature) Cabbage Lettuce (baby) Beets Turnip Cauliflower Mache Daikon/Winter Radish Rutabaga Kohlrabi Parsnips Endive/Escarole Onions, yellow Spinach Garlic Swiss chard Leeks Broccoli, sprouting Lettuce (mature) Onions, bunching Radicchio Garden Under Cover: Winter Vegetable Production in Low Tunnels
  60. 60. Low Tunnel Management • Heat is your enemy, not cold! – Tunnel temps >65° F shift plant cold tolerance and promote disease • vent tunnels on warm sunny days, or completely remove covers in warm stretches • Thicker row cover isn’t necessarily better – Light is equally important to temperature in winter growing – heavier row covers limit transmission
  61. 61. Consider your area’s unique frost/freeze climatology National Weather Service, Jackson, KY. http://www.weather.gov/jkl/frostfreezeclimo
  62. 62. For More Information • www.motherofahubbard.com • Blog (Mother of a Hubbard) • Facebook page • www.gardenundercover.com • Subscribe to Garden Under Cover: Winter Vegetable Production in Low Tunnels (2016)

×