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University of Minnesota SWROC High Tunnel Update April, 2009

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In 2008 a high tunnel vegetable-production research and outreach program was initiated at the University of Minnesota Southwest Research and Outreach Center (SWROC) in Lamberton. Presented by Kelley Belina at the 2009 SWROC Horticulture Day.

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University of Minnesota SWROC High Tunnel Update April, 2009

  1. 1. SWROC High Tunnel Update Horticulture Day April 24, 2009 Kelley Belina Research Fellow University of Minnesota, Southwest Research and Outreach Center beli0019@umn.edu
  2. 2. What is a high tunnel? • Enclosed, plastic cover • Unheated • Plant directly into ground
  3. 3. Benefits of high tunnels: • Season extension – increased temperatures earlier and later in the growing season • Control of irrigation • Better weed control • Possibly better pest control
  4. 4. SWROC high tunnel 2008 Start up year: • Constructed in June, 2008 • 30’ x 48’ high tunnel • Five raised beds • Transplants put in mid-July – Tomatoes, peppers, cucumber • Organic production
  5. 5. 07-31-08 08-06-08 08-20-08 10-08-08
  6. 6. SWROC high tunnel 2008 • Tomato, pepper, cucumber harvested until last week of October • Peak cucumber harvest in September of 2.62 lbs/plant/week, or 1.70 lbs/foot/wk 09-24-08
  7. 7. SWROC high tunnel 2008 • Mustard, spinach, swiss chard planted Sept. 17, with and without row covers • Row covers extended production one week, harvesting until the last week of November 11-06-08
  8. 8. SWROC high tunnel 2008 Fertility tests High tunnel beds Water Bray-P NH4OAc-K Nitrate-N Ammonium-N Total N LOI-OM after 2008 season pH (ppm) (ppm) (ppm) (ppm) (%) (%) A 6.6 35 169 25.7 4.2 0.19 3.3 B - cucumbers 6.7 26 144 8.7 4.4 0.22 3.6 C - tomatoes 7.0 36 156 9.3 4.0 0.18 3.2 D - peppers 7.0 44 151 6.7 4.0 0.20 3.1 E 6.8 32 175 27.4 3.8 0.19 3.2
  9. 9. SWROC high tunnel *2009* • 2009 Comparisons and demonstrations: i. Production in high tunnel vs. outdoors vs. outdoors with row covers ii. Benefits and costs of fall green manure plantings
  10. 10. SWROC high tunnel 2009 • 2009 Comparisons and demonstrations: iii. Variety trials: cucumbers, peppers, indeterminate and determinate tomatoes, spring lettuces, fall greens iv. Fall greens succession plantings with and without row covers
  11. 11. University of MN High Tunnels • Other high tunnel projects: – Raspberries in Morris – Organic production in Crookston – Fertility tests in Staples – Student garden in St. Paul http://hightunnels.cfans.umn.edu
  12. 12. Thank you Organic Valley’s CROPP Cooperative’s Farmers Advocating for Organics Southwest Research and Outreach Center

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