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David S. Conner, Kurt B. Waldman, Adam D. Montri, Michael W. Hamm and John A. Biernbaum

enhancing, farm income as labor and sales are spread over more months; the ability to maintain markets and customers that otherwise require reestablishment each season; and increased physical activity in winter months. The hoophouse, as a year-round season

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Kurt B. Waldman, David S. Conner, John A. Biernbaum, Michael W. Hamm and Adam D. Montri

Hoophouses, high tunnels, or unheated greenhouses have been demonstrated to be effective tools for season extension in colder climates such as in Michigan. Hoophouses allow farmers to produce crops at both ends of the regular growing season [e

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Sharon J.B. Knewtson, M.B. Kirkham, Rhonda R. Janke, Leigh W. Murray and Edward E. Carey

High tunnels (sometimes called hoophouses) in their simplest form are constructed with a framework tall enough to walk under and are covered by clear plastic film, heated by solar radiation, and cooled by passive ventilation. Construction design

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Analena B. Bruce, Elizabeth T. Maynard and James R. Farmer

Initiative J. Agr. Food Syst. Community Dev. 7 159 180 Bruce, A.B. Maynard, E.T. Farmer, J.R. Carpenter, J. 2018 Indiana high tunnel handbook. 5 Mar. 2019. < https://edustore.purdue.edu/item.asp?Item_Number=HO-296-W > Byczynski, L. 2014 The hoophouse handbook

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Britney Hunter, Dan Drost, Brent Black and Ruby Ward

.L. Garrison, S.A. 2007 Evaluation of a manual energy curtain for tomato production in high tunnels HortTechnology 17 467 472 Byczynski, L. 2003 The hoop-house handbook. Growing For Market, Lawrence, KS Calvert, A. 1964 The effects of air temperature on growth

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Sharon J.B. Knewtson, Rhonda Janke, M.B. Kirkham, Kimberly A. Williams and Edward E. Carey

Growers have indicated that changes in soil quality under production in high tunnels is an important problem, but these have not yet been quantified or critically assessed in the central Great Plains of the United States. We conducted surveys of grower perceptions of soil quality in their tunnels (n = 81) and compared selected soil quality indicators (salinity and particulate organic matter carbon) under high tunnels of varying ages with those of adjacent fields at sites in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Iowa in the United States. Fourteen percent of growers surveyed considered soil quality to be a problem in their high tunnels, and there were significant correlations between grower perceptions of soil quality problems and reported observations of clod formation and surface crusting and to a lesser extent surface mineral deposition. Grower perception of soil quality and grower observation of soil characteristics were not related to high tunnel age. Soil surface salinity was elevated in some high tunnels compared with adjacent fields but was not related to time under the high tunnel. In the soil upper 5 cm, salinity in fields did not exceed 2 dS·m−1 and was less than 2 dS·m−1 under 74% of high tunnels and less than 4 dS·m−1 in 97% of high tunnels. The particulate organic matter carbon fraction was higher in high tunnels than adjacent fields at 73% of locations sampled. Particulate organic matter carbon measured 0.11 to 0.67 g particulate organic matter per g of the total carbon under high tunnels sampled. Particulate organic matter carbon in the soil was also not correlated to age of high tunnel. Soil quality as measured in this study was not negatively impacted by use of high tunnel structures over time.

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Sharon J.B. Knewtson, Edward E. Carey and M.B. Kirkham

A survey was conducted of 81 growers managing 185 high tunnels in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa to collect information about their high tunnel management practices. The survey was administered from 2005 to 2007 using internet-based and written forms. The average respondent had 4 years of high tunnel experience. The oldest tunnel still in use was 15 years old. Twenty-five percent of respondents grew crops in their high tunnels year-round. Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), lettuce (Lactuca sativa), spinach (Spinacia oleracea), cucumber (Cucumis sativus), pepper (Capsicum spp.), leafy greens, and flowers were the most common crops. Organic soil amendments were used exclusively by 35% of growers, and in combination with conventional fertilizers by an additional 50% of growers. The summary of management practices is of interest to growers and the industries and university research and extension scientists who serve them. Growers typically reported satisfaction with their high tunnels. Growers with more than one high tunnel had often added tunnels following the success of crop production in an initial tunnel. Labor for crop maintenance was the main limiting factor reported by growers as preventing expanded high tunnel production.

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Jennifer Reeve and Dan Drost

Interest in unheated plastic film-covered high tunnels to extend the growing season of high-value fruits and vegetables is growing rapidly, but sustainable soil management in intensively managed high tunnels is challenging. Yields, fruit quality, and soil quality in transition organic and conventional tomato were measured over the course of three growing seasons. Nitrogen (N) was applied at the rate of 112, 168, and 224 kg total N/ha in the form of chicken manure compost to the organic treatments and a polymer-coated slow-release urea fertilizer in the conventional treatments. Marketable yield of organically grown tomatoes was lower in Year 1 but equaled conventional tomatoes in Years 2 and 3. Soil quality as measured by total carbon (C) and N and microbial activity was significantly greater in organic tomato production at the end of the study. Significant phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) applied with the composted manure resulted in high soil P and K levels in organically managed high tunnels after just 3 years of application. Although compost is the most economical organic fertilizer and results in significant benefits in soil quality during the transition phase to organic production, a maintenance fertility plan is needed once available soil P reaches adequate to high levels. Combinations of compost and high N, low P organic fertilizers are needed for optimum maintenance fertility strategy for organic tunnel house production.

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Sarah A. Masterson, Megan M. Kennelly, Rhonda R. Janke and Cary L. Rivard

Grafting with interspecific hybrid rootstock is effective for tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) growers looking to reduce soilborne disease in the southeastern United States. However, production with grafted tomato has not been tested in the central United States, where soilborne disease pressure is low. Small-acreage growers would like to produce grafted plants themselves, but many have difficulty with propagation due to water stress in the scion postgrafting and/or high temperatures. Removing the upper portion of the scion to reduce leaf area during the grafting procedure [shoot removal (SR)] could help to reduce water stress postgrafting, but there are no data available that indicate what effect this practice has on tomato yield. Five high tunnel trials and one open-field trial were conducted in 2011 and 2012 to investigate potential yield effects related to the use of two rootstocks and SR during the grafting procedure. The implementation of grafting with rootstocks significantly increased fruit yield in five of the six trials (P < 0.05). The average yield increases by ‘Maxifort’ and ‘Trooper Lite’ tomato rootstocks were 53% and 51%, respectively, across all trials. SR during the grafting process may penalize tomato yield and our results suggest that rootstock vigor plays a role. Plants grafted with ‘Maxifort’ across all of the trials consistently increased shoot biomass in four of five of the high tunnel trials compared with nongrafted plants (P < 0.05), whereas plants grafted with ‘Trooper Lite’ rootstock increased shoot biomass in one trial. Similarly, the SR method penalized the total fruit yield of plants grafted with ‘Trooper Lite’ more often than those that were grafted with ‘Maxifort’. Our results suggest that plant growth and ultimately tomato fruit yield is affected negatively by using the SR grafting technique, particularly when less vigorous rootstock is used.

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Lucas O’Meara, Marc W. van Iersel and Matthew R. Chappell

of using simple models to predict water use. Materials and Methods 2010: Hydrangea macrophylla. This experiment was conducted in an unheated double-layer, polyethylene-covered hoophouse covered with a 40% shadecloth at the Center for Applied Nursery