PowerPoint - University of Missouri Extension

High Tunnel Fruit and
Vegetable Production
The Man Who Ate Wolf Peaches
 Identify the fruit and vegetable crops that are
well-suited for high tunnel production.
 Select the best crops for producer’s unique
 Recall methods for extending the growing season
and increasing profits.
Cool Season Root Crops
 Days to Maturity: 40-50
 Planting: Plant 30 days before frost-free date; Mid
February to Early April/August; Plant every 2 weeks
 Concerns: Provide beets with consistent moisture,
particularly during early development.
 Days to Maturity: 70-85
 Planting: Plant in early Spring or late Summer; Mid
February to Late March/August
 Concerns: Provide 1 in. of water per week during
growing season
 Days to Maturity: 100-120
 Planting: Seed from late February to early April;
May need to protect with row covers if shoots
emerge early.
 Concerns: Provide uniform moisture throughout
growing season.
 Days to Maturity: 25-35
 Planting: Mid February to Late April; Mid-August to
 Concerns: Keep soil consistently moist to prevent
radishes from becoming bitter and mealy. Can be
grown within other crops.
 Days to Maturity: 35-70
 Planting: Mid February to Mid-March; Early August
to Early September; Earlier for north and later
towards the Bootheel.
 Concerns: Provide plenty of water to help prevent
woody stems. Turnips can withstand several light
Cool Season Surface Crops
 Days to Maturity: 70-80
 Planting: Start seeds as soon as early February and
plant from late February to Mid-April. For Fall: Start
seeds in early July. Set plants out from July 20 to
August 5.
 Concerns: Provide an even supply of moisture but
avoid overwatering transplants. Cooler
temperatures improve cabbage flavor because plant
cells convert starches to sugars to protect the plant
from the cold.
 Days to Maturity: 65-75
 Planting: Late February to Late March; Mid-August
to Early September
 Concerns: Cauliflower is blanched to maintain white
heads. To blanche cauliflower, tie the outer leaves
over the heads when the heads become visible.
Self-blanching varieties are also available. Care
required when handling.
 Days to Maturity: 55-80
 Planting: Early February to Late April; Late August
to Late October
 Concerns: Provide continuous moisture to promote
vigorous growth and keep lettuce from becoming
bitter. When hot, shade lettuce lightly if possible
(30% to 50%).
 Days to Maturity: 40-50
 Planting: Early February to Late March; Late August
to Late October
 Concerns: Provide continuous moisture to promote
vigorous growth and keep spinach from becoming
bitter. Spinach is highly perishable and is usually
marketed or eaten soon after harvest.
Long Season Crops
 Days to Maturity: 80-90
 Planting: Early to Late April
 Concerns: Bee or hand pollination will be needed.
 Days to Maturity: 100-180
 Planting: Plant gourds as a crop after Spring/Early
Summer crops.
 Gourds are a low care, low input, and low return fill in
 Concerns: Because of their long growing season, gourds
should be started indoors 4 weeks before planting
outdoors. Bee or hand pollination will be needed.
Gourds are often grown on a trellis or arbor. Gourds
vary greatly in weight and size. Be sure the structure
will support the weight of the gourds.
 Days to Maturity: 95-120
 Planting: Plant pumpkins as a crop after
Spring/Early Summer crops.
 Concerns: Watering plants early in the day and
keeping water off foliage helps prevent mildew. Do
not plant pumpkins until the danger of frost has
passed and the soil has warmed.
 Days to Maturity: 85-95
 Planting: Plant melons as a crop after Spring/Early
Summer crops.
 Concerns: Adequate water early in the season
improves vine growth and yield. Bee or hand
pollination will be needed.
Winter Squash
 Days to Maturity: 80-120
 Planting: Plant squash as a crop after Spring/Early
Summer crops.
 Concerns: Bee or hand pollination will be needed.
Monthly application of a complete fertilizer is
recommended to improve plant health and yield.
Squash plants are not hardy and are susceptible to
frost in the Spring and Fall.
Warm Season Crops
 Days to Maturity: 50-70
 Planting: Late March to Late April; Late July to Mid-
August; Plant from seeds.
 Concerns: Cucumbers need plenty of water to stay
crisp and juicy.
 Water in the morning so that leaves can dry during
the day.
 Days to Maturity: 80-90
 Planting: Late March to Mid-April; Early to Mid-July;
Use 6 to 8 week old transplants.
 Concerns: Dull skin indicates over-ripening.
Green Beans
 Days to Maturity: Bush: 50 to 60; Pole: 60 to 70
 Planting: Spring: Mid-March to Early May; Late
Summer: Early August to Early September;
Consider several plantings 2 to 3 weeks apart.
 Concerns: Sensitive to moisture stress. Bush beans
require less space and produce more beans at one
time, but pole beans provide a more constant
supply. Equipment considerations include poles or
trellis for pole beans.
 Days to Maturity: 55-60
 Planting: Early April to Late June
 Concerns: Okra pods develop twice as fast with
every 18°F rise in temperature. Harvest every other
day in hot weather.
 Days to Maturity: 70-80
 Planting: Late March/Early April to Early July;
Typically transplanted ~2 weeks later than
 Concerns: Peppers are shallow-rooted, so mulch
can be used to prevent moisture loss. Fruit will not
set at night temperatures below 60°F. Temperatures
above 90°F can cause fruit drop or failure to set
Summer Squash
 Days to Maturity: 80-90
 Planting: Mid to Late May
 Concerns: Drip irrigate or water at base to reduce
 Days to Maturity: Staked: 70 to 90 depending on
 Planting: Set out transplants when soil
temperatures are above 60°F.
 Temperatures below 50°F will impair tomato
 Southern
Missouri—Early to Mid-March
 Central Missouri—Mid to Late March
 Northern Missouri—Late March to Early April
 Plant Fall tomatoes by Mid-July.
 Concerns: Need at least 1 in. of water per week
May through June.
 Need at least 2 in. of water per week July through
 Structure and equipment considerations include
stakes, cages, or other supporting method.
Small Fruits and Berries
 Days to Maturity: 15 to 30 days after flowering.
Flowering should commence in early to mid-March
in order to begin harvesting in early April.
 Planting:
 Plugs:
Plant in mid-September.
 Dormant runner tips: Plant in late August (Cheaper
than plugs)
 ‘Chandler’ variety is recommended.
 Do not plant too deeply; plant midway up the plug.
 Concerns: Drip irrigation is recommended. If two or
more rows of berries are planted, 2 to 3 drip lines are
needed. Soil salinity can be a problem, particularly in a
high tunnel where soil is not leeched.
 Effective pollination is essential for maximum yield. If
over-wintering, consider the use of row covers.
 Can be rotated with crops such as tomatoes or peppers
as long as there are no soil borne disease outbreaks.
 In order to be profitable, each plant must yield at least
1 lb. of marketable fruit.
 Days to Maturity: Production can begin in May for
some floricane-fruiting (summer fruiting) cultivars
and extend through November for some primocanefruiting (fall fruiting) cultivars.
 Planting: Fall-bearing plants should be established
as early in the Spring as possible in the planting
year to further maximize first year harvest. Summer
fruiting brambles may be grown outside during the
first season in or near the uncovered high tunnel.
 Concerns: Trellises will be needed for each
containerized plant. The high tunnel floor should be
covered with weed barrier fabric or gravel before
plants are moved inside for fruiting. Be mindful that
brambles will need to be pruned annually.
Containerized brambles may be used for several
seasons. Containerized brambles may need to be
mulched with compost, particularly in first year.
 You are the manager of two high tunnels. You
need to produce as many different crops as possible
in a year’s time. Create a chart of what you would
grow at what times in each of the two high tunnels,
again attempting to include as many different crops
as possible.
 In order to determine the best crop to plant during
certain times of year, a person must be able to:
Identify produce suitable to growth in a high tunnel
 Compare and contrast the fruits and vegetables grown
in the warm season versus the cool season

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