Crop Environments

The abundance (yield) and makeup (quality) of a crop are shaped by its genetics and all aspects of its growing environment which extends from root tip to leaf tip. Farmers aim to select crops and varieties that are well-adapted to environmental conditions common to their farm. And, they take steps to alter that environment to favor the crop – to allow it to perform to its full genetic potential.

Most steps are designed to limit a crop’s exposure to one or more conditions that stifle productivity (e.g., extreme temperature, drought or flood, nutrient excess or deficiency, low light, high wind, pests, and diseases). However, they may also significantly impact the total amount and type of resources needed to produce an abundant, high-quality crop. And, micro-environment management can influence when crops are grown.

For example, open field vegetable farming is typically a spring‑to‑fall affair in Ohio and the Great Lakes Region. Without high tunnels, most fresh-market vegetable farmers can sell only 4-5 months of each year. With high tunnels, though, this marketing period can be lengthened dramatically. Production and marketing can start earlier in the spring and continue later into the fall or proceed through the winter. Either way, farmers can take advantage of micro-environments they create with a high tunnel. Low tunnels, mulches, and heating-cooling and lighting systems can have similar dramatic effects on crops and farms.

Our goals in the VPSL are to continue to learn how crop genetics and growing environments influence yield and quality and to assist farmers in using the best micro-environment management approaches. To learn more, visit our Resources page.


Galleries

High Tunnel Doors and Endwalls

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Mid-Tunnel Setup

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Modified Drop-Down Side Curtain

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Moving a Rimol Greenhouse, Inc. “Moveable Feast” High Tunnel

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Publications

Our Journal Articles

A Pictorial Guide to Preparing and Installing Gothic-framed, Outdoor Winter-ready Mid-tunnels
Matt Kleinhenz
The Ohio State University Extension and Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center
Download PDF

High Tunnel Endwalls and Doors
Matt Kleinhenz
The Ohio State University Extension and Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center
Download PDF

High Tunnel Suppliers
Matt Kleinhenz
The Ohio State University Extension and Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center
Download PDF

The Winter Harvest Manual
Elliott Coleman
Four Season Farm
609 Weir Cover Rd.
Harborside, ME 04652

View at Four Season Farm

Walking to Spring
Paul and Alison Wiediger
Au Naturel Farm
3298 Fairview Church Road
Smiths Grove, KY 42171

View at Au Naturel Farm

Hoophouse Handbook
Growing For Market
Fairplain Publications
P.O. Box 3747
Lawrence, KS 66046
1-800-307-8949

View at Growing For Market

High Tunnels: Using Low-Cost Technology to Increase Yields, Improve Quality and Extend the Season
Ted Blomgren and Tracy Frisch
University of Vermont Center for Sustainable Agriculture
View at rutgers.edu

Horticulture High Tunnel Workshop – Information for for Growers from Growers
Matt Kleinhenz, Brad Bergefurd, and Ron Becker
The Ohio State University Extension and Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center
Contact Matt Kleinhenz

Penn State High Tunnel Production Manual
Bill Lamont and Mike Orzolek
View at psu.edu

Penn State High Tunnel Extension Program
Bill Lamont, Mike Orzolek, E. Jay Holcomb, Robert M. Crassweller, Kathy Demchak, Eric Burkhart, Lisa White, and Bruce Dye
Penn State Extension
View at Penn State Extension

High Tunnel Production of Cucumber on Raised Beds
Penn State Extension
View at Penn State Extension

High Tunnel Production of Lettuce Using Paper Mulch, Bare Ground and Earth Boxes
Penn State Extension
View at Penn State Extension

High Tunnel Garlic Variety Trial
Penn State Extension
View at Penn State Extension

High Tunnel Tomato Variety Trial
Penn State Extension
View at Penn State Extension

Minnesota High Tunnel Production Manual for Commercial Growers
Edited by Terrace T. Nennich, David Wildung, and Pat Johnson
University of Minnesota Extension Service
View at University of Minnesota

Warm-Season Vegetable Production in High Tunnels
Jay Chism
University of Missouri

Stretch Out Your Season with Hoophouses
Astrid Newenhouse, Bud Meyer, Marcia Miguelon, and Larry Chapman
University of Wisconsin
View at the University of Winsconsin

Portable Field Hoophouse
Carol Miles and Pat Labine
Washington State University Extension Publication EB1825
1-800-723-1763
View PDF at Washington State University Extension

How to Build a High Tunnel
Amanda Ferguson
University of Kentucky
View PDF at University of Kentucky

Production of Tomatoes Within a High Tunnel
Lewis Jett
University of Missouri
View at hightunnels.org

High Tunnel Tomato Production
Lewis Jett
University of Missouri Extension Publication M170
1-800-292-0969
View at Missouri Extension

High Tunnels Melon and Watermelon Production
Lewis Jett
University of Missouri Extension Publication M173
1-800-292-0969
View at Missouri Extension

Fertilization of Fresh Market Tomatoes Produced Under High Tunnels
Ron Goldy
Michigan State University, Southwest Michigan Research and Extension Center
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Watering and Fertilizing Tomatoes in a High Tunnel
Lewis Jett
University of Missouri Extension
View at Missouri Extension

Important Diseases of Tomatoes Grown in High Tunnels and Greenhouses in New Jersey
Andy Wyenandt and Wesley Kline
Rutgers Cooperative Research and Extension
View at rutgers.edu

In High Tunnels, Diseases Are What You Make Them
Thomas Zitter
Cornell University
View at cornell.edu

Bugs versus Bugs, Garden Symphylans in High Tunnel Production
Cathy Thomas
HortReport, 2002
View at psu.edu

Greenhouses for Homeowners and Gardeners, June 2000
Natural Resources Ag Eng. Service
607-255-7654
View at nraes.org


Recordings


2016 Move of the Rimol Greenhouse, Inc Moveable High Tunnel


2006 Horticulture High Tunnel Workshop

High Tunnel Production: Maximizing the Benefits

Center for Environmental Farming Systems


High Tunnel Webinar – Part 1

High Tunnel Webinar – Part 2

High Tunnel Webinar – Part 3

High Tunnel Webinar – Part 4

High Tunnel Webinar – Part 5

USDA


High Tunnels at the White House

USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service, NY


Down on the Farm: High Tunnel Farming

Pennsylvania State University


High Tunnels at Penn State

University of Nebraska – Lincoln


Hoop House Project

Growing Wisdom


How to Build a High Tunnel

Extending the Growing Season

Iowa State Extension


Farm Progress Show: High Tunnel Vegetable Production

University of Missouri Extension


Undercover Farming

Michigan State University


Hoophouse Allows Year-Round Farming at Michigan State