Crop Options 'Beyond Tomatoes'

Category: Education

Presentation Description

Horticulture Specialist James Quinn discusses techniques for growing fruits and vegetables in high tunnels on January 28, 2013.


Presentation Transcript

Crop Options ‘Beyond Tomatoes’:

Crop Options ‘Beyond Tomatoes’ By James Quinn Regional Horticulture Specialist East Central Region- MU Extension 2436 Tanner Bridge Road Jefferson City 65101 573-634-2824

What’s being grown?:

What’s being grown?

Why tomatoes aren’t grown as a fall crop (e.g. planted late summer):

Why tomatoes aren’t grown as a fall crop (e.g. planted late summer) Prices aren’t as high Risk of chilling damage to the mature fruit Yield is less; about 50 to 60% of spring/summer Can aggravate insect pest or disease issues


Cucumbers MU variety trial in 2005 Yanked out tomatoes and planted cucumbers right in same hole Planted Aug. 20th Can direct seed (watch out for mice/voles) or transplant Better if trellised Parthenocarpic cucumber varieties do not require pollinators Yielded thru November with end of Sept. thru Oct. peak


Cucumbers Trialed slicing, Beit -Alpha (sweet slice) and European types Standard types yielded around 10 lbs per plant Sweet slice around 8 European types around 5 Variety differences within categories were significant Trellising substantially increased yield (e.g. double or more)

Cucumbers- potential and limitations:

Cucumbers- potential and limitations Good as a spring crop Excellent as a fall crop following tomatoes European types have been produced- heavy N feeders Powdery mildew needs to be controlled Thrips and spider mites are common insect pests Trellis! Trellis! Trellis!

Zucchini :

Zucchini Demonstration trial in 2009 Followed up a NB field variety trial of parthenocarpic types Direct seeded on Sept. 2 nd ; late so flowering would not occur until after sides could be left down No pollination needed, but Both regular and parthenocarpic green varieties set fruit Yielded from late October thru late November Yields were (at best) about 5 lbs/plant

Zucchini- potential and limitations :

Zucchini- potential and limitations Plant earlier for better yields Powdery mildew a likely problem Parthenocarpic seed is quite expensive, but Recommend using Unless you talk with a vegetable geneticist 1 st Defender did well in the high tunnel and in a spring field trial Do NOT grow a yellow variety* *Unless you have a pollinator or get more information first Cavilli did well but Its color is not typical

Green Bell Peppers:

Green Bell Peppers 2003 trial Seeded April 29 th Transplanted June 5 th Used King Arthur Plants were spaced at 18inches in row & 4 ft between row Yield was around 1,000 lbs per sq ft or 6 lbs per plant Harvested thru November

Colored Peppers:

Colored Peppers 2004 Study Used Paladin (red) and Lafayette (yellow) Transplanted June 22 & July 9 Used single and twin rows on a bed; 18 inch row, 4 ft center to center of bed Yields were 650 to 800 lbs per 1,000 sq ft, twin row better 20% cull rate much greater than for green bell peppers Peak month was October Harvested thru November Day 0 Day 4 Pick peppers at 50% color break Pack in box, place at room temperature Hold 4 to 5 days for complete color change

Peppers Production Problems:

Peppers Production Problems Sunburn or sun scald of exposed fruit Cucumber beetle feeding (causing fruit rot) European corn born (causing fruit rot) Bacterial soft rot in cool dark spells (November) 20% cull rate much greater than for green bell peppers Peak month was October Sun scald of exposed fruit Cucumber beetle damage to fruit Soft rot on fruit

Pepper Potential and Limitation:

Pepper Potential and Limitation Plant before mid July Limits following tomatoes, unless using supplemental heat Focusing on colored peppers is good $$ if peppers are priced ‘each’ similar to retail Green bells are easier to produce Use white on black plastic for late planting Spring planted crops do well but don’t compete $$ wise with tomatoes, but could be grown along with tomatoes A mix of pepper (e.g. hot) may be an opportunity

Lettuce, spinach and greens:

Lettuce, spinach and greens High profit potential Shade/cool for summer Row covers for winter Best results will be by focusing on fall production thru to March Then can shift to warm season vegetables Marketing in winter may be limiting

Lettuce and greens:

Lettuce and greens A wide variety of cool season vegetables and greens can be grown with lettuce Beets, carrots, radishes, green onions, etc. Usually are direct seeded Transplanting may be good option when wanting a quicker crop Could use plastic mulch if transplanting ‘Tighten’ successive planting dates in fall & relax them in the spring

Fall Spinach Research Trial:

Fall Spinach Research Trial Planted from Oct. 6 thru Nov. 17 Used two varieties Harvested from Nov. 17 until March 27 Harvested 2 to 4 times, more with earlier planting Yield ranged from 3 to 10 lbs per 10 sq ft Growing into late spring and through summer takes ‘extra efforts’ and needs to focus on ‘baby spinach’

Cole Crops:

Cole Crops Easy to do Use a lot of space Profitability is not high But could fill a ‘production hole’ Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Napa cabbage, baby bok choi

Many things are possible, but how practical is this?:

Many things are possible, but how practical is this? Grower transplanted sweet corn It was really early…..early June? Small ears Never did it again Pumpkins? Sweet potatoes?

Strawberries- planting:

Strawberries- planting Use the annual plasticulture system Plant crowns in Sept. Chandler has worked well Establishment can be erratic and vexing Want vigorous crown growth in fall

Strawberries- winter:

Strawberries- winter Induce dormancy in Dec. by venting for cold weather Vent on downwind side Use row covers in late Dec. Close tunnel in high winds & when temperatures drop below 10 to 15 F Remove row covers in Feb when new growth is seen

Strawberries- thru fruiting:

Strawberries- thru fruiting Keep environment ‘warm’ starting in mid Feb. Harvest begins a few weeks earlier than outside Yields are about ¼ greater Should introduce a pollinator for best quality & yield Harvest in 2006 ran from April 12 to June 10

Strawberries- possibilities & limitations:

Strawberries- possibilities & limitations Only get about ¼ increase in yield Spider mites and gray mold need to be controlled Good rotation for off year from tomatoes; could follow them with bell peppers or cucumbers Early sales should get a very high price 95% harvest was marketable vs 60% typical for field


Raspberries Greatly extends the season Yields have been 2.5 to 3 times greater Yield increase comes from longer season and reduced disease (gray mold) Improved fruit quality & size Shade for optimum summer production No winter protection needed

Raspberries- possibilities & limitations:

Raspberries- possibilities & limitations They get HUGE Well suited for a Haygrove style high tunnel- no winter protection needed They prefer it cooler than is typical in most high tunnels Takes a lot of time to pick

PowerPoint Presentation:

Galia melons can be successfully grown within a high tunnel. Plant as transplants (4-wk-old) approximately 10 days later than tomatoes.

For Comprehensive Information:

For Comprehensive Information

Other options:

Other options Herbs! Work very well Cut flowers Eggplant Green beans Cut flowers See this link for good Power Point on cut flowers in high tunnels

Organizations, associations, etc.:

Organizations, associations, etc. MVGA- Missouri Vegetable Growers Assn. Missouri State University- Mountain Grove Fruit Experiment Station Lincoln University Kansas State University- Olathe Research Center

Outreach events & activities:

Outreach events & activities High tunnel workshop held annually in St. Joseph Farm tours Construction field days Various regional workshops and other special events

Print or Internet Resources:

Print or Internet Resources High tunnel web site has crop specific articles. You can sign up to join their listserve MU Extension publications ATTRA (Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas) 8 00-346-9140 Growing for Market Newsletter

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