High tunnels are unheated, plastic-covered greenhouses which provide many benefits to vegetable producers:
- High tunnels lengthen the growing season of many high value vegetable crops such as melons and tomatoes.
- High tunnels protect the growing crop from extremes in temperature, strong winds, driving rain and destructive hail.
- High tunnels protect the growing crop from many harmful insects and diseases that can lower marketable yield.
- High tunnels can be used to intercrop many vegetable species. On a small plot of land, high tunnels permit intensive production of food crops.
Cantaloupes (Cucumis melo L.) and specialty melons may be a viable cash crop for high tunnel production in the Midwest. There is a strong demand for early-season melons, and many specialty melons are becoming increasingly popular with consumers. Specialty melons include heirlooms (e.g., Charentais), ananas-types casaba melons, Canary melons, crenshaw melons, honeydews and Galia melons. Galia melons are light-green-fleshed cantaloupes with no sutures (Figure 1). Galia melons are adapted to warm, dry climates that make them particularly suitable to high tunnel production.Download the paper High Tunnel Cantaloupe
and Specialty Melon Cultivar Evaluation