Triple-Cropping Specialty Cut Flowers in the High Tunnels

I want to share with you some results we’ve had growing specialty cut flowers in high tunnels here in Lincoln Nebraska. You can progress through the slides at your own pace, go backward or forward as you wish. This gives you time to look closely at the pictures or text.

Growing plants in high tunnels has many advantages for the commercial specialty cut flower grower. We know that the best flower market is BEFORE it  blooms in your customer’s yard! High tunnels allow you to provide your customer with high quality crops earlier and later in the season, in fact, as much as a month earlier and later. This is possible because the tunnels accumulate solar radiation in the form of heat during the day, some of which is stored in the soil and released slowly during the night or during inclement weather. In a single-walled poly high tunnel, air temperatures quickly equilibrates with the outside air. We found, however, that soil temperatures four inches below the surface in our tunnels, never went below freezing during the winter of 2003 to 2004.

This warmer soil temperature creates conditions typical of more southern regions. For example, Lincoln is in the USDA hardiness zone 5a. However, in 2004 winter in Lincoln was warmer than normal, in fact, we were the equivalent of zone 6a. We found that the high tunnel effectively shifted our growing conditions to those typical of hardiness zone 7b during th e winter of 2003-4.

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Triple-Cropping Specialty Cut Flowers in the High Tunnels



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The listserv is a great place to learn what growers are doing with high tunnels, what crops and varieties do best, and what practices have been successful on local farms.

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