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Greenhouse & Tunnels

The use of season extension technologies such as high tunnels and greenhouses are important to farmers in our region that want to capitalize on the "eat local" movement. Greenhouses help farmers by extending their season and are great for consumers by keeping a supply of local fruits and vegetables available year-round.

Season extension can also be a tool for pest and disease control.


2019 Sweet Potato Variety, Slip Production, Slip Size Trials

Chuck Bornt, Team Leader, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: January 24, 2020
2019 Sweet Potato Variety, Slip Production, Slip Size Trials

Reports, charts, results and information from our 2019 sweet potato trials which included a variety trial, a slip production trial and a slip grading trial. These documents are in pdfs. 


Introduction to Winter Growing Webinar

Elisabeth Hodgdon, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: January 6, 2020
Introduction to Winter Growing Webinar

This webinar introduces the basics of how to grow vegetables during winter using a high tunnel.  


Optimizing Nitrogen Fertility for Overwintered High Tunnel Spinach

Elisabeth Hodgdon, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: August 27, 2019
Optimizing Nitrogen Fertility for Overwintered High Tunnel Spinach

This is a report on our 2018-2019 high tunnel spinach nitrogen trial.


Hot Water Seed Treatment Using a Sous Vide Device

Amy Ivy, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: January 14, 2019
Hot Water Seed Treatment Using a Sous Vide Device

Learn to use a sous vide device to heat treat seeds as a simple, economical way to control diseases.


First to the Market

Amy Ivy, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: December 12, 2018
First to the Market

Direct market customers eagerly await the first veggies of the season. If a grower can beat their neighbor by even just a week or two they may well have a loyal customer for the rest of the season.  With this thought in mind, we ran a trial last summer to see if using a high tunnel would produce some warm season crops earlier than if grown outside. 


Recording of High Tunnel Veg Research Webinar 11/29/18

Amy Ivy, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: November 29, 2018
Recording of High Tunnel Veg Research Webinar 11/29/18

This is a recording of an hour long webinar held by Amy Ivy of the Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture Program, Judson Reid of the Cornell Vegetable Program and Mike Davis of the Cornell University Willsboro Research Farm on Nov 29, 2018.

A copy of the PowerPoint is included in the 'read details' section below. With funding from the Northern NY Agricultural Development Program.


Impact of Minimal Supplemental Heating on Winter High Tunnel Greens

Ethan Grundberg, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: November 2, 2018
Impact of Minimal Supplemental Heating on Winter High Tunnel Greens

With support from a Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program (NE SARE) Partnership Grant (ONE17-298) and the generous cooperation of the Poughkeepsie Farm Project (PFP), I spent much of last winter gathering data from a side by side comparative trial assessing the impact of minimal heating in winter greens production. Specifically, we tracked yield, soil nitrate availability, total plant nitrogen uptake, propane use, and soil temperature all winter in the two identical side-by-side 42'x196' double layer inflated poly Harnois high tunnels at PFP. The only deliberately manipulated variable between the two tunnels was the minimum thermostat setting: one tunnel was set to 33° F ambient air temperature and the other set to 40° F. 


High Tunnel Crop Study - cherry tomatoes, peppers and winter spinach fertility

Amy Ivy, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: August 28, 2018
High Tunnel Crop Study - cherry tomatoes, peppers and winter spinach fertility

Here is the final report on our 2017 research in high tunnel production of cherry tomatoes, red bell peppers and a winter spinach fertility study at the Cornell Willsboro Research Farm with funding from NNYADP (Northern NY Ag Development Program).


Foliar Feeding Vegetable Crops- Is there a Time and Place for it?

Chuck Bornt, Team Leader, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: May 30, 2018

We receive a lot of questions from growers about applying nutrients to their crops through the leaves rather than the roots. But is this the best way?


Thrips damage to High Tunnel Cucumbers

Amy Ivy, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: May 23, 2018
Thrips damage to High Tunnel Cucumbers

Thrips populations can explode, especially under the protective conditions in a high tunnel. Bio-controls can only help at the early stages, but there are a couple of other options for organic and conventional growers to try to bring this pest under control.


Environmental Causes of Tip Burn on Transplants

Ethan Grundberg, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: May 2, 2018

Brown spots on the leaf edges of transplants may be caused by a calcium deficiency. However, more calcium is likely not the answer; environmental conditions that reduce the rate of plant transpiration can result in tip burn. Read more about how to avoid this issue in the future!


High Tunnel Tomatoes - Early Pruning Pays off

Amy Ivy, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: May 2, 2018

A little time spent pruning and training young high tunnel tomatoes now will pay off later this season; not only in greater yields but in labor efficiency during harvest.


Blossom Blast and Bumblebees

Amy Ivy, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: April 25, 2018

This week a few growers reported serious damage and loss of first flowers in their early, heated high tunnel tomatoes. We suspect the hives came with too many bees for the number of flowers and over-pollination by the hungry bees is causing the blossoms to drop without setting fruit. Is anyone else seeing this kind of damage?


Growers are Producing Great Transplants Despite Tough Weather Conditions

Crystal Stewart-Courtens, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: April 25, 2018
Growers are Producing Great Transplants Despite Tough Weather Conditions

The cool, cloudy weather of the April has made growing quality transplants quite challenging. However, many growers across the region are still producing (and holding!) really high quality plants. Read about how local growers are using germination chambers, proper venting, water/nutrient management, and vigilant sanitation to make the most of the season so far.


Supplemental Heat for Winter Greens Production: What's the Cost?

Ethan Grundberg, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: April 25, 2018

Winter high tunnel production has increased significantly in the region. However, there is serious disagreement among growers about the potential value and true costs of supplemental heating through the winter. A NE SARE Partnership Grant supported work to research the impact of forced air heating at 33 degrees and 40 degrees on nitrogen uptake, yield, and propane use over the winter: here are some initial results.


Cherry Tomatoes Pruning & Training

Amy Ivy, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: April 20, 2018
Cherry Tomatoes Pruning & Training

This fact sheet provides information on how to prune and train cherry tomatoes in high tunnels.

Cherry Tomatoes and Sweet Red Peppers in High Tunnels

Amy Ivy, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: April 4, 2018
Cherry Tomatoes and Sweet Red Peppers in High Tunnels

Last summer we ran some trials at the Cornell Willsboro Research Farm's high tunnel looking at a couple of popular summer crops: cherry tomatoes and sweet red bell peppers. 

Designing and Building Germination Chambers - A Case Study

Crystal Stewart-Courtens, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: April 7, 2017
Designing and Building Germination Chambers - A Case Study

A two year, NYSERDA funded project to examine the efficacy of different types of germination chambers has yielded two unique and effective designs for useful, cost-effective structures. The project also helped us understand what considerations each grower should take into account when deciding what type of chamber is rightfor him or her.

Cucumbers in High Tunnels

Amy Ivy, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: December 2, 2015
Cucumbers in High Tunnels

Cucumbers are an excellent high tunnel crop for spring, summer and fall production in New York State. Grown vertically, cucumbers take advantage of the space and light offered by a high tunnel. Cucumbers grown in this environment are of higher quality with higher yields. Very fast growing and yielding, they fit into crop plans that include winter greens easier than tomatoes, peppers or eggplants. 

Leaf Mold in High Tunnel Tomatoes 2015

Amy Ivy, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: December 2, 2015
Leaf Mold in High Tunnel Tomatoes 2015

Leaf mold is a fungus disease of tomatoes that has been increasing across New York State in recent years. It is favored by high humidity and is therefore seen in greenhouse and high tunnel production but rarely in field production.

Site Selection for High Tunnels

Amy Ivy, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: December 2, 2015
Site Selection for High Tunnels

Deciding where to put a new high tunnel requires careful consideration regarding to sun and wind exposure, access to water, drainage and the best possible soil. A good site will set you up for success by avoiding potential problems. 

Spacing Tomatoes in High Tunnels

Amy Ivy, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: December 2, 2015

Proper spacing is a common concern of high tunnel growers. More plants does not necessarily mean more yield. Determinate varieties are spaced and trained differently than indeterminates, and grafted plants need more room than non-grafted. A well-spaced planting allows room for the grower to move down the aisles for harvesting, training and scouting for pest and disease problems.

Tomatoes for High Tunnels

Last Modified: December 2, 2015

One of the first choices when beginning high tunnel tomato production is the type: determinate or indeterminate. Differences in the growth habits, nutritional needs, disease resistance, and fruit attributes of determinate and indeterminate tomatoes will influence the types and varieties a grower will choose. 

Training and Pruning Tomatoes in High Tunnels

Amy Ivy, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: December 2, 2015

Well trained and well pruned tomatoes are easy to work around, have better air circulation, optimum light penetration, and have higher yields since excess foliage is removed to focus plant energy on producing and ripening fruit. 

Early Season Tomato Leaf Symptoms

Amy Ivy, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: June 25, 2014

It’s always a good idea to pay close attention to all your crops in an effort to catch problems early on. Here are a few tomato leaf symptoms that may catch your eye in early summer.

Pruning Tomatoes

Amy Ivy, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: June 25, 2014
Pruning Tomatoes

Pruning off the lower leaves of tomatoes will increase air circulation and discourage foliar diseases. Note the arrows in the photo to see which leaves and suckers to remove.

Grafting of Tomatoes for Soil-based Production in Greenhouses & High Tunnels

Judson Reid, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: April 25, 2013
Grafting of Tomatoes for Soil-based Production in Greenhouses & High Tunnels

In 2012, the Cornell Vegetable Program conducted trials of grafted cucumbers and tomatoes. We grafted 2 tomato scions (Panzer and Big Dena) onto 3 different rootstocks (Arnold, Colossus and Maxifort). We also grew out ungrafted control plots for comparison. Tomatoes were grafted using the 'tube-graft' method. Detailed information on our materials and methods can be found in the full report.

SARE Season Extension Topic Room: Current Research from Across the Nation

Last Modified: April 25, 2013
SARE Season Extension Topic Room: Current Research from Across the Nation

A section of the Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) website, the season extension topic room provides nationwide research in the areas of variety trials, fertility management, pest management, water management, energy, and marketing and economics.

Low, Quick, and Caterpillar Tunnels: An Overview of Season Extension Techniques

Robert Hadad, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: January 24, 2013
Low, Quick, and Caterpillar Tunnels: An Overview of Season Extension Techniques

Season extension offers growers expanded times for growing produce. Getting an early jump or holding crops later into the sales season can really increase profits when the techniques are used and costs taken into account.

There are many styles and types of construction available on the internet but this presentation covers what is commonly available. Many suppliers carry hoop materials, row covers, and greenhouse film. Ingenuity and imagination creates more effective ways of set up and operation.

Home High Tunnel Construction

Elizabeth Buck, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: January 23, 2013
Home High Tunnel Construction

Are you interested in building your own high tunnel? Bowman and Hill Micro Farm hosted an October 18, 2012 Cornell Vegetable Program workshop in which participants learned to build a tunnel - onsite, in one day. This full color, step-by-step workshop transcription includes pictures, helpful hints, and notes about common mistakes.

Quick Tunnel Instruction Guide - Johnny's Selected Seeds

Last Modified: January 10, 2013
Quick Tunnel Instruction Guide - Johnny's Selected Seeds

Instruction manual for Quick Hoops Low Tunnel Benders by Johnny's Selected Seeds.

Zero Disease Tolerance in High Tunnels

Last Modified: January 10, 2013
Zero Disease Tolerance in High Tunnels

Printed in American Vegetable Grower, October 5, 2012:
Keeping crops free of disease is the goal of all growers, including those producing in high tunnels. Download the PDF file to learn about 20 practices that will reduce the chances of pathogens taking over when growing under cover.

Greenhouse Cucumber Variety Trial (2011)

Judson Reid, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: April 2, 2012
Greenhouse Cucumber Variety Trial (2011)

The unheated greenhouse, or high tunnel, offers a vertical production environment suitable for crops such as indeterminate tomatoes and cucumbers. As it is a soil based system however, and passively heated, greenhouse cucumbers must be transplanted later in the spring than tomatoes, due to their intolerance for low root zone temperatures. However, cucumbers can provide good returns when grown in a high tunnel, given consistent pest control and matching variety performance with market demand. A variety trial of four greenhouse cucumbers was established in a cooperating high tunnel in the spring of 2011.

High Tunnel Tomato Trial 2011 (determinate varieties)

Judson Reid, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: April 2, 2012
High Tunnel Tomato Trial 2011 (determinate varieties)

High tunnel tomatoes continue to grow in popularity with New York vegetable growers for disease control, earliness and fruit quality. Variety selection is one of the most important management decisions for tunnels. The decision between determinate and indeterminate varieties depends on grower preference and market demand. Total yield must be balanced with fruit quality and disease resistance

High Tunnel Pepper Variety Trial, 2011

Judson Reid, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: February 1, 2012
High Tunnel Pepper Variety Trial, 2011

Peppers offer a viable option to tomatoes for commercial production in high tunnel greenhouses. In 2011 the Cornell Vegetable Program partnered with Harris Seed, Inc. to evaluate five varieties in a cooperating grower unheated high tunnel.

The peppers evaluated in 2011 performed very similar in total yield per plant as measured by pounds. When we look at fruit size and weight we do find differences that can help growers make choices in variety. When selling by the piece, in a retail setting, varieties such as Yellow Crest would work well. For wholesale accounts varieties such as Gordo will fill bushel boxes faster. Sandpiper, a slightly smaller fruit than the other bell peppers is this trial, gave very good yields and offers a nice color spectrum. High tunnels are a great tool for vegetable growers to increase quality and color of bell peppers. Total economic performance per square foot is much less than tomatoes. However, labor inputs are also lower. Although not a perfect rotational crop with tomatoes, peppers are not a host for Fulvia Leaf Mold, and are less likely to harbor Two Spotted Spider Mites. We encourage growers to consider peppers in high tunnels for increased quality and yield.


Grafting Cucumbers in High Tunnels

Judson Reid, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: January 25, 2011
Grafting Cucumbers in High Tunnels

Soil based greenhouse and high tunnel production of vegetables has risen dramatically in New York recently. This season extension technology offers farmers an opportunity to target market price peaks and capitalize on rising demand for locally grown produce. Considerable attention has been given, justifiably, to tomatoes in these settings. Trials by the Cornell Vegetable Program confirm that cucumbers can also be grown at a profit in tunnels.

As production continues in the same soil beds, risk of root-zone diseases and soil nutrient deficiencies increase. Grafting, the combination of two separate cultivars into one plant, could be a solution to these challenges. Evaluations of grafted tomato by the Cornell Vegetable Program revealed several advantages. This project endeavored to graft cucumbers onto a fig leaf gourd (Cucurbita ficifolia) for increased yields and cold hardiness.

High Tunnel Hanging Baskets, 2010

Judson Reid, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: January 19, 2011
High Tunnel Hanging Baskets, 2010

Although Cornell Vegetable Program research from 2009 showed a net positive impact of hanging baskets of petunias on tunnel economic performance, tomato yields were decreased. In 2010 the project team repeated research in an unheated high tunnel, representing a dramatic decrease in fuel inputs compared to a heated greenhouse for hanging baskets. A lower density treatment was used, compared to 2009, and light intensity data was collected. Risks of shading an in-ground tomato crop and spread of insects and diseases between the flowers and vegetables were investigated.

Grafting of Tomatoes for Soil-based Production in Protected Culture

Judson Reid, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: April 15, 2010

Soil based greenhouse and high tunnel production of tomatoes has risen dramatically in the Finger Lakes Region within the last 5 years. This season extension technology offers farmers an opportunity to target market price peaks and capitalize on the rising demand for locally grown produce. Tomatoes from these protected culture systems have proven profitable in wholesale auction settings as well as farmer's markets and CSAs.

As production continues in the same soil beds, risk of root-zone diseases and soil nutrient deficiencies increase. Grafting of desirable fruiting varieties onto vigorous, disease resistant rootstock has become a standard production technique in hydroponic facilities throughout the world. This project seeks to evaluate the potential of grafting for small scale farmers in New York and demonstrate its advantages.


more crops
Apples

Apples

Apricots

Apricots

Asparagus

Asparagus

Beets

Beets

Blueberries

Blueberries

Broccoli

Broccoli

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts

Cabbage

Cabbage

Carrots

Carrots

Cauliflower

Cauliflower

Cherries

Cherries

Cucumbers

Cucumbers

Dry Beans

Dry Beans

Eggplant

Eggplant

Ethnic Vegetables

Ethnic Vegetables

Garlic

Garlic

Grapes

Grapes

Horseradish

Horseradish

Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi

Leeks

Leeks

Lettuce / Leafy Greens

Lettuce / Leafy Greens

Melons

Melons

Nectarines

Nectarines

Onions

Onions

Parsnips

Parsnips

Peaches

Peaches

Pears

Pears

Peas

Peas

Peppers

Peppers

Plums

Plums

Potatoes

Potatoes

Pumpkins / Gourds

Pumpkins / Gourds

Radishes

Radishes

Raspberries / Blackberries

Raspberries / Blackberries

Rhubarb

Rhubarb

Rutabaga

Rutabaga

Snap Beans

Snap Beans

Squash - Summer

Squash - Summer

Squash- Winter

Squash- Winter

Strawberries

Strawberries

Sweet Corn

Sweet Corn

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes

Tomatoes

Tomatoes

Turnips

Turnips

more crops

Upcoming Events

High Tech Precision Orchard Spraying

July 20, 2020

Join us the afternoon of July 20th to learn what's new in orchard precision spraying technology. We'll be joined by Dr. Jason Deveau, Dr. Heping Zhu, and Steve Booher.  After their presentations, we will open up the meeting for all three presenters to field questions and comments. 

view details

Announcements

U-Pick Farm Practices During Covid-19 Pandemic

U-Pick is a critical direct marketing approach for many of our farms and provides
customers with a unique connection to fresh produce grown close to home. In light
of what we understand about the spread of COVID-19, new management practices
will be needed to protect your farm team and your customers. This document
provides recommended practices and communication strategies for U-Pick
operations for the 2020 season.

https://rvpadmin.cce.cornell.edu/uploads/doc_864.pdf

Resources from CCE ENYCHP!

We are developing new ways to connect with the CCE ENYCHP team this year! We have a Youtube page located at this link. Check out videos on Table Grape Production, Pest Updates and the 20 Minute Ag Manager - in 4 Minutes series

We have a Facebook Page here as well as an Instagram page. We keep these places updated with current projects, events, and other interesting articles and deadlines.

There are also text alerts available. Fruit and vegetable farmers in 17 Eastern NY counties can now receive real time alerts on high risk disease and pest outbreaks texted directly to their cell phone. The Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture program, which is supported by local Cornell Cooperative Extension associations, will now offer text alerts to those that enroll in our program in 2019. 

The text alerts will be reserved for important crop alerts that could impact management decisions immediately. For instance, if there were an outbreak of Late Blight in the area, this would be transmitted to vegetable growers.

Farmers can choose the crop for which they wish to receive updates. Additionally they can request that Ag Business Alerts be sent to them. These alerts might include due dates for crop insurance deadlines, market opportunities etc.

If you have questions, please contact enychp@cornell.edu


Podcasts

2020 Biweekly Vegetable News Podcast- Episode 3- 5/20/20

May 20, 2020
The May 20th, 2020 edition of the Eastern New York Vegetable News covers the following topics:

Spring Spinach Pests and Diseases (1:11)
Pythium Root Rot Symptoms and Management (6:53)
Business Safety Plans for Phase 1 Re-opening in NY (11:27)
Angular Leaf Spot of Strawberry (12:56)
A Conversation with Sue Scheufele, UMass Extension, on Managing Common Brassica Pests (19:05)

Here are links to additional resources mentioned in the episode:

Spring Spinach Pests:
From Rutgers Cooperative Extension, Plant and Pest Advisory 4/2/20
Spinach Anthracnose
https://plant-pest-advisory.rutgers.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/anthracnose-spinach-2020-scaled.jpg

Spinach Downy Mildew and Leafminer
https://rvpadmin.cce.cornell.edu/uploads/doc_869.pdf

Spinach White Rust
https://plant-pest-advisory.rutgers.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Spinach-WR-2020-scaled.jpg

Pythium Root Rot:
https://plant-pest-advisory.rutgers.edu/damping-off-identifying-and-controlling-early-season-pathogens-2-2-3/

Business Safety Plans:
New York Forward Plans https://forward.ny.gov/industries-reopening-phase

CFAP Final Rule and program information https://www.farmers.gov/cfap

Angular Leaf Spot of Strawberry:
Source: Penn State Extension fact sheet

Brassica Pests:
**Although Sue discusses applying Entrust as a tray drench to seedlings prior to planting for research purposes, this is an off-label use. Entrust is currently labeled for application to soil in the field. Always consult the pesticide label prior to use. The label is the law.**

Brassica Pest Collaborative webinar recordings: https://ag.umass.edu/vegetable/resources/brassica-pest-collaborative
UMass research reports on management of brassica pests: https://ag.umass.edu/vegetable/resources-services/brassica-pest-collaborative/research-reports-on-management-of-brassica

Sue Scheufele’s contact information:
https://ag.umass.edu/people/susan-b-scheufele

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