If you would like to extend your growing season by starting your crops in late summer and enabling them to grow, ripen, and harvest until late fall, and early winter, a greenhouse or high tunnel can be the answer. Extending the growing season has been a “must-do” for commercial growers, but home gardeners can also take advantage of being able to grow for longer periods. There are many ways of extending your growing season. Here are some products that can help you in extending your growing season and watering tips.
Greenhouses and high tunnels retain warmth while protecting against pests, extreme weather, and frost. Whether you make your own with greenhouse cover plastic or buy a greenhouse, you are on the right track for providing your friends and family with fresh homegrown produce year-round. Choosing utility grade polyethylene in 12 mils clear greenhouse covering will give you many years of protection compared to one season with 4 or 6 mil covers. If building a greenhouse is not your thing consider choosing Solexx greenhouses, Solexx material will diffuse light needed to accelerate plant growth. With diffused sunlight, your plants will not burn or scorch and will not reach and stretch for sunshine, resulting in more compact growth and earlier blooms. Watch this video to see how easy it is to install.
High Tunnels, commonly called hoop houses are a greenhouse type structure that will help increase crop yields, extend the growing season, and allow you to grow more than one crop to maturity each year either in containers or directly in the ground. They are often covered with a durable, clear copolymer film that will allow for more than an 80% light transmission. Farmers use high tunnels to grow most any crop but especially ones that need an early start to the growing season or some to help extend it. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, squash, and specialty herbs are some of the crops grown in high tunnels. They can be ventilated by rolling up the sides or fully or partially opening the end panels.
In a greenhouse or high tunnel, you will find container gardening, row crops, garden beds and much more. There is not much that can’t be accomplished when you have the right tools. For container gardens, a single PC Emitter like the Woodpecker Jr per pot or a loop of 1/2″ Emitter line depending on the container size can provide even water distribution and simplify your gardening. When you are watering long row crops in a high tunnel, running Drip Tape down the rows is a straightforward and practical way to water. When watering garden beds or small containers use 1/4″ Soaker dripline, it’s versatile and effortless to set up. There are many ways to water a greenhouse, here is a link to see other options.
In small hydroponic and aquaponic greenhouse setups, light deprivation tarps are necessary for your growing needs. Reinforced double-sided (black/white) cover is used in light deprivation situations to mimic nature’s growing season to speed up flowering and get a second crop. The black side keeps it dark inside of the greenhouse while the white color on the back side helps reflect the outside sun to maintain the greenhouse cooler. These are often fitted over greenhouses to control light cycles. Combined with heating and lighting during the winter, farmers can create a growing environment for year-round production.
To maximize your crop’s potential, use water-soluble fertilizer into your drip system. Using a fertilizer injector is an easy way to apply nutrients without having to apply by hand. There is no one fertilizer or nutrient solution for all plants. Plant nutrient needs depend on the type of crop, stage of plant development, the season of the year and environmental conditions.
If you need additional information about any of these products, see our website dripworks.com.