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Video: Moving a high tunnel

From the Cornell Vegetable Program.

High tunnel growers face a unique set of soil management challenges.

  • Intensive cropping minimizes opportunities for fallow periods, cover cropping and other techniques for maintaining soil health and fertility.
  • The plastic covering prevents rain from leaching the profile, leading to excess salts and alkalinity.

By choosing a moveable tunnel design, like the one in this video, a grower can grow a protected crop continuously while allowing for fallow periods, cover cropping and movement of excess salts through the soil profile. Moveable tunnels can be moved laterally (as shown) or pulled lengthwise to cover an already established crop (ie. move the tunnel from summer tomatoes over fall greens).

NY High Tunnel Conference December 8

 A wide variety of tunnel topics will be covered at this workshop Tuesday, December 8 at the  Woodcrest Community, 2032 Route 213, Rifton, NY.  Come hear updates from the CU tunnel team on their projects, funded by the New York Farm Viability Institute.

  • High Tunnel Vegetables, Berries and Cut Flowers
  • Winter Spinach Production
  • Budgeting
  • Farm tour of winter greens high tunnels!

Click here for details:

Call Teresa Rusinek at 845-340-3990 or email 





Be on the lookout for pith necrosis on tomatoes

Meg McGrath, plant pathologist at Cornell’s Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center just added new images of pith necrosis infecting high tunnel tomatoes that she shot last season.

One of the telltale symptoms is the development of adventitious roots:

adventitious roots

McGrath writes:

Pith necrosis is caused by the bacterium Pseudomonas corrugata, which is considered a weak pathogen able to attack tomato plants that are growing too fast. It occurs primarily in greenhouses with affected plants randomly distributed. Symptoms typically develop when first fruit are close to mature green. Disease incidence and severity is favored by high nitrogen fertilization, cool temperatures at night, high humidity, and plastic mulch. Nitrogen had been applied at a high rate in the high tunnel where the disease developed on Long Island.

The only strategy for managing pith necrosis is prevention by avoiding favorable conditions, in particular excessive nitrogen. Copper fungicides are not able to provide control because this soil-borne bacterial pathogen is inside the plant.

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