Results of growing vegetables in low heat or unheated greenhouses in Iowa during the winter

Iowa State University Extension and Maharishi University of Management Presentations

April 10th High Tunnel/Low Heat Greenhouse Workshop planned for Fairfield

On Saturday, April 10, from 1 to 3 pm, there will be a free high tunnel/low heat greenhouse workshop at the Maharishi University of Management (MUM) Organic Farms greenhouse, 2075 140th St. in Jefferson County, Iowa, about 6 miles north of Fairfield. The main presenters will be Linda Naeve, Iowa State University (ISU) and Steve McLaskey, Maharishi University of Management. The workshop is sponsored by MUM, ISU, and the Leopold Center.

Linda will talk about her experience with high tunnel site selection, types, and construction.

Steve will talk about his research project funded by a Leopold Center grant to test the feasibility of growing vegetables in a large unheated greenhouse in the winter in Iowa. He is comparing growth and yield of several vegetables in the unheated one acre greenhouse with an unheated 30 foot by 96 foot unheated hoop house greenhouse, and a 30 by 96 foot greenhouse heated just enough to keep it from freezing. In each of the unheated greenhouses he is comparing the following row cover treatments:

1. Beds continuously covered with poly.
2. Beds covered with poly at night and uncovered during the day.
3. Beds continuously covered with row cover fabric.
4. Beds covered with row cover at night and uncovered during the day.
5 Uncovered beds.
6. In the one acre greenhouse he also has beds covered with a heavier fabric at night and uncovered during the day.

At the field day Steve will present the results from this winter. This will include minimum and maximum air and soil temperatures in all treatments, yield of 3 crops in each treatment, and observations on crop growth, crop damage from cold, and performance of different varieties of vegetables in an unheated greenhouse. He will also share what he has learned about labor requirements and techniques for removing and replacing row covers in a one acre greenhouse.

To get to the workshop from Fairfield, drive north on Highway 1 about 6 miles, turn left on 140th St. It is the first driveway on the right. From the north, drive south on Highway 1 five miles south of the intersection with Highway 78. Turn right on 140th St, and right at the first driveway.

Any questions can be directed to Steve McLaskey, Director, M.U.M. Organic Farm Greenhouse: 641-472-3233 or Office: 641-472-7000 x3307.

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