LEE COUNTY —In the last several years there has been a growing interest in the use of high tunnels for fruit and vegetable production. High tunnels are basically unheated greenhouses used to provide a shelter over fruit or vegetable production. A high tunnel lengthens the growing season of crops and can help protect crops from rain and wind, as well as some diseases and insects.
High tunnels require additional management compared to conventional plantings, but can be very beneficial for commercial growers. Electric fans, which are commonly used for ventilation in greenhouses, are not used in high tunnels. During the cooler temperatures of Spring and Fall, the grower will roll up the sidewalls of high tunnels in the mornings and let them down in the evening to keep the plants from getting too hot or cold. Since the cover keeps rain off of the crops, irrigation is essential. Lots of information on high tunnels can be found at or by contacting your local County Extension Office.
On Friday, April 12, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System will host a high tunnel workshop from 1 to 3 p.m. at Tender Love & Care Veterans Farm, located at 662 Lee Road 348 in Salem. The meeting will feature Extension Specialists Camila Rodrigues and Andre da Silva, along with presentations from Regional Extension Agents Chip East and Dani Carroll. Topics to be discussed at the event include construction ideas, high tunnel management, plant selection, insect management, fertility and irrigation.
Seating is limited. Contact the Lee County Extension office at (334) 749-3353 by Wednesday, April 10, to reserve your spot.