With growing demand for fresh and locally grown vegetables, growers are capitalizing on techniques such as the use of high tunnels for season extension. After a long duration crop such as tomato, planting a quick turnaround crop in high tunnels is a viable option to continue production and increase profitability. High tunnels are an excellent resource for early spring and late fall production of leafy vegetables such as lettuce. Use of plastic mulch as a weed management tool is common in field vegetable production.
One of the biggest challenges which Midwest vegetable growers face is the unpredictable weather and narrow seasonal window for crop production. The risk of frost damage and low soil and air temperatures during the growing season are major constraints. Strategies that help extend growing seasons are thus imperative for successful production of fresh and quality produce. With growing demand for fresh and locally grown vegetables, growers could capitalize on techniques such as the use of high tunnels, low tunnels, or a combination of both to extend the growing season.