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Digital Subscriptions > Hobby Farms > May/June 19 > Greenhouse WATERING WISDOM


Growing in protected space can significantly grow your bottom line, but only if irrigation issues don’t put you underwater.

In 2016, my family began what was then the largest project on our farm: a high tunnel measuring nearly 2,100 square feet. We estimated that completing the project would take many months. However, building the structure was only the beginning of finishing the high tunnel.

If you’re new to growing in protected space such as greenhouses and high tunnels, such setups can become your most profitable and productive ground if you manage them well.

The first year, using around 600 to 800 square feet of our tunnel, that small space outperformed 3,000 square feet of field space. Twenty-four bell pepper plants in the tunnel produced more than twice the yield as 48 plants in the field. The potential benefits of protected growing spaces include higher and better yields, less disease and pest pressure, and far greater profit per square foot.

That said, such spaces present distinct challenges, including irrigation. By nature, such a space requires either manual or automated irrigation. The type of irrigation you use in a high tunnel depends on a number of factors, such as:

• What crops do you plan to grow?

• Do you plan basic irrigation or also fertigation (adding nutrients to the irrigation water)?

• Will you use well or city water?

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About Hobby Farms

Hobby Farms May/June 2019, High Tunnel Irrigation Options, Rural Living for Pleasure and Profit, For your Animals Best Health, Poison IVY Prevention & Tips, And More....