Low tunnels are less expensive as compared to the High tunnels but crop yield is low. Soil preparation, spraying and picking is difficult in this type of tunnel. Cucumber, melons, watermelons, bitter gourds, squashes, and snake gourds etc. can be grown in this type of tunnels.
Things to remember before start:
• Prior to start off-season vegetable cultivation in tunnels, the investor must have practical knowledge about farming.
• Soil and water quality of the farming site should be tested before start.
• Self-pollinated plants should be grown.
• Recommended seed should be used.
• Farmer must have complied and critically analyzed market information to earn high profits.
• To introduce intensive cultivation per unit area.
• To get maximum output/unit area.
• To get production as per market demand.
• To minimize the environmental Hazards.
• To increase the life span and production ability of the plants.
• To promote vertical cultivation to enhance quality and quantity of the produce and to lessen the area availability issues.
• To get 3-5 times more production as compared to that taken in an open field.
• To fetch higher price of produce because of its early availability in the market.
• To save the input resources like water, fertilizer and Time & space.
• To manage the crops in controlled and comparatively easy conditions.
• To grow the crops in shorter time periods/growing seasons.
Suggestions for Successful production:
• Always keep the direction of the tunnel from East to West for better temperature gains inside the tunnel.
• Always use good quality seed.
• For cucumber, use Parthinocarpic variety seed.
• For tomato, use indeterminate variety seed.
• Use fertile soil and maintain its fertility during throughout the season.
• Always grow more profitable vegetables as per market survey.
• Protect seed of cucumber from rodents and insects till its germination.
• Irrigate in morning and evening or as per expert’s advice according to the growing/atmospheric conditions inside your tunnel farm.
• All plants are tied up with rope.
• Prune the plants particularly three nodes at initial stage.
• Use minimum quantity of farm yard manure for cucumber as compared to sweet pepper and tomato crops.
• Use drip irrigation for economic irrigation and fertilizer application.
• To avoid germination of weed, use black mulch into the growing bed.
• Apply proper pesticide at proper time to control the insects or fungi.
• Smoking is strictly prohibited inside Tunnel as it may cause a quick spread viral diseases throughout the tunnel.
Temperature requirements for Best Growth of Vegetables:
Growing season for Off-season production of selected vegetables: