Tyler Ayan

 

Project Title: Growing Cucumbers (Cucumis sativus) Vertically in High Tunnels

Mentor: Andy Radin

Abstract

High tunnels, a larger version of low tunnels, are a type of agricultural structure used to extend growing seasons by trapping solar radiation. In essence, a high tunnel is a frame covered in polyethylene, a transparent plastic, with a ventilation system. Yields are increased by creating a microclimate where the air is warm inside the structure during the beginning and towards the end of the growing season.  However, when used for a low growing crop like cucumbers, the available vertical space of high tunnels can be under-utilized by using traditional cultivation methods. A more effective method for cultivating cucumbers and similar crops is to grow them vertically using a trellis system to better utilize space. Together Andy Radin, our plant science department’s agricultural extension agent, and myself grew 10 different varieties of cucumbers vertically in a high tunnel via a trellis system to better utilize the available vertical space. From only a few hundred square feet we harvested just under 1500lbs of marketable cucumbers in just under two months.

Growing Cucumbers (Cucumis sativus) Vertically in High Tunnels
Growing Cucumbers (Cucumis sativus) Vertically in High Tunnels