Nutrient management for high tunnels to be presented

High tunnels provide many benefits to farmers and gardeners but provide challenges for managing soil nutrients. (Photo courtesy of USDA-NRCS)

by Hildy Ellis

A presentation on Nutrient Management for High Tunnels will be held Thursday, October 24 from 5 – 6:30 p.m., at Sheepscot General Farm & Store, 98 Town House Road, in Whitefield, the first of two fall programs in the Knox-Lincoln Farmer and Gardener Workshop Series. Bruce Hoskins, University of Maine Soil Testing Program Coordinator, will discuss high tunnel soil testing at the University of Maine and how the lab addresses the specialized management concerns of this unique growing environment.

High tunnels – or unheated hoop houses – provide many benefits to farmers and gardeners in terms of heat gain, season extension and control of foliar diseases. However, these covered growing spaces provide challenges for managing soil nutrients. The combination of high temperatures inside the high tunnel and the need for water to be supplied only by irrigation creates what is essentially an irrigated desert, which over time results in nutrient salt build up and soil stratification.

Hoskins will discuss how to manage nutrients to compensate for these conditions and the much greater nutrient demand on these soils. This free talk is co-sponsored by Knox-Lincoln Soil & Water Conservation District, Maine Coast Heritage Trust and Midcoast Farmers Alliance.

FMI and to register for this free program contact julie@knox-lincoln.org, 596-2040 or visit www.knox-lincoln.org/farmer-gardener.

 
 

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