Polytunnels, such as high or low tunnels, offer growers innovative tools to extend the growing season, help reduce risk, and increase yields, while mitigating extreme and “normal” Kansas weather conditions across all seasons. However, plastic-covered tunnels are no silver-bullet solution. They require significant financial investment, can be labor intensive to manage, and may be damaged or destroyed by extreme weather such as high winds, heavy snow, or hail.
Growing Under Cover: Guide to Polytunnel Options for Kansas Growers, written by Dan Phelps, researcher & educator for KRC’s specialty crop programs, reflects input from more than 60 experienced Kansas high tunnel growers who responded to the Kansas Rural Center’s High Tunnel Survey in 2014. This manual offers practical information and resources to assist Kansas growers in avoiding common mistakes and tunnel disaster, in order to maximize their return on investment.