High Tunnel Tomato Production
High tunnels for Iowa tomato production are used for earliness rather than late-season extension beyond the fall frost period. This is probably due to price decline and lower per capita in the fall as consumers change their buying habits. Typically, transplanting in high tunnels is initiated about 4 to 5 weeks before field planting or about early-to mid-April for central Iowa. Our objective was to maintain a steady supply of fresh market tomatoes throughout the growing season by evaluating a combination of cultural practices: proper variety selection (adaptable varieties for early and main season);sequence of planting dates; and the use of high tunnels, row covers, and selective wavelength polyethylene mulches(increased soil temperature compared with black plastic).