High Tunnel Melon and Watermelon Production

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High tunnels are low-cost, passive, solar greenhouses which use no fossil fuels for heating or venting. High tunnels can provide many benefits to horticulture crop producers:

  1. High tunnels are used to lengthen the growing season of crops.
  2. High tunnels protect the growing crop from environmental stress such as drought, driving rain, wind and temperature extremes.
  3. High tunnels protect crops from insect and disease invasion.
  4. High tunnels are well suited for producing heirloom and specialty vegetables which require a specific growing environment.
  5. High tunnels permit intensive crop production on a small area of land.

Many warm season (frost sensitive) vegetable crops can be grown within a high tunnel. Cucurbits are a large, diverse group of warm season plants within the Cucurbitaceae family. Cucurbits include many popular vegetables such as cucumber, gourd, cantaloupe (muskmelon), squash, pumpkin and watermelon. Cucurbits are an important dietary source of fiber, minerals, beta-carotene, and vitamin C.

Lewis W. Jett
University of Missouri Extension