Fertility and Fertigation Management for High Tunnel Production
Native soils are generally used as the growing medium in most high tunnel systems and therefore the first step in managing fertility in a high tunnel is to obtain a routine soil test. Soil pH, P, K, Ca, Mg, and micronutrients should be monitored every two to three years or more often if problems are occurring. In addition, a soluble salts test (also known as an electrical conductivity test) is recommended to ensure that salts are not building up. For most situations, adjustment of pH, phosphorus fertility, and micronutrients should be done before planting.
The yield potential of vegetables and fruit in a high tunnel system is generally higher than in open field production. As yield potential increases the need for nutrients also increase.