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Melanie Stock

Brent Black


Utah State University Extension

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Cut flower production in Utah can be limited by cold winters, late-spring freezes, daily temperature fluctuations, canyon winds, and intense sunlight. For growers who lack the space to construct a high tunnel, low tunnels can advance, extend, and improve seasonal production. Temperature increases from low tunnels during winter and spring can increase emergence and yield compared to unprotected beds, but require venting to avoid heat damage. During summer, low tunnels easily transition into shade structures that provide cooling and protection from the sun. This fact sheet describes a simple and cost-effective low tunnel design with metal-conduit hoops that are tall enough to cover the plant canopy; anchored to the ground with rebar; and fitted with fabric row cover, plastic, or shade cloth. We also share guidelines for using low tunnels to optimize cut flower production and present temperature management information.

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