Growing climbing vegetables under cover is the most common application for a greenhouse. Pumpkins, courgettes, melons and watermelons, as slow-ripening plants, need an appropriate micro climate, as well as protection against pests and cold. This can be achieved with a polytunnel, contributing to better harvests for many gardeners. A suitable temperature for nightshade species of about 20-28 degrees C is required, which also explains the need to cultivate them in greenhouses.
Growing climbing vegetables in a polytunnel
Although climbing vegetables can be grown directly from seeds, producing or buying seedlings constitutes a much better solution. Seedling preparation in a garden tunnel should be implemented early enough, usually in April. A garden crate can be filled with a fertile soil, rich in macro and micro nutrients. For this purpose, mini foil tunnels can be used for additional protection inside a full-sized greenhouse. This double protection reduces the risk of damage from cold and frost and enables growth despite adverse conditions outside the installation.
Crop rotation in a garden tunnel
Crop rotation is a practice used in horticulture and agriculture. The idea is to adequately plan crop location, for optimal results. This prevents the occurrence of pathogens and pests, whose presence increases over time. Most climbing plants are thermophilic. Therefore, in temperate climates, they can be considered as annual. To ensure their proper growth, it is rather beneficial to implement coordinated cultivation. Avoid planting them in the same spot year after year.
Greenhouse micro climate
Thermophilic vining vegetables need a sunny site for proper growth. They do not fare well in the shade, and even partially sheltered, their growing process can be affected. Similarly, big temperature fluctuations will impact on their development. This issue can be solved by a polytunnel which protects crop with a transparent plastic foil.
Watering plants in a greenhouse
Due to their shallow root system, large fruits and wide leaves, climbing plants have high water requirements. That is why systematic watering is essential. This will lead to firm, juicy and tasty fruits. Mulch on the ground represents a good solution for crops not to compete with weeds for sunlight, minerals and water. This prevents premature evaporation of water and contributes to a higher soil temperature.
Fertilization under cover
In addition to regular watering and systematic weed removal, fertilization is a crucial element of plant care. One year before starting cultivation of these vegetables, it is worth fertilizing the soil with manure. Following that process, favorable reactions for growth will occur in the ground. After each season, it’s worth trying to keep a fertile substrate, rich in humus, with a good structure and full of mineral components.