Growing Vegetables in Greenhouses and High Tunnels

Protected vegetable production increases

Production of vegetables in greenhouses and high tunnels is on the rise. In the United States, the acreage of vegetables and herbs grown under protection increased 82% between 2007 and 2017. The number of farms growing vegetables and herbs under protection increased 166% (USDA).

Advantages of greenhouses and high tunnels

Although greenhouse production costs tend to be higher than field production costs, greenhouses offer several advantages. Greenhouses allow an extended growing season and higher yields per acre. They offer more control over quality and food safety. Greenhouses can reduce risks from bad weather and pests.

High tunnels (or hoop houses) are a lower cost option for protected vegetable production. They offer some of the advantages of greenhouses, but provide less control over the growing environment.

Financial assistance for high tunnels

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) considers the use of high tunnels a farm conservation practice. They offer financial assistance for growers to install high tunnels. The EQIP High Tunnel System Initiative is available nationally. The Conservation Innovation Grant Program is now accepting grant proposals for innovative high tunnel systems in Florida.

Upcoming webinars and online training

UF/IFAS Extension offers education and training programs on protected vegetable production. A virtual field day series on growing vegetables in greenhouses and high tunnels starts on May 27, 2021. The intended audience is beginning vegetable growers interested in protected growing systems. The weekly webinars will be held on Thursdays, 1:00-2:00 PM, between May 27th and June 24th. The series provides an introduction to growing four different crops in protected systems: lettuce (May 27), cucumber (June 3), tomato (June 10), and pepper (June 17). A fifth session (June 24) will focus on the economics of these production systems. Registration is free, but a Zoom account is required for registration. Sign up free for a Zoom account on the registration page.

A more in-depth online course on hydroponic vegetable production will be offered October 25th to November 22nd this year. This intermediate-level course is intended for growers with some prior experience or training. You can register for the course through the UF/IFAS Canvas registration page. View the Greenhouse Training Online page to see other related courses.


Posted: May 20, 2021

Category: Agribusiness, Agriculture, Crops, Events, Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension
Tags: Agribusiness, Agriculture, Cflandscapes, Greenhouse Production, Hwooten, Hydroponics, Kevin Athearn, North Florida Research And Education Center-Suwannee Valley, Small-farms


Kevin Athearn

May 27, 2021

You would have to contact your county property appraiser office to learn what the additional property tax would be. Every county (and municipality) has a different millage rate. Hoop houses could be treated as an improvement on the property, increasing the assessed value and amount of property tax you owe.

Vivian Searcy Milton
May 25, 2021

How are hoop Houses taxed by the property appraisers office? If it cost $1,395,000 to build the hoop house on the farm how much would the real estate taxes be. the land value with agriculture exemption is 55,000 Total acreage is 150 The extra features value is 1.395,000.

Kevin Athearn

April 16, 2020

Thank you very much for pointing out the Edible Northeast Florida map. I have added that to the blog.

Mimi Vreeland
April 16, 2020

Hello! Could you please edit the above infromation to include “Edible of Northeast and South Florida”. I was informed by the editor of Edible Northeast thy they are also providing the same service as South Florida Edible. Your prompt editing in this announcement would be much appreciated

April 3, 2020

WAS WONDERING as without our impact upon the urban setting could become devastating within days to weeks. Glad this industry is recognized as important, maybe we can be respected better. As having same amount of schooling as most Doctors, then being treated as 'lowly' has disappointed me over the years, as we have less respect. Always dreamed recognition would be nice & this form helps as we are important

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De Broughton

November 26, 2019

Hi Kathy, Click on our website and you should find the information you are looking for as well as upcoming training opportunities in the greenhouses. Also, the contact information for our greenhouse manager is on this site if you need more assistance!

November 15, 2019 worked with peanuts.bkueberries.oeaches,plums,vetch,tobacco etc for IFAS prior to six years ago.I was an OPS. ....have a few questions.i have never tried hydroponics.Will there be a separate print out or paper I can get and read carefully pertaining to local lettuce? that does not have to do with hydro technical methods?( Organic please?).i have been growing soybeans and yet to get good accurate info.locally when I visit my wonderful local IFAS office here.

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De Broughton

May 23, 2019

Thanks Al! I’m so glad you could join us!

Al Burns
May 23, 2019

Great meeting.

Patrick Troy
June 19, 2018

A 2018 update: STATE ITEM June 17, 2018 PREV. WEEK June 17, 2017 5-YEAR AVG. FLORIDA Peanuts Pegging 8% 0% 12% 11% Soil Moisture 0% Very Short 7% Short 73% Adequate 20% Surplus Conditions 0% VP, 1% Poor 20% Fair 68% Good 11% Excellent Early planted peanuts look excellent, but late planted were only fair because of prolonged wet conditions.

Jennifer Copeland
October 18, 2017

Checking to see if you are doing the Fall Harvest Experience inn Live Oak. My 3rd grade class loves to go each year!

October 10, 2017

Good timing We need to address both!

Patrick Troy

September 10, 2017

The warm spring increased GDDs. What are other varieties doing in your area?

Patrick Troy

September 10, 2017

Most 06G peanuts are running 8-10 days ahead of last year

Patrick Troy

September 10, 2017

Dry weather is expected to follow Monday's rain.

Patrick Troy

September 6, 2017

What was the stover material? Did you roll that down and herbicide it?

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