Learn how to extend growing season with help of Purdue Extension

September 16, 2014  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - With the fall harvest approaching, Purdue Extension is reaching out to gardeners and operators of small farms who want to extend their growing season.

Jodee Ellett, Purdue Extension’s local foods coordinator, said growing fruits, vegetables and flowers outdoors is possible well into winter with the right expertise and equipment, such as high tunnels - plastic-covered, low-cost structures that are similar to greenhouses.

“High tunnels and other methods enable growers to extend the growing season and even grow year-round in Indiana under plastic sheeting,” Ellett said.

Purdue Extension is offering a series of free webinars and workshops providing essential how-to and background information on topics related to year-round growing.

They are:

* NCRS High Tunnel Program: 10-11 a.m. EST, Sept. 23. The webinar will be presented by Adam Heichelbech, Environmental Quality Incentives Program specialist of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. No registration is required.  To access the webinar, visit https://gomeet.itap.purdue.edu/nrcsht/.

Ellett said growers interested in acquiring season-extending equipment such as high tunnels might qualify for financial and technical assistance through the 2014 Environmental Quality Incentives Program’s Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative. More information about the NRCS program is available at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detailfull/national/programs/?cid=stelprdb1046250

* The Influence of Cultural Practices on Tomato Diseases in High Tunnels: 10-11 a.m. EST, Sept. 25. Featured presenter is Purdue plant pathologist Dan Egel. No registration is required. To access the webinar, visit https://gomeet.itap.purdue.edu/tomatoesht/.

* Insect Management in High Tunnels: 10-11 a.m. EST, Oct. 9. The presenter will be Rick Foster, Purdue professor of pest management, vegetable and fruit crops, and Extension coordinator.  No registration is required.  To access the webinar, visit https://gomeet.itap.purdue.edu/insectht/.

* Crop Selection and Insect Management in High Tunnels: 10-11 a.m. EST, Nov. 20.  The webinar will be led by Liz Maynard, Purdue Extension commercial floral and vegetable crops specialist. No registration is required. To access the webinar, visit https://gomeet.itap.purdue.edu/cropsht/.

Two workshops in the series will be held 6-8 p.m. Sept. 23 at Aspire Harvestland Farm, 6775 state Route 32, Anderson; and 4-6 p.m. Oct. 7 at the Harvest Moon Flower Farm, 3592 Harvest Moon Lane, Spencer.  Both workshops are free, but advance registration is required for the workshop in Spencer. To register for that session, send an email to monroeces@purdue.edu or call 812-349-2575.

A third workshop is scheduled for 5-7 p.m. Oct. 23 at the Paramount School of Excellence, 3020 Nowland Ave., in Indianapolis.  For more, contact Emily Toner, urban agriculture Extension educator, at 317-275-9269.

For more information on the webinars and other Purdue Extension programs involving small farms and local foods, visit https://ag.purdue.edu/Extension/smallfarms/Pages/events.aspx

Writer: Darrin Pack, 765-494-8415, dpack@purdue.edu 

Sources: Jodee Ellett, 765-494-0349, jellett@purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Keith Robinson, robins89@purdue.edu
Agriculture News Page

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