2021-2024 SCBG-UK-Soilless Greenhouse Cucumbers; Establishing Recommendations for Greenhouse Soilless Culture Cucumber Production in Kentucky

  • Owen, William (PI)

Grants and Contracts Details


Controlled environments such as heated greenhouses has gained considerable attention among producers to extend the cropping season or grow year-round to fulfill market voids and earn premium prices for fresh market specialty crops. Over the past decade, greenhouse vegetable production in Kentucky has increased by 34% with greenhouse tomatoes being the most commonly produced crop based on number of producers (328), production area (1.1 million square feet), and value ($3.6 million wholesale value). Soilless culture tomato production systems and greenhouse infrastructure can be adapted to vertically-grow a diverse selection of vegetables, but these crops have yet to be explored. This project seeks to diversify specialty crops in Kentucky and address production challenges of greenhouse vegetables by investigating greenhouse cucumbers, which can easily integrate into current soilless tomato production systems or beginning farmers. We propose to trial and evaluate cucumber varieties representing the pickling, slicing, long English, and specialty market segments for greenhouse production by establishing cultural and environmental knowledge for either truncated (spring and fall) or year-round performance in Kentucky. Secondly, we will focus on determining best practices and to establish a basic standard fertility program for Kentucky growers. This information will be translated into both printed and web-based pictorial nutritional disorder guides with crop- and variety-specific leaf tissue nutrient values and technical information for growing greenhouse cucumbers. Finally, partnering with a local greenhouse tomato producer, this project will include a case study integrating cucumbers into their production system and implementation of discovered cultural and fertility knowledge, and examine profitability. We will utilize both research and local producer greenhouse locations for Extension agent and grower trainings and demonstrations, respectively.
Effective start/end date11/1/2112/31/22


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