Tips for Growing a Successful Garden

Tips for Growing a Successful Garden

This week kept us on our toes!

As you all know we grow 100% undercover using high tunnels and cat tunnels.

The high tunnels are really nice to grow in. They have heaters and roll-up sides that are set to a thermostat that will send a signal to the motors to roll up or down depending on what the weather and temperature is calling for. 

Caterpillar Tunnel with crops growing inside

But our cat tunnels are very basic and simple. We have to manually close the end walls and open them daily depending on the weather. It's a lot of work to maintain. And by February we are ready for spring and summer because it means we can take off the end walls and be done with the daily chores of venting tunnels.

Opening caterpillar tunnel

Last week we were really hoping to be done with this task....but mother nature had other plans! Even though venting tunnels is a lot of work we are really grateful that we have as many tunnels as we have--they really help us grow high quality produce 52 weeks out of the year.

Curly Kale transplants

Now on to plants!

I wanted to give a few pointers to all you home gardeners out there. I often get asked when to plant what for west Tennessee. There are a lot of new folks moving from other parts of the country and what may work for New York, California, or Michigan will NOT work for Tennessee. So here are a few tips..

1. Wait to plant any peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, and squash till May. Even if Tennessee last frost date is April 15th does not mean that is the last date. It's not unusual to get a light frost the first week of May.

2. Plant your last batch of bunching greens May 1st. By July the heat and humidity of Tennessee will make your greens bitter.

3. You can plant lettuce every week but it's a challenge and I would recommend planting the last lettuce transplant May 15th.

4. Last tip. Invest in an automatic sprinkler. Having constant water everyday is half the battle on growing a high quality productive garden.

- Ray & Ashley Tyler