First successful cultivation of summer vegetables, moderate temperature and humidity are the prerequisite in which attack of sucking insects is minimum. In Punjab temperature is very low during December and January. Also there is incidence of frost in these months. So sowing of summer vegetables in these months is not possible. For early availability of summer vegetables and to get more production, tunnel cultivation has been introduced. Tunnel is covered with plastic sheet in winter season so temperature inside the tunnel remains normal. Hence plants keep growing under tunnel despite of extreme winter and frost.
Vegetable Research Institute Faisalabad started research on tunnel cultivation in 1985. Progressive farmers has adopted this method of tunnel cultivation. now vegetables are being grown under tunnel on large scale. Moreover if very early production of summer vegetables is required, then summer vegetables could also be grown under insect net to protect from sucking insects and viral diseases. This method is specially being used for early cultivation of cucumber and tomato in summer and autumn season.
Importance of Tunnel Cultivation
Through tunnel cultivation not only early production of summer vegetables is possible but also per acre production is increased. Hence not only duration of vegetable availability is increased but income of the farmer is also increased.
Suitable Vegetables for Tunnel Cultivation
Following summer vegetables could be successfully grown under tunnel
Cucumber, Bottle Gourd, Tomato, Musk Melon, Water Melon, Hot Pepper, Sweet Pepper, and Vegetable Marrow etc.
Type of Tunnel
Height of Tunnel
~ 4-5 Meter
Cucumber, Tomato, Bottle Gourd
Walk in Tunnel
~ 2-2.5 Meter
Sweet pepper, Hot Pepper, Cucumber, Vegetable Marrow
~ 1 Meter
Bitter Gourd, Sponge Gourd, Musk Melon, Water Melon
Types of Tunnels according to Structure
1- Bamboo Tunnel
This type of tunnel is less durable but cheap. This tunnel structure could be modified. For burying in soil, bamboos may be replaced with Eucalyptus wood. Life of this tunnel structure is almost 2-3 years.
2- Iron Tunnel
This tunnel consists of T-Iron/Angle Iron or Jisti Pipes. Its life is almost 15-20 years but is costly. To reduce the cost of this tunnel structure, T-Irons may be replace with bamboos on roof. Foundational T-Irons or Pipes are fixed in soil through concrete. This type of structure may be moved from one place to other.
3- Low Tunnel
This structure is made by 5 mm iron bars, narrow bamboos or mulberry wood. 2-3 meter long bars of iron or wood or bended and fixed in soil to make 1 meter high tunnel.
Vegetable Research Institute, Faisalabad