Is lettuce seed production in northern Ontario improved using a hoop house?

Farmer: Peggy Baillie

Farm: Three Forks Farm

Region: North

Publish Date: February 6, 2018

Article Type: Research Project

Research Priorities: Seed Production, Selection & Breeding 

Northern Ontario faces specific challenges compared to other parts of the province when it comes to seed production, including late springs and early frosts (as early as end of August), followed with a wet fall. The demand for lettuce and greens seed is high, but these growing conditions make producing lettuce seed outdoors very difficult. This means that northern seed producers cannot produce regionally adapted varieties. As a potential solution to lettuce seed production in northern Ontario, Peggy compared seed production in a hoop house and uncovered.

Key Findings

  • In the hoop house, Peggy grew sellable lettuce seed from 4 of 5 varieties, and sales of the seeds would recoup hoop house material costs in 2.21 years.
  • When grown uncovered, none of the 5 varieties produced viable seed.