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Southern SAWG - Intensive vegetable production on a small scale - Pam Dawling
 

Southern SAWG - Intensive vegetable production on a small scale - Pam Dawling

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Intensive Crop Production on a Small Scale — Many farmers raise large amounts of food on small acreages. Learn about methods for close spacing, wide beds, using season extension techniques, ...

Intensive Crop Production on a Small Scale — Many farmers raise large amounts of food on small acreages. Learn about methods for close spacing, wide beds, using season extension techniques, soil-building, disease and pest management, and dealing with humidity and heat issues in crowded plantings. Presenters will also discuss developing a marketing plan to inform a planting guide and maximize profits. For both rural and urban farmers who want to maximize production on limited space. Pam Dawling, Twin Oaks Community (VA) and Edwin Marty, Hampstead Institute

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  • Fertility Management – slide deleted:Keep a diverse soil biology. Feed the soil microorganisms and they can feed the crops. Prevent erosion and runoff, avoid leaving bare soil. In hot humid climates, the breakdown of plant material in the soil is very quick, so find as many ways as possible to replenish it.Compost adds nitrates, stable carbon-containing humus, a diversity of minerals reflecting the varied ingredients, and beneficial bacteria and fungi, in a mixture which slowly provides balanced food for the soil, improves the soil structure, and can inoculate plants against disease by inducing systemic acquired resistance.Cover crops improve OM, crumb structure, increase the moisture-holding ability, porosity and drainage. Leguminous cover crops provide N and, if densely planted and turned under at the early flowering stage, may be all the nitrogen the next crop needs. Organic mulches, mainly straw and spoiled hay, add OM while reducing weed growth. Using a lot of hay mulch will eventually increase potassium levels, even into the very high level, so watch your soil test scores if you tend towards high K.Soil amendments – get soil pH and nutrients tested every year or two, at the same time of year, same company.Mycorrhizal fungi can be purchasedLiquid Fertilizers can be made from compost or plants, or products made from seaweed and fish can be purchasedOrganic fertilizers can be purchased, such as seed meals, dried composted poultry manure and worm castings, if you need more than you can produce on your farm.An above-ground biomass of 4000 lb/acre (4480 kg/hectare) of cool-season legumes can provide 60 lb/ac (67 kg/ha) of nitrogen.
  • Carrots provide the same maximum yield at very different densities. The weight of tiny carrots from very crowded beds can be the same as the weight of giant carrots from carefully cultivated and thinned beds (or from precision-sown pelleted seed).
  • Red root pigweed is a “Big Bang” weed — the plant grows for a long time, and then all its seeds ripen at once as it starts dying. Most seeds come from a few large plants — pigweed monsters that mature late in summer can shed four hundred thousand seeds! Pulling the largest 10 percent of the weeds can reduce seed production by 90 percent or better.“Seed dribblers” like galinsoga, mature seed while still quite small plants, shed some, make some more, and can carry on for a long seed-shedding season. Galinsoga seeds are short-lived and germinate only near the soil surface, but velvetleaf seeds can lie dormant for years deepin the subsoil and germinate whenever they are brought close to the surface.

Southern SAWG - Intensive vegetable production on a small scale - Pam Dawling Southern SAWG - Intensive vegetable production on a small scale - Pam Dawling Presentation Transcript