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Vegetable Cultural Practices And Variety Selection
 

Vegetable Cultural Practices And Variety Selection

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Organic Vegetable Production

Organic Vegetable Production

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Vegetable Cultural Practices And Variety Selection Vegetable Cultural Practices And Variety Selection Presentation Transcript

  • Cultural Practices and Cultivar Selections for Commercial Vegetable Growers Brad Bergefurd OSU South Centers Piketon, Ohio
  • Cultural Practices to Consider…
    • Location
    • Soil types
    • Types of crops
    • Garden Layout
    • Rotation of crops
    • Planting Methods
    • Weed Control
    • Pest Control
  • Location
    • Near water supply for easy access
    • Full sun- some plants will grow in shady areas (leafy greens, pumpkins)
    • Away from trees- rob nutrients from veggies
    • Flat land to prevent runoff and erosion
  • Soil Types
    • Best garden soil is loam= equal amount of sand, silt, and clay
      • Good drainage so oxygen is available for roots
      • Organic matter to hold moisture and provide plants with nutrients
      • pH range should be from 6.3-7.0 for most veggies
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  • Loam soil is ideal
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  • Earthworms are a sign of good soil health
    • Stimulate microbial activity
    • Mix and aggregate soil
    • Increase infiltration
    • Improve water-holding capacity
    • Provide channels for root growth
    • Bury and shred plant residue
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  • Soil Management Practices…
    • Clay Soils
      • Work up in the fall of the year
      • This allows drier soil in spring for earlier planting
      • Prepare “raised beds” to plant early in season
      • Work manure, residue, and leaves into soil to increase organic matter
  • Soil Management Practices…
    • Sandy Soils
      • Best when planted with a fall cover crop, rye or vetch and the worked in early spring
      • This adds organic matter
      • Helps to hold on to moisture and residual nutrients
      • Soil tests should be done each year to determine nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium levels as well as pH level.
  • Soil Management Practices…
    • pH is too high (alkaline)
      • Add sulfur to recommended amounts from soil test
    • pH is too low (basic)
      • Add lime to recommended amounts
      • How much to apply? Don’t guess soil test!
      • Beans, peas, onions require high pH levels
  • Feed the Soil
    • Plant get their essential nutrients from soil – either mineral or from organic matter. Soil fauna is essential to this process;
    • Plants don’t require a season’s worth of nutrients all at once, like we don’t eat all our meals at once;
    • Synthetic fertilizers are typically salts, which dissolve rapidly in soil solution
      • Can aggravate a soil salinity problem;
      • Nutrients may be lost before plants use them;
      • Nutrient level fluctuation can negatively affect soil microbial ecosystem.
  • Composting
  • Compost Ingredients
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  • Get compost analyzed
    • Will need to know the elemental makeup of the compost to determine amounts to use to meet the crop nutrient requirements
    • Should be tested by a laboratory for moisture and nutrient content.
    • Nutrient analysis should include: total nitrogen (N), ammonium-N, phosphate (P2O5), and potash (K2O).
    • Accurate manure or compost analysis requires that a representative sample be submitted; so several subsamples should be collected and composited to make up the sample.
    • If manure or compost is being purchased, request a nutrient analysis from the seller for N, P2O5, and K2O content.
  • Fertilizing
    • Plant Food Elements analysis is needed (even for organic fertilizers)
    N-P-K Nitrogen % Phosphorus % Potassium % 5-10-5
  • Fertilizing
    • Why important to know % of elements?
    • For you know how much to feed your crops.
    • Like a diet calculator for your plants
    • Applying rates that are too low can lead to nutrient deficiency and low yields.
    • Too high of nutrient rates can lead to nitrate leaching, phosphorus runoff, accelerated eutrophication of lakes, and excessive vegetative growth of some crops.
  • Fertilizing Continued
    • High Nitrogen Crops
      • Leafy veggies and corn
    • High Phosphorus Crops
      • Pod and fruit crops
    • High Potassium Crops
      • Root crops
  • Applying Fertilizers
    • Broadcasting - spread amount of fertilizer equally over the entire garden and mix into soil before planting
    • Sidedressing - Mix half into the soil before planting and apply the rest later in the season on top of the soil on each side of the rows about 3-4 inches from the stem.
  • Applying Fertilizers continued
    • Banding - place the fertilizer in rows dug 3 inches from each side of the row of seeds or plants and slightly deeper than the depth planted.
    • Plowing Under - if soil is very low in “P” and “K”, then add nutrients and plow under. Top dressing does not allow nutrients to be leached into soil fast enough.
  • Season Extension
    • Interplanting method - plant a short term crop with a longer term plant so more crop can be grown in a smaller space. (i.e radishes and carrots, corn and pumpkins)
    • Succession Planting - if using short term varieties, plant-harvest and replant another crop quickly to get maximum use of garden space.
  • Season Extension
    • Crops can be planted at intervals of every two weeks so that they can be harvested throughout the season- less disease and insect pressure
    • Replant areas where early crops, such as peas and lettuce are harvested with fall crops, such as kale or turnips. (succession)
    • Use black plastic or mulch to cover ground to warm the soil and to keep weeds down.
  • Vegetable Crops: Increased Revenue and Cash Flow is our Goal
    • Season Extension- early and late field plantings as well as mid season
    • Increased early and late season market demand
  • Vegetable Crops: Increased Revenue and Cash Flow is our Goal
    • High $ fall market especially last 2 years due to hurricanes in the south
    • May have better size/quality, less disease/insect pressure in several plantings compared to continued harvest of main season plantings
  • Plasticulture Production Techniques
  • Season Extension- Zip House Performance
  • Floating Row Covers for freeze/frost protection
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  • Staking and tying
    • Prevent plant lodging under heavy fruit load
    • Prevent plant lodging under wet soil conditions
    • Prevents plant breakage under heavy fruit load
    • Prevents wind damage to plant
    • VERY LABOR INTENSIVE
  • Use of landscape fabric or weed matt
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  • High Tunnels
  • High tunnel production
    • Earlier harvest
    • Higher fruit quality
    • Dry plants= less disease
    • Season extension
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  • Sweet Corn Plastic Mulch Systems
    • Potential benefits of clear plastic mulch
      • Crop may mature 7-10 days earlier than unmulched
      • May retain soil moisture (any mulch)
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  • Crop Rotation
    • Decreases insect/disease problems
    • Utilize nutrients already in soil provided by previous crop
    • Example rotation
      • Green, manure crops
      • High nitrogen crops, corn
      • Root crops
      • Solanaceous
    • Back to beginning
  • Planting Methods
    • Use fresh seeds from a reputable source
    • Pay attention to last frost date in your area
    • Plant according to directions on package
    • Build “mini greenhouse” to protect seedlings from frost, increase germination rate/date, and increase temperature from sun so gardening can be started early in season.
  • Weed Control
    • Don’t delay! Remove weeds when they are less than 1” tall and remove roots, too!
    • Mulching/cover crops- straw, leaves, black polyethylene plastic, grass clippings, wood chips (nontreated) work well to control weeds and keep crops clean
  • Weeds
    • Annual weeds:
      • Don’t delay! Cultivate before or soon after soil emergence roots and all!
      • Smother with mulch (before or after weed seedling emergence);
      • Flame weeding can work well but BE CAREFUL especially during the current drought.
    • Mulching/cover crops- straw, leaves, black polyethylene plastic, grass clippings, wood chips (nontreated), newspapers, etc. work well to control weeds and keep crops clean
    • In general:
      • Young weeds are easier to control by whatever method.
      • Weeds can be composted, or used for mulch, if they haven’t set seed.
      • If they have set seed, dispose of by burning, burying, or similar solution.
      • Some weeds can harbor diseases.
      • Soil solarization can kill weeds and seeds at the soil surface.
    • Soil Solarization with clear plastic:
    • Till soil, wet up real well;
    • Cover with heavy-duty clear plastic, anchored along all edges;
    • Leave in the sun for several weeks to heat sterilize upper inches.
    • Kills insects, eggs, seeds in the heated soil.
    • Poor control into deeper soil profile
  • Perennial Weeds
    • Harder to control, as a rule
    • Mulching can help
    • Repeated cultivation and/or flaming can help
    • Crop rotation, green manuring, etc. can help.
  • Don’t park the cultivator!!
  • Black Plastic Mulch
    • Warms soil earlier
    • Suppresses weed growth
    • Holds soil moisture
    • Prevents soil splashing
    • Cleaner fruit
    • Can reduce disease
  • Raised beds, black plastic mulch & drip irrigation
  • Staking and Tying
    • Florida Weave System
  • Staking Peppers
    • Bell peppers should be staked to create a more upright canopy and reduce the risk of wind lodging
    • Similar to tomatoes
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  • Why use cover crops?
    • Add OM back to soil…
    • Reduce erosion…
    • Control weeds…
    • Conserve soil moisture…
    • Control soil-borne disease…
    • Increase fruit cleanliness / quality at harvest…
  • Conventional agriculture is related to soil , air and water quality degradation Accelerated nutrients release (e.g. N) Loss of SOM as CO 2
  • Leaching, runoff and volatilization of Nutrients with Conventional soil tillage
  • Chemical fertilizers dilemma  Environmental crossroads  Fossil fuels Availability Cost Politics  N fertilizer production cost
  • Crop rotation Cover crops No till Sustainable agriculture
  • Cover Crops
    • Common types of cover crops
      • Winter sown rye (annual)
        • Excellent biomass, sown in Fall
      • Perennial rye grass
        • Good biomass, sown in Fall
      • Hairy Vetch
        • Legume (+N), can be hard to kill
      • Spring sown oats
        • Fall sown = very little biomass, spring sown = ok biomass
    • Not so common
      • Medics (annual legume from Australia)
        • Fall seeded deteriorate over winter, spring seeded competes with crop
  • Benefits of cover crops
  • Common Mistake… Seed is not placed in soil Strategy for success… Plant to correct depth Roll before cover lodges
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  • We have evaluated 32 different cover crops at OSU South Centers at Piketon for their suitability for: - Biomass and nutrient management - Biomass N contribution -Nutrient recyclers  Other characteristics
  • Cow peas
  • Alfalfa-timothy Clover Crimson clover
  • Austrian winter peas Hairy vetch
  • Hairy Vetch- Fertilizer equivalent biomass N contribution ~ 80.6 + 4 lbs ac -1
  • Sudan-sorghum grass Cereal rye
  • Sesame Buckwheat-annual rye
  • Annual ryegrass Fantastic Starfire
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  • Soil depth (in) Nitrate conc. (ppm) Hemphill and Hart (1993) No cover crops Annual rye grass
  • Cover crops killing 5% vinegar @ 35 gallons ac -1 Roll over Roundup
  • Challenges with cover crops : Not a “Magic bullet” Unable to replace chemical N fertilizers Delay planting/poor germination Initial lower crop yields (Transitional effect)
  • Challenges ….. Difficult to establish good stands Compete with crops for nutrients Immobilize soil N Right combination (allelopathy)
  • Poor stand and persistence of hairy vetch as cover crops
  • Soil heaving effect on large seeded winter cover crops Example: Austrian winter peas
  • Cons of using cover crops…
    • Having field available in fall.
    • Extra costs and labor needed.
    • Chemicals will still need to be used.
    • Cooler, wetter soils
    • Increased chance of herbicide injury?
    • Longer production schedules.
    • Vertebrate damage increases
  • Continue to look for appropriate cover crops for your farm
  • Vegetable Crop Disease Management
    • Use IPM approach - multiple tactics
    • Manage water properly
      • Trickle/drip irrigation better than overhead
      • Use raised beds
    • Select best possible site
      • Open (good air movement), well-drained
    • Improve soil quality
      • Organic amendments
      • Cover crops
    • Practice appropriate rotations
      • Rotate away from similar crops at least three years
    • Choose varieties with best resistance available
      • “ Mountain” series: moderate resistance to early blight (Mountain Pride, Supreme, Gold, Fresh and Belle)
      • Clean Seed
  • Disease Triangle
  • Disease Management
    • Use IPM approach - multiple tactics
    • Select best possible site
      • Open (good air movement), well-drained
    • Improve soil quality
      • Organic amendments
      • Cover crops
    • Practice appropriate rotations
      • i.e Tomatoes- Rotate away from solanaceous crops at least three years
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  • Pest Control/Prevention
    • Dispose of crop residue (leftovers)
    • Rotate Crops
    • Use “treated” seeds
    • Use “resistant” varieties
    • Purchase healthy transplants
    • Use limited chemicals if necessary
      • STAY SAFE…READ the DIRECTIONS!
  • In the Field - Cultural Tactics
    • Mulches
      • Plastic or plant-based
        • Reduce splash dispersal of pathogens
        • Protect fruit from soilborne pathogens
    • Row orientation
      • Maximize air movement
      • Minimize leaf wetness periods
  • In the Field - Sanitation
    • Destroy plant tissue post-season
      • Removes sources of inoculum
    • Remove diseased plants and weeds in-season
      • esp. for late blight, bacterial diseases
    • Sterilize plant stakes between crops
    • Clean tools, equipment frequently
    • Prohibit tobacco use
  • Watering and Irrigation
    • Timeliness is important
    • Mother Nature does not always provide moisture in a timely manner
    • Rule of Thumb= 1 inch of water per week
    • More or less required at different stages of crop growth
    • Need to account for evapotransporation and rainfall
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  • Drip Irrigation
    • Low volume requirements
    • Low pressure requirements
    • Put the water where the plant needs it the most
  • Overhead Irrigation
    • Easy to manage
    • Plant wettness
    • Good for evaporative cooling of plants
    • Large water volume required
    • Large pressure and horsepower requirements
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  • Direct seeding or transplanting?
    • Some plants don’t take transplanting well (cucurbits, root crops, beans and peas).
    • Some do (tomato, pepper, eggplant, greens of all types, early corn).
    • Can gain 2 to 4 weeks by transplanting, depending on soil temperatures and crop.
    • Cost, hassle trade-offs.
    • May help get ahead of weed problems.
  • Use Clean Seed
    • To control bacterial diseases
    • Tomato seed are acid treated during processing/de-fuzzing
      • Not fully effective in sanitizing seed
    • Other options
      • Clorox treatment (surface sanitation)
      • Hot water treatment (surface & internal)
  • Produce Clean Transplants
    • Practice good sanitation in the greenhouse
      • Use new or sanitized plug trays or flats and pathogen-free mixes
      • Sanitize equipment
      • Install solid flooring; raise seedling trays
      • Limit movement of personnel and equipment between greenhouses
      • Clean benches, greenhouse structure thoroughly after the crop
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    • Do not raise exotic or experimental vegetable varieties, or plants from saved seed, in the same greenhouse with commercial seedlings unless all seeds are treated
    • Avoid raising or holding ornamental plants and vegetables in the same greenhouse
    • Exclude insects (may carry viruses)
    Produce Clean Transplants
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    • Maintain conditions in the greenhouse that do not favor disease development
      • Maintain relative humidity as low as possible
        • Good air circulation
        • Proper temperatures
      • Do not overwater
      • Handle plants as little as possible
    Produce Clean Transplants
  • Transplants
  • Larger cell size=earlier harvest
  • Vegetable Variety Selection
    • The most important grower decision
    • Grower experience is the best
    • Variety evaluation is VERY TIME CONSUMING
    • Consider all the factors
    • Start with new varieties on a small trial scale first
  • Variety Selection
    • Use of “Adapted Varieties” or those have been proven to grow well in this region
      • unadapted can lead to loss of 20% yield
    • Study data from 3 years or more using regional variety trial results and your own on farm testing
    • Agriculture Experiment Station field days and trials
      • summaries released yearly
    • Private Seed Companies field days and trials
    • It takes 8-10 years for variety development, 2-3 more for commercial production
  • On farm variety testing
  • Variety Adoption
    • Market Acceptability: plant product must have characteristics desired by the buyer including size, shape, color, flavor, and nutritional quality
    • Adaptability: Varieties must perform well under the range of environmental conditions usually encountered on the farm (drought, heat, cold, wet, wind)
  • Variety Adoption (cont.)
    • Horticultural Quality: characteristics of the plant habit as related to climate and production practices of the plant product
    • Concentrated set for machine harvest pickles, tomato, sweet corn, green bean.
  • Variety Adoption (cont.)
    • Disease Resistance or tolerance: this is the most effective means of pest management (less costly than chemicals)
    • Genetic resistance or tolerance to disease or insect
    • Virus masking in squash
    • When all other factors are equal it would be prudent to select for resistance or tolerance
  • Variety Adoption (cont.)
    • Yield
    • The variety should have the potential to produce crops at least equivalent to those varieties already being grown
    • Harvested yield may be much less than potential yield because of market constraints
  • Horticultural Quality Characteristics
    • Quality traits of crop may be more important than yield characteristic
    • “ Super Sweet” sweet corn varieties
    • Fruit size, color
    • Spineless in squash
    • Thornlessin blackberry
  • Want to Learn More? University trials and Field Days
  • Seed Company Field Days
  • Midwest Vegetable Variety Trial Report
    • Reports from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, and Ohio are included.
    • Online:. http://www.hort.purdue.edu/fruitveg/reports.shtml
    • To purchase: Purdue University Media Distribution Department. Tel: 1-888-398-4636. A new bulletin is published each year reflecting current season's trials from Midwestern states. Past issues are sometimes available.
  • Full reports of this and past years results:
    • Brad Bergefurd Extension Educator, Horticulture OSU South Centers 1864 Shyville Road Piketon, Ohio 45661 [email_address] http:// southcenters.osu.edu/hort / 1-800-860-7232
    • (614) 292-4900