Ely Earth Day 2009


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Ely Earth Day 2009

  1. 1. Ely Community Garden
  2. 2. Why should you have your soil tested? Soil testing: * takes the guesswork out of fertilizer recommendations * makes good economic sense * ensures fertile soil without excess fertilizer application or pollution of the environment
  3. 3. How to Sample: Farm/Commercial Horticultural Fields Divide the field into uniform areas One sample should not represent more than 20 acres on level, uniform landscapes, or 5 acres on hilly or rolling land
  4. 4. Sample each area • Collect 15 – 30 subsamples • Sample to a depth of 6-8 inches (plow layer) for cultivated crops • Avoid low lying areas, old fence lines, any manure holding areas • Make sure samples are dry and well mixed
  5. 5. Tests Offered • Regular Series (phosphorus, potassium, pH and lime requirement, percent organic matter and estimated texture category) • Micronutrient Series (zinc, copper, iron, manganese) • Nitrate Nitrogen • Calcium and Magnesium • Sulfur • Boron • Soluble Salts • Organic Matter • Nutrient Management Phosphorus
  6. 6. Soil Test Form http://soiltest.cfans.umn.edu/Scans/Cropssoil.pdf
  7. 7. One can extend the vegetable growing season by sheltering plants from cold weather and by capturing solar heat in both the air and soil, both in early spring and during the fall.
  8. 8. Season Extending Methods • • Tunnels Cold frames • • Row covers Hot beds • • Greenhouses Cloches • Hotcaps • Plastic soil mulches • (Shading)
  9. 9. Cold frames (sun boxes) • Rely on the sun for their source of heat • Have no outside energy requirements • Relatively inexpensive structures • Used for cool season crops during spring and fall Cold Frame
  10. 10. Hot bed • Cold frame with an added heat source – Sash to capture solar heat – Strawy manure buried beneath the root zone – Steam carrying pipes – Electric heating cables – Light bulb
  11. 11. Cloche (pronounced klosh) • Cloches are set out over individual plants or made into tunnels • Protect plants from cold air and drying winds • Trap solar energy and soil moisture (Hot caps)
  12. 12. Examples of Cloches • Bell glass jars • Boards for wind and shade protection • Milk jugs • Wall-of-water
  13. 13. Hot Caps (Cloches) • Capture solar energy to warm air inside • One gallon milk jugs • Waxed paper hotcaps • Wall-of-water, water filled plastic tubes – Plastic tubes had highest internal air and retained heat the longest at night
  14. 14. Plastic Soil Mulches • Clear plastic • Black plastic • Colored plastic – All increase soil temperature and hold heat during night periods – Black 5 – 10 degrees – Clear 10 – 20 degrees
  15. 15. Floating Row Covers • Row covers mean earlier harvests – Used for leafy vegetables – Root Crops – Starting fruiting crops • Greater yields • Extended fall harvests
  16. 16. Clear Plastic Covers • Used to warm soil prior to planting • Increase soil temperature 10 to 20 degrees F. • Temperatures above 85 degrees F. can damage plants
  17. 17. Spunbonded polyesters • Provide 4 – 5 degrees of frost protection to 28 degrees F. • Opened when internal air temperatures reach 85 degrees • Problem with low light transmission of 75 to 80 % • Weed Growth
  18. 18. Supported Row Covers • Also Called Low Tunnels • Can use PVC pipe, heavy wire • More labor needed • Support needed for crops such as tomato, pepper and summer squash • Weed control needed between rows
  19. 19. Low Tunnels
  20. 20. Low Tunnels • Miniature greenhouse with reduced air volume • Often one or two layer (insulating value) of plastic • Used for cool season leafy crops: lettuce, spinach, endive
  21. 21. Suns Path Summer/Winter
  22. 22. Growing Smart • Be innovative • Be COST effective for net gain • Use some of each systems described • Experiment to see what will work for how many months
  23. 23. Vegetable Varieties for N. Minnesota http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/ho rticulture/DG1425.html#contents
  24. 24. Tomato Varieties for Northern MN http://www.extension.umn.edu/inf o-u/plants/BG474.html
  25. 25. Planning Techniques Plan to use all the space in your garden. Through planting techniques like vertical cropping, succession planting and intercropping, you can make maximum use of the space you have. Vertical Cropping • Train veggies like pole beans, peas, cucumbers, squash and gourds to some type of support to save space in the garden. Existing fences, poles, wire cages, trellises can be used for support. Succession Planting • This technique involves growing a crop like lettuce in the spring and replacing it when the warm weather hits with a crop like beans. In the late summer, you can reverse the process and replace the beans with a cool season crop like lettuce or radishes. Intercropping • Intercropping is the growing technique of planting fast growing vegetables among slow growing vegetables. An example of this technique would be planting radishes, lettuce or green onions among caged tomato plants.
  26. 26. Vertical Gardening ~maximize your space ~ Choose vine crops: • Cucumbers • Melons • Tomatoes • Squash • Beans • Peas
  27. 27. Weed Control
  28. 28. Mulching • Compost • Leaves • Pine Needles • Lawn Clippings • Newspaper/Shredded Paper • Landscape Fabric • Hay/Straw (inspect for seeds) • Wood Chips (course to avoid Oxygen depletion) May need to add Nitrogen as mulch breaks down!
  29. 29. Hand Weeding
  30. 30. “The Mantis” The best friend a gardener could ever hope for! Space rows according to tiller width
  31. 31. Perennials, Fruit, Others…
  32. 32. Asparagus • Buy one-year old roots, if possible • Dig a trench 8 inches deep and wide enough to accommodate the outspread roots (about 10 inches), then space the asparagus 18 inches apart • Don't cut any spears until the third year after planting
  33. 33. Blueberries • Blueberries present a challenge for most gardeners because they require acidic, well-drained soils. The pH should be between 4.0 and 5.0 • The University of Minnesota fruit breeding program has released several blueberry cultivars suitable for growing here. They include: – Northblue – Northcountry – Northsky – Northland – St. Cloud – Chippewa – Polaris.
  34. 34. Raspberries Raspberries grow well in most areas of Minnesota, although they prefer sites protected from both wind and late spring frosts. Of the three main types of raspberries for Minnesota home gardens - red, black, and purple - red raspberries are the most popular and successful in our climate.
  35. 35. Strawberries Three types of strawberries are readily available to the home gardener. June-bearing strawberries produce a large, concentrated crop in late spring. So-called everbearing types produce two smaller crops, one in late spring and the second in early fall. The newer day-neutral plants are capable of producing fruit throughout most of the growing season. Of the three types, June-bearing strawberries normally produce the largest yield per season.