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D.C. Sanders, L.M. Reyes, D.W. Monks, K.M. Jennings, F.J. Louws, and J.G. Driver

Tomato, pepper, and cucumber were grown for consecutive years using compost from two North Carolina cities (Lexington and Edenton) and McGill Composts (CMC) sources and CMC amended with Tracoderma 382. Treatments included compost with an untreated control and Telone C-35 (Telone) with and without additional fertilizer. The objective was to evaluate compost influence on yield and pest management. Results showed significant differences between treatments and among years. Cucumber and pepper had higher total and marketable yields in 2005 than in 2004.

Although tomato yield was lower in 2005 than in 2004 it was evident that CMC+Telone had a higher marketable and total plant dry weight in both years. Two year data showed that combinations of treatments with CMC and Telone (Telone+fertilizer, CMC+Telone, CMC+T382) produced higher yield for tomato and cucumber. Composts from Lexington and Edenton produced more number 2 grade peppers, but treatments did not differ in total and marketable yield. In general compost treatments with or without amendments showed better results in crop yields than the control. Weed counts by species were determined on all plots. Pepper had the greatest number of weeds relative to cucumber and tomato. Organic amendments seem to increase the action of the compost source in several crops. Combination of treatments may depend on the particular crop.

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Eric Simonne and John Owen

Because deer pressure in Alabama is high, the efficacy of Garlic Barrier™ (GB) in controlling deer damage was evaluated with sweetpotato (SWP), southernpea (STP), sweet corn (SC), and zucchini squash (ZSQH). GB was applied on or around the plots at 10× the recommended rate. Damage was rated three times weekly on a 0 (0% damage) to 5 (100%) scale between 15 June and 18 Sept. All damage observed was unambiguously attributed to deer. GB on the plot significantly (P < 0.02) reduced grazing damage to SWP and STP, but not enough to prevent economical losses. Protection from GB around the plots was similar to the unsprayed control. Damage to SWP began 3 days after establishment. Damage to STP was limited to the developing pods. No damage was observed to SC and ZSQH (P > 0.37) during vegetative and reproductive stages. These results document scientifically the deer-repellent property of GB under natural conditions when applied directly on the plants. However, in its present formulation and under severe deer pressure, GB alone may not provide economical protection.

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William Terry Kelley

Despite some advantages, adoption of slow-release fertilizers in vegetables has been slow primarily due to cost. In crops fertilized with ground equipment, growers can make fewer trips through the field and assure fertilizer is present when conditions prevent application. With drip irrigation, some materials are difficult to inject, however, Nitamin is a new injectable liquid produced by Georgia Pacific. Thus, with plasticulture, growers can inject less frequently and potentially use lower rates. Granular and liquid formulations of slow-release fertilizer were tested on onions (Winter 2003–04), cabbage (Winter 2003–04) and pepper (Spring 2004) in Georgia. Combinations of traditional fertilizer with slow-release formulations and various rates of slow-release fertilizer alone were compared to a standard fertilizer program on these crops in separate experiments. The slow-release contains only N. So, other nutrients were held constant. Otherwise normal cultural practices were employed. Crops were harvested at maturity and data collected on yield and quality. In cabbage, with at least 50% of the standard N rate using the slow-release fertilizer, yields were comparable to the standard. Results on onions were similar with N rates of at least 75% of the standard for the liquid material; the granular formulation did not perform well. Split applications of slow-release fertilizer and combinations with standard fertilizer worked well for cabbage, but not for onions. Results on pepper, although inconclusive, indicated it was possible to get comparable yields at lower N rates with the slow-release material. Based on these results, lower N rates are possible on cabbage and onions with slow-release fertilizers which may make them economically feasible while providing application advantages to growers.

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D.C. Sanders, L.M. Reyes, D.W. Monks, K.M. Jennings, F.J. Louws, and J.G. Driver

Tomato, pepper and cucumber were grown for consecutive years using compost from two North Carolina cities (Lexington and Edenton) and McGill Composts (CMC) sources and CMC amended with Tracoderma 382. Treatments included compost with an untreated control and Telone C-35 (Telone) with and without additional fertilizer. The objective was to evaluate compost influence on yield and pest management. Results showed significant differences between treatments and among years. Cucumber and pepper had higher total and marketable yields in 2005 than in 2004. Although tomato yield was lower in 2005 than in 2004 it was evident that CMC+Telone had a higher marketable and total plant dry weight in both years. Two year data showed that combinations of treatments with CMC and Telone (Telone+fertilizer, CMC+Telone, CMC+T382) produced higher yield for tomato and cucumber. Composts from Lexington and Edenton produced more number 2 grade peppers, but treatments did not differ in total and marketable yield. In general compost treatments with or without amendments showed better results in crop yields than the control. Weed counts by species were determined on all plots. Pepper had the greatest number of weeds relative to cucumber and tomato. Organic amendments seem to increase the action of the compost source in several crops. Combination of treatments may depend on the particular crop.

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Mary A. Rogers

Organic vegetables produced in greenhouses and other controlled environments may fill a unique market niche as consumers demand local, high vegetables year round. However, limited technical information supports these production systems and more research is needed to provide recommendations for appropriate substrate mixes and nutrient management. Compost can be used as a substitute for peat-based media, and research results vary widely based on feedstock, compost method, and proportion used in mixes. Most studies consider compost in terms of peat-substitute or replacement and not as a source of fertility in soilless systems. Common challenges in using compost in soilless media are due to immaturity of the compost, poor water holding capacity, and unbalanced salinity and pH. It is possible to certify organic soilless production systems; however, the National Organic Program (NOP) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture has not yet provided clear rules and requirements supporting these systems. The objective of this article is to review the literature on soilless organic vegetable production, summarize results from the more widely studied topic of vegetable transplant production, and point to future research for organic agriculture.

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Ed Kee, James L. Glancey, and Tracy L. Wootten

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R.L. Parish, R.P. Bracy, and H.F. Morris Jr.

A study was conducted to evaluate the effect of banding or broadcasting fertilizer on yield and quality of turnip (Brassica rapa L. Rapifera group), sweetcorn (Zea mays var. rugosa Bonaf.), and cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. Capitata group). Preplant fertilizer was applied broadcast before bedding, broadcast after bedding, or banded after bedding. Sidedress applications were broadcast or banded on the beds. Differences in plant size and vigor were noticed early in the season in the spring turnip crop, with the growth in the broadcast-and-bed treatment appearing superior. The yield at first harvest and total yield were lower for turnip grown with the bed-and-broadcast treatment. No differences in yield of cabbage or sweetcorn resulted from the treatments. Few differences in turnip stem-to-leaf ratio were noted due to fertilizer treatment. Few differences in yield due to sidedress method were noted with any of the crops. Analysis of soil samples in a grid pattern across the beds showed that the location of the fertilizer after the broadcast-and-bed treatment was similar to the placement of the banded fertilizer. Since broadcasting can be done with a faster, wider applicator, growers could reduce costs by broadcasting fertilizer and obtain yields that are at least equivalent to the yields obtained by banding the fertilizer.

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Proceedings of the Short Course Drip Irrigation of Vegetable Crops

held at the 88th ASHS Annual Meeting Pennsylvania State University, University Park Presiding: William J. Lamont, Jr. 25 July 1991

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Gary A. Clark and Allen G. Smajstrla

Proper design and installation are essential to provide a drip irrigation system that can be managed with minimal inputs and maximum profit. Because drip irrigation can apply precise amounts of water and chemicals, constraints associated with the plants, soil, water supply, and management must be considered in the design, installation, and management processes.