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143 POSTER SESSION (Abstr. 612–623) Sustainable Production–Vegetables

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The efficacy of using potting media and fertilizers that are alternatives to conventional materials to produce vegetable transplants needs clarification. Bell pepper, onion and watermelon seed were sown in Container Mix, Lawn and Garden Soil, and Potting Soil, which can be used for organic production in greenhouse transplant production. The alternative media were amended with a 1× rate of Sea Tea liquid fertilizer. Comparisons were made to a system using a conventional potting medium, Reddi-Earth, fertilized with a half-strength (0.5×) rate of a soluble synthetic fertilizer (Peters). Watermelon, bell pepper and onion seedlings were lifted at 3, 6, and 8 weeks, respectively, and heights and dry weights determined. Watermelon were sufficiently vigorous for transplanting regardless of which medium and fertilizer was used. Bell pepper and onion at the scheduled lifting were sufficiently vigorous only if produced with conventional materials. Additional experiments were designed to determine the reason(s) for the weaker seedlings when the alternative products were used. Seedlings maintained in transplant trays, in which media amended weekly with Sea Tea were required to be held for up to an additional 34 days before being vigorous enough for transplanting. Six-week-old bell pepper, or 8-week-old onion, seedlings were transferred to Reddi-Earth in pots and supplied with Sea Tea or Peters fertilizer. Bell pepper treated with Peters were taller and heavier, but onions plants were similar in height and weight regardless of fertilizer used. Other pepper seed were planted in Reddi-Earth and fertilized weekly with Sea Tea at 0.5×, 1×, 2×, or 4× the recommended rate, or the 0.5× rate of Peters. There was a positive linear relationship between seedling height and dry weight for seedlings treated with increasing rates of Sea Tea. Other pepper seed were planted in to Potting Soil, or an organically certified potting medium (Sunshine), and fertilized with a 2× or 4× rate of Sea Tea or a 1×, 2×, or 4× rate of an organic fertilizer (Rocket Fuel), or in Reddi-Earth fertilized with a 0.5× rate of Peters. There was a positive linear relationship between the rate of Rocket Fuel and heights and dry weights of bell pepper seedlings. However, even at the highest rate seedlings were not equivalent to those produced with conventional practices. Plants treated with the 4× rate of Sea Tea were similar to those produced using conventional materials. Use of Sunshine potting medium and the 4× rate of Sea Tea will produce bell pepper seedlings equivalent in height and dry weight to those produced using conventional materials. The 4× rate of Rocket Fuel used in Sunshine potting medium will produce adequate bell pepper seedlings. The original poor showing of seedlings in the alternative potting media appears to be due to fertilization with Sea Tea at a rate that does not adequately support seedling development.

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). Agricultural education lacked a focus on women’s farms that are characterized by limited acreage; production of vegetables, fruits, cheese, or flowers; diverse herds; use of alternative marketing strategies; and organic and sustainable practices” ( Kiernan et

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result of changes in demographics and economics, there is interest in converting land to crops that are not traditional to the region. One such use is vegetable production and would entail changing from row crops or cow-calf operations. In the latter case

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A research and extension program for increasing vegetable production in southeastern Virginia was launched by Virginia Cooperative Extension in 1997. The launch was triggered by the construction of a shipping point market in Southampton County. First, a market window study identified target crops and the harvest period when they could be most profitably marketed. Target crops were watermelon, sweet corn, snap beans, muskmelon, bell pepper, and pumpkin. Second, a technology transfer program was formulated that emphasized demonstrations, field days, classes, and workshops. On-farm demonstrations of intensive vegetable production techniques formed the foundations of the extension effort and focused on drip irrigation, plastic mulch on raised beds, water and nutrient monitoring, honey bee pollination, and integrated pest management (IPM). “Growing Vegetables for the Commercial Market” was the title of a short course offered in partnership with the local community college. Sixty-five graduates completed the course in 1999. Workshops were offered on farm labor, marketing, irrigation, and production techniques. On-farm research was conducted in support of the emerging vegetable industry. The focus was on sweet corn IPM, variety trials for watermelon and pumpkin, and soil and plant analysis. Information was made available to growers through a bimonthly newsletter, an annual bulletin entitled Commercial Production Recommendations, and VCE postings on the World Wide Web.

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There was a remarkable growth in China's greenhouse horticulture during the past decade. In 1989, the greenhouse area in China was 22,000 ha, but this figure reached up to 350,000 ha in 1999, about 16 times as large as that in 1989. Currently, the main greenhouse design used for commercial production is the energy conservation type—solar greenhouse—and many growers use eco-organic soilless culture for production. The substrates used for vegetable production are perlite, vermiculite, peat, coal cinder, sand, coir, sunflower stem, and sugar cane stem. Dry solid organic manure is mixed into the substrates before conducting cultivation, and then only water is for irrigation. Growing vegetables in this way improved quality, increased market value, and decreased environmental pollution.

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At present, global agriculture, especially vegetable production, is being challenged to meet the food and nutritional demands of the ever-increasing population. The growing food demand is placing pressure on natural resources such as land and water

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and cover cropping would fit into their diverse production systems, particularly without the use of herbicides. The objective of this study was to evaluate three reduced tillage and cover crop strategies in an intensive mixed vegetable system. Methods

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soil quality has not been conclusively demonstrated. The goal of this study was to determine how soil quality and vegetable productivity are impacted by organic and inorganic fertility amendments in high tunnel and open field production systems. We

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150 POSTER SESSION 19 (Abstr. 278-306) Crop Production Wednesday, 26 July, 1:00-2:00 p.m.

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