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Vegetable Production


Fertilizer and Cultivar Evaluation in a Hydroponic System

Hydroponic, a method to grow plants in a nutrient solution without soil in a controlled environment, has various benefits over traditional field production like high growth rate, production increase up to 10 times, production on unsuitable land, no weeds, and less abiotic stress due to the environment. Hydroponics permits good control over plant growth and development by proper climate management and use of well-balanced nutrient solution that meet the nutritional requirement of the crop and cultivar. So it is important that the appropriate fertilizer is utilized to avoid the buildup of the toxins, nutrition abnormalities, and to increase yields. There are many fertilizers available in market, but crop specific information is lacking on which products work best. So our research is evaluating different fertilizers (Jacks, Peters, Dyna Gro) on bell peppers, eggplant, tomato, cucumber, lettuce, chard, and basil using at least two cultivars of each in either Dutch buckets or NFT. The cultivar to be selected for hydroponics should have a high yield potential and high market value so that cost incurred in hydroponics setup can be compensated. Although yield data is still being taken, it is clear that Dyna Gro 7-9-5 does not perform as well for bell peppers, eggplant, and lettuce, but is good for Swiss chard.

Plant Nutrients Affect Growth and Yield of Tomato Plants

A two-year study was conducted to investigate the effect of applying nutrients in the planting hole while transplanting tomatoes in the field on plant growth and yield.  In the first year, TerraPhos (also called magamp or struvite), a slowly soluble fertilizer was compared to a Floricote, a controlled release fertilizer of similar nutrient content.  In the second year, TerraPhos was tested with the individual chemical elements that make up TerraPhos as separate single element treatments.  No negative effects were noted with respect to placing any of the fertilizers into the planting holes.  Manuscripts reporting the results of this study will be forthcoming.

Trial Reports

Vegetable Trial Reports

The Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, cooperating departments and experimental farms conducted a series of experiments on field vegetable production. Data was recorded on planting, harvesting, quality, seed sources, and related factors. This report presents, in tables, many of the data which provide up-to-date information on field research. Variety and production recommendations for producers are based on several year's trial data.

Small differences should not be overemphasized. Least significant differences (LSD) values are shown at the bottom of columns in most tables. Unless two values in a column differ by at least the LSD shown, little confidence can be placed in the superiority of one variety or treatment over another. When trade names are used, no endorsement of them or criticism of similar products not named is intended.

Sections by crops are available or you may access the completed trial reports by clicking the above links. Acrobat Reeder is needed to view the Vegetable Trial Reports.

Sections by crops are available or you may access the completed trial reports by clicking the above links. Acrobat Reader is needed to view the Trial Reports.

Horticulture Industries Show Posters

2013 Food Safety Training and PSA Curriculum
2013 Sweet Potato Trial Results
2013 Statewide Tomato Trials

Contact Information

We invite you to learn more about our department and the many opporltunities available to you. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Lynn Brandenberger, Vegetables
Lynn Brandenberger
358 AG Hall