Thursday, October 4, 2012

Management of Transplants & Utilizing Plastic Mulches

September 26 - October 1, 2012
In class we learned that to control transplant height we need to be aware of nutrient management, moisture management, light intensity, temperature management, and mechanical conditioning, such as brushing and mowing. If there is an unlimited time provided to a certain crop, the cell size doesn’t affect total crop yield in this case. The bigger the size of the cell, the better it is to obtain a greater early yield. To achieve a successful transplanting, transplanting should be done in early morning or late afternoon and water should be provided as soon as possible after transplanting. I wonder if some of my transplanting didn’t do well do to not providing them water right after I transplanted them. However, tomato transplanting probably could not survive long because I have ants’ problems in my garden, which are eating everything I plan.

Further, we talked about the proper pH for a plant to growth which is between this range: of 5.5 to 6.5. The essential nutrients that plants need are nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. Phosphorus is needed in early season to promote sugar metabolism and root growth. Then potassium helps in drought resistance (Osmotic regulation) and helps in the seed development process. Excesses in potassium usually not a problem, which is good to know in case there is excess potassium applied in the crop.

Additionally, we covered benefies of mulches. Mulches modify soil temperatures, increase early and sometimes total yield. Mulches an also reduce weed competition, increase moisture retention, reduce fertilizer leaching, decrease soil compaction and increase fumigation effectiveness. A very interesting mulch used is silver mulch. Because of its metalized appearance, pests fly by it and are fooled by it. They can’t notice the existence of plants under it. 

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