[Market-farming] Re: Market-farming Digest, Vol 13, Issue 6

Paul Bucciaglia pbucciaglia at yahoo.com
Fri Feb 6 16:29:15 EST 2004

Re Red Plastic for organic growers:

>From what I understand the yield increase that was observed with tomatoes on red plastic was due to an increase in shoot:root ratio, resulting in more above ground growth and greater fruit yield.  The reason given was that the plastic affects the ratio of red to far red light, stimulating shoot and leaf growth.  The data I saw was gathered in a conventional system.

This raised 2 questions in my mind:

-Conventional systems rely on readily available, highly soluble nutrients administed throughout the growing season, ie the plants are 'spoon fed'.  Soil nutrients in organic systems tend to be liberated more slowly, and through the action of  roots and soil organisms in healthy soil.  In that case,  lower amounts of roots may be a disadvantage.

-Similarly, I wonder if anyone looked at how red plastic affected taste, nutrition, durability, disease resistance, etc.  Plants have a limited amount of photosynthate to devote to the basic functions they need for survival, and  the case for red plastic strikes me as a case of 'there's no free lunch in biology'.  







Paul Bucciaglia
Fort Hill Farm
Organic Vegetables, Herbs, and Flowers
18 Fort Hill Rd.
New Milford CT 06776
(860) 350-3158

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