[Market-farming] Was edge of bed grows better, Now optimizing crop production

clearviewfarm at bluefrog.com clearviewfarm at bluefrog.com
Tue Mar 8 14:42:36 EST 2011


Dave,

Your comments have spurred me into thinking about the need for succession planting.  I think that your soils, sunlight and how you manage your crop, to some extent, dictate how you do succession planting.  I have sown some crops and have never needed to do any successions, simply because I would thin the crop over time.  Of course, plant size probably varied more than if one were to give their plants more space and do successions.  That said, I would look at my rows of a crop and pick out the biggest plants first and harvest them, then harvest the biggest remaining the next time and so on.  Perhaps that is not an optimal use of my time and field space.  Anyone have any comments on that?

Kurt Forman
Clearview Farm
Palmyra, NY 14522

--- dalew at phonenet.ca wrote:

From: "Dalew Farms" <dalew at phonenet.ca>
To: "Market Farming" <market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org>
Subject: Re: [Market-farming] edge of bed grows better
Date: Tue, 8 Mar 2011 13:13:46 -0500

My first thought also was simply density effect.  Last year we planted 
carrots for the first time with a 6 row seeder from Johnny's, and I 
definitely noticed that the outside couple rows on each bed were bigger 
carrots than the inside rows.  Our other method was using an earthway seeder 
and I would usually put only 2 rows per bed, approx 10" apart, and had never 
noticed that...but the odd time when I tried 3 rows per bed I thought I 
noticed poorer carrots in the middle row, but only a very slight difference.

I had written that off just as a density effect, and planned on doing my 
carrots only using every other row on the 6 row seeder this year to see if 
that helped.  Alex McGregor's email definitely made me re-think that, but 
since we do have a fairly heavy clay soil, I don't think moisture 
differences would be responsible for the better carrots at the edges, as 
opposed to the middle.  I think it was just density - that the plants on the 
edge can branch out slightly more and collect a little bit more sunlight!?!

For harvesting greens, depending on how you harvest, bigger earlier plants 
on the edges of the beds could be a good thing...maybe harvest the edge a 
few days earlier than the middle of the bed....less reaching and spreads out 
your harvest window.  (although I realize sometimes spreading out the 
harvest window can also be a bad thing)

Sorry, I don't think I helped much! LOL

Dave


Dalew Farms
Web: www.dalewfarms.ca
E-mail: dalew at phonenet.ca
Phone: (705)594-1823
Fax: (705)594-1834
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Richard Robinson" <rrobinson at nasw.org>
To: "Market Farming" <market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Tuesday, March 08, 2011 10:30 AM
Subject: Re: [Market-farming] edge of bed grows better


> On 3/8/2011 at 10:29:01 AM, Avalon Farms wrote:
>> Does anyone know why the mesclun on the edge of the beds grows 10 times
>> faster/better than the rest? They are 3 ft wide beds in a hoop house. 
>> Fairly
>> even moisture and fertilizer. But the plants on the outside of the beds
>> always grow better. The only thing I can think of is that the edges 
>> naturally
>> get compressed a bit more and the centers stay fluffier. This soil is 
>> sandy
>> clay/loam.
>
> My first thought is that it's a simple density effect--the plants in the 
> middle have
> competitors on all sides, while those on the edge do not. Perhaps you 
> could seed less
> densely?
>
>
>  Richard Robinson
>  www.nasw.org/users/rrobinson/
>  Hopestill Farm
>  www.hopestill.com
>
>
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