When Farmers are not working, they are thinking what to do to do next. The video attached is from one of our trail farms in Michigan. We set up small zones for drip line fertilization practices. This idea is currently used in both small scale and commercial agriculture production. Growers using drip irrigation can plant similar crops that require the same moisture and nutrient requirements together to reduce labor in both mixing nutrient solutions and changing zones.
We had success planting onions, zucchini and cucumbers in a zone together, towards the end of the season the crops required extra water so we split the zones up again. All three crops require larger nitrogen applications in the beginning of the season. We encourage onion growers to apply nitrogen early in the season, because late season applications can have negative effects on flavor. The onions were irrigated in a section at bulb swell with nitrogen taken out of their program and changed to the onion program we use. After our findings we found that will we plant cabbage near the onions in 2014. They both require early nitrogen applications and when sizing both require chloride.
We have blends of water soluble fertilizers specifically designed for specific crops, our 5-25-25 blend is the onion special! After learning the nutrient requirements of crops, we are able to design a fertility program. Planting crops in zones helps create a management plan that will be able to keep up with fertility requirements and create soil environments to allow companion planting.
Planning the growing season months ahead of time is the key to designing an efficient operation for vegetable production. Water pressure is always going to be the decision maker on how elaborate your irrigation system is designed. Vegetable production grown with biological soil programs must have enough irrigation to keep the soil moist to keep biology active. As the season progresses healthy plants will set more blossoms and additionally require more nutrients and water because of a higher fruit load.
More common than not growers will have many things to do when its time to harvest, and can get behind on fertility through the drip line irrigation. If we are going to manage our plants early in the season with practices that encourage reproduction and fruit set, we have to have a designed system that will be effective in maintaing soil moisture and nutrient requirements for the plants aggressively. We do not advocate more is better because often it is not, but we do not want to get behind on fertility practices with full fruit loads.
We teach growers that foliar feeding is like icing on the cake, because we can create biological conditions in the soil immediately and encourage the plant to change its mineral and nitrogen ratios for goals such as new growth or creating fruit set conditions. In critical points of stress in the plants life we can use foliar feeding to give our plants an extra boost of nutrients. Kwazar garden sprayers produce a fine mist that will cover the leaves of the plant uniformly. Kwazar sprayers are the best garden sprayers on the market for spray preformance. When plants that require similar nutrients are planted together, Soilfriends can mix specific nutrients and stimulates in the foliar solution to spray in zones without having to spray to take the energy to spray the same thing in many other areas.
Planning ahead saves energy for later, good luck growing in 2014!