Using Un-composted Leaf Mulch on Trellised Lima Bean

SOILS

Moisture retained under un-composted leaves.

This photo shows Rutgers’ Joe Heckman checking soil moisture retained under leaf mulch layer compared with adjacent cultivated bare ground at our lima bean field, after some recent scorching weather. [Read more…]

Vineyard Site Assessment Checklist

New-Jersey-WineriesWhat factors affect site selection for successful wine grape growing in New Jersey? When considering a land parcel, gather the information listed here to begin to make an informed decision.

Increase site selection success by investing your time before your money.

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A Review of Cultural Weed Control Practices

In this month’s Penn State Extension – The Vegetable & Small Fruit Gazette,
Mike Orzolek reviews methods & practices for weed control.

Effective weed control in vegetable production involves more than the use of herbicides. An effective weed management program includes the use of both cultural and chemical practices. There are several cultural practices that help to suppress both annual and perennial weeds including: liming, band application of fertilizer, moldboard plowing, cultivation(s), crop rotations, and use of black or colored polyethylene mulch.

Also see: Weed Control Strategy Differences in Alternative/Organic vs Conventional Farming by Brad Majek and Jack Rabin.
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Farm Calls: Contemplating Hops

Northeast SARE USDA summer farm tour in Rhode IslandForestry Specialist Mark Vodak was recently “talking shop” with a friend who happens to be a berry farmer. His friend is contemplating a new venture this season – growing hops.

Hop, Humulus lupulus L., is an essential ingredient contributing to beer aroma & flavor and, is of interest in biomedical research.
Their conversation brings up some common questions about growing an alternative crop like hops in New Jersey:

  • Who do I talk to about growing hops?
  • What’s going on with hops in the region?
  • What do I need to know starting out when growing hops in New Jersey?

[Read more…]