Agriculture/Organic farming/Vegetables

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Salad Brassicas[edit]

I have found that in Rhode Island, if I broadcast brassica seed for salad and then disc it or rake it in, after September 6th, there is very little weed competition, and I get a better yield for the amount of bed space used.

Lettuce[edit]

We get many more cuttings off of direct seeded salad mix when the soul has been amended with generous amounts of compost that if it is planted in poor soil, its usually sweeter as well.

Melons[edit]

Do well planted onto plastic mulch.

Asparagus[edit]

We are new to this, but we grew Asparagus from seed this year and transplanted it without digging a big trench, which is usually recommended when planting asparagus, our plants seem to be very healthy, I don't think you really need to dig a big trench.

Carrots[edit]

Seed carrots after a short bare fallow if you have a lot of weeds, and be sure to give them plenty of compost, then they will grow quickly and the bare fallow will take care of a lot of your weeds.

Leeks[edit]

We seed our leeks a few to a cell, shooting for 3 to a cell, then transplant them all together in their clumps of 3, with the clumps 9" apart, we then either harvest them or thin out the small ones, selling them as early season baby leeks, and allow the biggest ones to become full size storage leeks. Because they are competing with each other, they get taller and have longer shanks, we dont have as much trouble with weeds because the plants are easier to hoe and mulch, and we get a better yield out of a bed.

Garlic[edit]

We have landscapers bring leaves to our farm for us to use as mulch, this year we had one of the landscapers who brings already chopped up leaves (you don't want to use whole leaves because they will blow away) drive onto the field, being careful to drive in the pathway and not smush the bed, and dump the leaves directly on the field, where we could spread them out with a pitch fork, saving us the trouble of moving them our selves.

Dry Beans[edit]

At our five-acre vegetable farm in Western Washington, the two biggest issues with growing dry beans are 1) getting them to fully mature and dry before the autumn rain and 2) threshing and cleaning. Some labor saving practices related to #1: Choose appropriate varieties and plant as early as possible. Weed early and well. Big weeds late in the season will harbor dew and soil moisture and keep your bean plants green when you want them to dry down. We use a pretty close in-row spacing of two inches to reduce in-row weeds. If you are watering, you'll want to cut off irrigation early enough. NDSU extension recommends stopping irrigation when half of the plants' leaves or three-quarters of the pods are yellowing. When beans are ready to harvest, we pull plants and windrow them in the field for a few sunny days if possible, flipping them over occasionally. If only rain is ahead, you can bring plants into a greenhouse or other dry place until pods are crispy. Burlap sacks work well for transporting and storage at this stage. As for #2: We use an electric-powered, modified chipper-shredder to thresh the beans. WSU has designs to make one at http://sustainableseedsystems.wsu.edu/nicheMarket/smallScaleThreshing.html. I hear that driving over your beans with a truck and/or dancing on top of them will work, too. After threshing, a good screening system will save you much time down the road. You can make simple screens with hardware cloth and wooden frames. I'd use a 1/2" top screen to keep out large trash and an 1/8" bottom screen to let the fines through. A box fan works well for winnowing. To cut down on the final cleaning time, leave moldy pods in the field at harvest. Once moldy beans get mixed in with the rest, it is very tedious to get them out.