Wednesday, May 17, 2006

How frequest to fertilize

1) According to Dr. Mittleider's instructions you should continue
> your crops weekly until 3 weeks before harvesting. The chart that
you have
> seen is a guide, and is mostly correct, but may vary greatly
according to
> different climates and your growing conditions. Thus when your
crops stay
> longer in the soil, continue with their feeding. This may be
> true for indeterminate tomatoes in greenhouses where one may
> extend the growing season by quite some time.
> 2) The ideal with any crop is to take best care of it, water and
feed it
> regularly and bring it to harvest as soon as possible. This is for
> reasons; the most important one being to avoid diseases. Let's
take your
> Swiss chard. They are very easy to grow and don't cost much. For
> reason it is recommended that you rather circulate the plants more
> regularly. Swiss chard in particular you could harvest about three
> That is, three pickings from each plant. Once the leaves are big
> harvest them but leave a few (at least 3) of the young leaves. Let
> leaves grow till the next picking is ready and harvest again, then
the same
> process till your 3'rd picking after which you will pull out the
old plants.
> Spinach is very prone to get Cercospora leaf spot (under warm and
> conditions mostly in summer to early autumn).
> Keeping old plant material in the ground promotes disease build-up.
> are very susceptible to powdery and downy mildew. Other diseases
that can
> cause damage is mosaic virus diseases that are transmitted my
> insects; fungal and bacterial fruit rots. When plants stay too
long in the
> soil the disease pressure increases and soil-born bugs and diseases
> proliferate.
> Cultural practices may benefit your crops greatly. Remove old
leaves or
> leaves showing lesions promptly and remove leaves that hang on the
> Water plants at the beginning of the day or during the warmth of
the day and
> not at evening as many would have you believe. Diseases thrive in
> conditions and after watering you want to give your plants time to
air and
> dry. Remove sick plants and don't leave your plants in the soil
after they
> are ready for harvesting - it is a feast that no bug can pass by!
> Somewhat off the topic, may I comment on fungicides and
> Sometimes there are a need for using measures to protect our crops
> control diseases and pests - (although with a Mittleider garden
where the
> instructions are carefully followed you may be mostly spared it's
> Being a Plant Pathologist you get to learn all about these
chemicals and how
> they work. Amongst that, you are taught how to use them safely.
Any new
> disease control agent/chemical has to go through very strict tests
> procedures that can take years before it is passed and registered
> commercial and public use. These chemical companies have to follow
> rules with regards to making sure that customers are correctly
advised on
> the usage of the chemical. Included with each product is an
> pamphlet that discusses in detail how the product should be used to
keep us
> guaranteed of being safe from being exposed to its harmful
effects. One
> important thing to know about these products is that they have a
> period (the molecular structure of the chemical breaks down when
it comes
> in contact with conditions such as light, air, water, UV,
temperature, dirt
> etc). The break-down period inherently serves two purposes.
Firstly to
> give an indication of when the product will not be effective as a
measure to
> control disease any more; and secondly to indicate that the active
> ingredients will have been broken down after that period, thus
rendering the
> crop safe for human consumption.
> The problem comes in when the people that administer these
chemicals do not
> follow the instructions on these labels/pamphlets. On the pamphlet
it will
> indicate (usually for the indicated crops) how long one should not
> the food after the last application. If you follow the instructions
of the
> extension agent whom you phone, or of the shop assistant that has
the know
> how of which product to use, and if you follow the instructions on
> leaflet that comes with the product - then your foods will be safe
> consumption and no harm will come to you.
> Do not exceed the amounts given in the mixing instructions when you
mix the
> chemical with clean water, neither put too little in as both will
cause more
> damage than good.
> Remember that knowledge brings power. Thus by studying the
instructions in
> all things you may be better equipped to make wise decisions. This
will save
> you from the harms that sometimes come as a result of being


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