Resarch Updates

We are testing four different cover crop mixtures, evaluating different termination methods, and measuring their effects on weed suppression and yields of several direct-seeded and transplanted vegetable crops. See the Cover Crops page for more detailed descriptions of the cover crop experiments.

August 2018 Field Preparation

Field preparation: field disked in mid AugustField was tilled, raise beds were made

Year 1 Results

Hairy Vetch-Cereal Rye-Tillage Radish Cover Crop

The picture below shows fall growth of vetch and tillage radish. The radishes were killed in the fall--in the center photo, you can see brown radishes and green rye. In the spring growth, you can see the "tunnel" left by the fall radishes.

Hairy Vetch-Cereal Rye-Tillage Radish

Different no-till termination methods were evaluated: occultation with black plastic, roller crimper, flail mower, sickle bar mower, and rotary mower.

Termination

The next slide shows the beds 3 weeks after termination, and the level of weeds after different termination methods in transplanted summer squash.

Weed suppression 3 weeks after termination in squash

In Year 1, the highest yield was obtained with the no-till occultation treatment, which resulted in minimal weeds, and the second highest yield was obtained using the control with the black plastic with a cover crop that was harrowed.

White Clover Living Mulch and Tillage Radish

White Clover Tillage Radish Living Mulch

In year 1, the highest yield of summer squash was obtained from the control treatment with black plastic after the cover crop was harrowed, and the second highest yield was obtained using the control with black plastic with no cover crop.

Sorghum-Sudangrass and Cowpeas

Sorghum-sudangrass gets tall, and if there are strong winds, it blows all over the place! The spring growth is not the sorghum-sudangrass or cowpeas--it's weeds!

In Year 1, the highest yield of summer squash was obtained from the control treatment with black plastic with the cover crop. The second highest yield was obtained from the control treatment with black plastic with no cover crop. Compost was applied in the planting holes but did not contribute to weed suppression.

Tillage Radish

Tillage radish

In year 1, the highest yield of beets was obtained with the tilled, direct seeded treatment, which resulted in minimal weeds.

Results from the 2019-20 season will be posted here.