Farming

What happened to the spinach ?!?! An experiment in encompas harvests in my organic farming class.

Kenny: farm director and co-instructor of my class.

Thanks to hurricane Irma it has been to wet this last week and a half to do much with our plots so we’ve been in the classroom.

Since we were stuck inside, Kenny showed us a presentation on the problems they had with their spinach crop from the last semester.

As it turned out, one of the cover-up harvests( Sorghum x Sudan grass) he had added the previous year is negatively allelopathic. Meaning it secretes a chemical that negatively affects some other plants.

It caused extremely stunted root growth in both spinach and romaine lettuce. It did not impact the kale and it also significantly reduced the doc weed population( doc and kale were field but not lab tested .)

The conclusion is that Sorghum x Sudan would be a good cover crop( offer lots of organic matter and may be a bio-herbicide ), but only in plants, such as kale, that are not affected by its allelopathy.

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