Farming

What happened to the spinach ?!?! An experimentation in covering harvests in my organic farming class.

Kenny: farm manager 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 their own problems they had with their spinach harvest from the last semester.

As it turned out, one of the cover-up crops( 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 highly stunted root growth in both spinach and romaine lettuce. It did not effect 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( provides 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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