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Vine Crops

Blossom End Rot in Hydroponic Tomatoes and Peppers

Posted by Nichole Edelman, Greenhouse Manager on 10/16/2015
blossom end rot

One of the more interesting problems that can occur in Tomato production is Blossom End Rot (BER). Neither a disease or pest issue, BER is a Calcium related disorder caused by environmental factors. Blossom end rot comprises of two main symptoms tip burn of the youngest leaves, and fruit tissue which looks water soaked and can become black and rotten as the fruit ripens over time. This is caused by a deficiency with Calcium uptake from the nutrient solution leading to the plant pulling the Calcium it needs from new tissue (younger leaves and new fruit).

Cucumber Production- An Overview of OH numbers in 2013 and 2014

Posted by Dr. Natalie Bumgarner on 10/21/2014

Overview and Data Considerations

This data covers a couple of years of data (2013, 2014). So, the goal is to present to you an overview of crop yields and schedules.
Several of the main cultivars that we carry and that our customers use were trialed. However, these data do not represent all cultivars at all times of year, so comparisons across years are limited,
One of the most important things to keep in mind is that these trials were carried out in relatively small blocks imitating hydroponics at home. Our vine crop greenhouse is mostly dedicated to tomato production, so cucumber trials took place in units of 10-20 buckets on the western side of the greenhouse.
In some respects, these small sections of space dedicated to hydroponic cucumber production are similar to many grower houses, but it is important to remember that yields can vary according to light in different locations within the greenhouse. These trials were all carried out in Lodi, OH, so we cannot account for location variation that may be seen in other areas or seasons.
All of these trials were run with the plant maintained in an umbrella system. The majority of the crops were produced without pinching and were removed when the main leader reached the floor after traveling up to the wire and back down.

An Introduction to the Process of Grafting in Greenhouse Tomatoes- Part 2

Posted by Cropking on 3/7/2013
Tomato Graft Dome

In the last blog post, we went through a brief photo tour of the first two steps in the grafting process (1. Setting the Stage, and 2. Doing the Grafting). However, when discussing grafting, it is important to know that preparation and grafting are only the first two crucial steps. Graft healing is that key third step in producing successful grafted tomatoes for your greenhouse. So, as the third blog in this series on grafting processes, I want to focus on methods of healing and the transition process from grafting to transplanting in greenhouse tomatoes.

An Introduction to the Process of Grafting in Greenhouse Tomatoes- Part 1

Posted by Dr. Natalie Bumgarner on 2/18/2013
grafted Hydroponic Tomatoes

Grafting sounds interesting, so where should I begin?In the last blog post, we discussed some of the basics of grafting and the main reasons that growers would be interested in the technique. It is no surprise that over the last few decades, the use of grafting has become quite prevalent in greenhouse tomato production. While the benefits are intriguing for small to mid-scale producers, decisions related to acquiring grafted seedlings must be made.The two broad options are to purchase grafted seedlings or to produce all the seedlings needed in your operation on your own. Seedling purchase and transport costs can be quite high in some instances. So, producing grafts for your own operation is a viable option. It also provides the opportunity to trial a limited number of grafted plants or test different cultivars. There is certainly a learning curve for producing grafted plants, though. So, I would suggest starting by only planning to graft a small portion of your crop the first year to become familiar with the process and it potential benefits in your operation.

An Introduction to the Topic of Grafting in Greenhouse Tomatoes

Posted by Dr. Natalie Bumgarner on 1/29/2013
Grafted Hydroponic Tomatoes

Grafting has become very prevalent and important in greenhouse tomato production, and there are a couple of key reasons this is the case. Before we explore those reasons, let’s take one quick step back and discuss the basic premise of grafting. Many who are familiar with crop production are aware that most tree fruits are produced with a root system (rootstock) and above ground fruiting portion (scion) from different plants. This same principle is now carried out in many vegetative crops where two separate seedlings are produced and then joined together through the grafting process to produce one plant for transplanting. The use of grafting enables breeders to develop crop cultivars specifically for the demands of root and shoot environments and functions.

Eggplants in the Greenhouse

Posted by Jim Brown, Horticulturist on 7/16/2008

A greenhouse eggplant crop is relatively easy to grow as a commercial or hobby crop.
Although eggplant is not a regular food item for many people, it does have a place in the greenhouse production plan for those who like it and value its contribution to their cuisine.
The crop is about a six months long. It could be reduced to a shorter time but less fruit would be produced. Leaving the crop in the greenhouse more than six months would create a problem with plant height. Plants of most cultivars grow to six to seven feet tall in the six month time frame when trained in the way suggested below.
Any attempt to produce eggplant fruit through the lowest light time of the year, in all but high light levels, should be avoided. Good light levels are needed for good fruit production. With enough artificial light, fruit can be produced through otherwise low light periods.
Eggplant is usually served in a cooked state rather than fresh. Eggplant Parmesan is what many people think of when they consider eating eggplant at a meal. The eggplant fruit is sliced crosswise and the circular pieces are dipped in a batterand rolled in a crumb preparation before being fried or grilled. Eggplants can also be prepared in a casserole or as young stuffed fruit for individual sized servings.
Young Eggplants in Dutch buckets filled with perlite.

Hobby Greenhouse Product

Posted by Jim Brown, Horticulturist on 5/16/2008

Hydroponic cucumbers require quite a bit of space for proper growth but can yield a great harvest. Visit Cropking today for info on your greenhouse cucumbers.

Tomatoes in Perlite

Posted by Dan Brentlinger on 5/15/2008

With more and more vegetable growers looking into soilless or hydroponic vegetable production, the need for a simple yet productive growing system has gained attention in recent years. Hydroponic growing systems are based on sterile, inert, and uniform growing media that serve as supports for a water-soluble nutrient solution. Commercial growers have traditionally used one of several hydroponic growing systems: the nutrient film technique, of media-based systems using peat mixes, rock wool, and sometimes even sand or gravel. Horticultural perlite has an excellent record as a propagating and growing medium. It has been used successfully in many applications as a supplement to various growing media for a variety of crops. Now, however, perlite is beginning to be used by itself as an ideal hydroponic growing media. Perlite is produced throughout the U.S., making it cost effective for growers. It can be used for two years, and then spread on farmland or sold to gardeners.

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