Read more Jersey Vegetable Crops Ag Updates @
Commercial Ag Updates
on the Rutgers Plant & Pest Advisory

Plant & Pest Advisory > Commercial Ag Updates and Farm Food Safety

Plant & Pest Advisory > Vegetable Crops

Contact Information

The points of contact between Rutgers Cooperative Extension Service and the grower & business communities are the NJ County Agricultural Agents. The agents are a tremendous source of information for both new and experienced growers. Visit your local county extension office.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Prepare Mulched Beds to Drain Properly and Avoid Diseases

Saturated soils encourage Phytophthora crown rot and Pythium root rot, so make sure nothing impedes water drainage in or between the mulched beds.
Rick VanVranken

OK - soil has been removed from
between the beds, but the headland
slopes upward preventing water from
draining away from the beds.
As the sayings go, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" and "a picture is worth a thousand words", so maybe two will make the point.

This week's rains have shown where water might back up between plastic-mulched beds saturating the soil if the beds are not finished off properly. It is critical to remove the soil that piles up at the end of each row as the mulch layer is lifted and turned around, and then to grade the ends so water can flow away from the beds. If not, water can back up long enough between the rows to create saturated conditions under the bed and allow Phytophthora and Pythium spores to "swim through the soil" to find and infect the susceptible roots of your pepper, eggplant, summer squash and other crops.
Better - soil removed from row ends
and headland area is graded away
from the beds.