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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.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Upcoming Weather and Vegetable Transplants in the Greenhouse

Posted by, Michelle Infante-Casella, Agricultural Agent, Gloucester County

Finally!!! Some warmer and sunnier weather is predicted for the coming week. Since many of our crops are still in the greenhouse keep in mind some things to watch for. On hot, sunny days when fans are running and doors/sides may be open, plants dry out quickly (especially near the doors/sides and near the fans). Proper watering is of utmost importance! Remember, the larger the plant, the more water lost through translocation. The smaller the container size, the quicker the mix will dry out. Morning watering may need to be supplemented by a second watering later in the day. Make sure not to water late in the day/evening when plant foliage would remain wet. Water early enough in the P.M. so that leaves can dry off quickly. Letting foliage stay wet overnight can enhance bacterial or fungal growth on plants.

Don't forget to check for insect pests, especially aphids. Now that doors/sides may be open to vent houses, insects can enter too. Scout edges of the greenhouse frequently to check for insects. They would come into these areas first. If weeds are growing near edges of the greenhouse, they may be harboring insect pests. Do not use herbicides inside, or near the sides/doorways of the greenhouse. You can severly damage transplants inside the greenhouse, even if they are used outside. Vapors/drift can enter the greenhouse. One way to control weeds could be to use a weed flamer. Do a search on the web for companies that sell flamers. There are many hand held versions with propane tanks that can be used to control weeds. Just be careful not to melt plastic on the greenhouse. Also, mechanical methods (hoeing, pulling, roto-tilling around the outside is a viable option).

Spring is here! Best wishes to everyone for a successful, safe and profitable growing season!