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Growing Sweet Corn, Potatoes, Pumpkins, And Peppers On A One Acre Plot Economically

1740 words - 7 pages

Introduction: A small niche has been discovered in Newark Delaware, making it possible to profitably raise vegetable crops. Due to the few produce stands and the large population, most of which don't have their own gardens, locals are willing to pay a premium for home grown vegetables. This production system is for a one acre garden where tomatoes, sweet corn, potatoes, pumpkins, and peppers are grown. This is an economical and efficient way to raising vegetables while maximizing profits. A roadside stand will be set up come late July in order to market the produce. The stand will be open from 10:30-6:30.Soil Preparation: Two weeks before Easter the soil should have a soil test done in order to make sure the soil has adequate nutrients, soil pH, and organic matter content to properly sustain a garden. In this particular production system our pH was 6.6, which is optimum for raising most vegetables. The soil test suggested that we add 1 lb of 0-46-0 per 100 square feet and .5 lbs of urea per 100 square feet. This was done with a hand push spreader, which was first calculated for the proper application rate. The soil was tilled to a depth of 6 inches via a 5ft rototiller tractor attachment. A 26 hp John Deere 870 diesel tractor was used to pull this attachment. The speed that was used for rottotilling the acre plot was 4 mph. The estimated time for this particular operation is 2 hours. Due to the fact that there will not be any herbicides and pesticides utilized in this production system all unhealthy leaves, and fruit must be removed from the crop daily. Any weeds should also be hoed out daily. This will call for an estimated 3 man-hours each day during the growing season.Tomato: The chosen tomato is a heirloom beefsteak tomato. The tomato plants are raised inside under supplemental lighting in 2 inch plug trays for a 6 week time period before transplanting. The transplanting date is May 13th or after the last frost. The transplanting is done early in the morning before the heat of the day. Upon transplanting the bottom 2-3 leaves are removed and the transplants are buried so that ¾ of the plant is under the soil. By doing this the seedlings will grow more roots up the stem leading to a larger and healthier plant. After they are planted they are watered in good. The plants are staked at about 8 weeks of age ("Growing Vegetables"). The tomatoes are spaced at 12 iches between plants and 12 inches between rows ("Plant Spacing"). There will be 5,000 square feet of tomatoes planted in the garden for a total of 5,000 plants. The yield throughout the season will be 10 lbs of fruit on average per plant. This factors in the loss of some plants and fruit. The total seasons production for these tomatoes is estimated at 50,000 lbs of tomatoes.Major tomato pests and diseases: Fall armyworm Fruit flies Cutworm ("Insect Pests") Corn: A bicolor sweet corn, variety Mystique, was chosen as the type of...

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