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A no-tillage tomato production system using hairy vetch and subterranean clover mulches  [1993]

Abdul-Baki, A.A. Teasdale, J.R.

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A novel approach is described for using two winter annual legumes - hairy vetch (Vicia villosa L. Roth.) and 'Mt. Barker' subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum L.) - as cover crops and plant mulches in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) production. The approach calls for sowing the cover crops in the fall in prepared beds, mowing the cover crops with a high-speed flail mower immediately before transplanting the tomato seedlings into the field in early May, and then transplanting the seedlings into the beds with minimal interruption of the soil or mulch cover. Plants in the vetch treatment with no tillage produced a higher yield than those grown under black polyethylene, paper, or no mulch in conventional systems. Both plant mulches delayed fruit maturity by approximately 10 days relative to black polyethylene mulch. The proposed approach eliminates tillage, reduces the need for applying synthetic fertilizers and herbicides, and is adapted to large- and small-scale tomato production in a low-input, no-tillage system. It also may be used to produce other vegetables

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HortScience : a publication of the American Society for Horticultural Science (USA)

ISSN : 0018-5345

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