Hills, trees, and buildings can cause shade along the edges of your vegetable production fields and spell disaster for your crops. Shade problems that may not be so noticeable during the summer months can become more apparent as the year draws on because the sun sits lower in the sky.
Slowed Growth and Reduced Yield
Your vegetable fields should receive full sun. This means that they must get at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. Edges of your field that receive shade and get less than six hours of sun each day will experience slowed growth and a reduced yield, which can hurt your bottom line.
Other Vegetable Field Conditions and Considerations
When deciding on which crops to grow, evaluate your fields for things like wet areas, frost pockets without air drainage, erosion, and high spots that are exposed to excessive winds. This info, along with hardiness zone maps, can help you decide on the crops you should grow. Also, take into account the number of growing days in your area, and the average temps throughout the year.
If you’re planning to plant crops on sloping ground, and they need frequent soil tillage, you should consult the National Resource Conservation Service to create a conservation plan that includes things like swales and grass strips to prevent soil erosion. NRCS conservationists offer technical expertise and conservation planning for farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners who want to make conservation improvements to their properties. It provides incentives to put agricultural land, wetlands, forests, and grasslands under long-term easements.
Are your fields frequently breezy or windy? Strong winds can blow away high tunnels and row covers. Frequent breezes, however, can dry plant leaves and help prevent diseases like blight. On a more practical note, frequent breezes on your farm can benefit the well-being of livestock, and help create pleasant conditions for workers.
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