6 Phase Model for Vegetables

/6 Phase Model for Vegetables
6 Phase Model for Vegetables 2017-08-19T17:02:18+00:00

Crop 
In this phase, the plants are placed on the substrate. To prevent any interference in the development of the plants the transfer from the propagation location to production location should be as smooth as possible – changes in temperature and water supply should be minimal. It is necessary to take measures for limiting the negative effects of leaf damage caused by transportation and handling.

Roots 
Both the part of the plant above the block and the roots leaving the bottom of the block are important factors to consider when you decide to plant. As soon as the plants have been placed on the substrate the young roots leaving the block should be able to establish themselves steadily and without any interference into the substrate. To encourage this there needs to be good contact between the block and substrate. The temperature of the substrate should be neither too high nor too low. It is preferable that the substrate EC is lower than in the block. This phase lasts until the roots have penetrated into the substrate by several centimetres and water absorption no longer depends on the moisture content in the block.

 

Crop 
As soon as the young crop is accustomed to the climate, the most important target is to let the leaf area increase so that the maximum amount of radiation can be absorbed. The 24 hour temperature and air humidity are very influential in this respect. A balance has to be found between strength and plant volume to suit the grower’s cropping conditions and wishes. As soon as the crop has reached the required size in proportion to the available radiation, the plants can be loaded for the first time. Depending on the conditions, this can be achieved by generative steering. This phase continues until the fruit load on the plant quickly increases.

Roots 
A large volume of roots is essential – as this is the basis for the growth of the crop. Adjusted irrigation in relation to crop activity will encourage the roots to “seek” for water and nutrition in the substrate and then penetrate into all of the substrate. The greenhouse climate should support the crop to take up enough water and nutrition. Steering at root level should also be adjusted to the required crop development (vegetative or generative) because it is influenced by available water and nutrition.

 

Crop 
As soon as the crop feels the load of its first fruit, the quantity of assimilates available for the development of shoots and roots will decrease. It is important that the available assimilates are distributed well between fruit, shoot and roots. Good crop registration supplies the required insight. A loaded crop can be managed in balance to its first production by correctly matching the greenhouse climate (temperature, air humidity and CO2) and the water supply to growth conditions. Just before the first harvest, the fruit load is very high and the fruit requires a large share of the available assimilates. When the first production is imminent, assimilates are available again for the crop and roots to recover. Growth explosions due to quality problems can be prevented by gradually harvesting this first production.

Roots 
Root-hairs taking up water and nutrition have a limited life span. Firstly, their life span is determined by the availability of assimilates. Secondly, the activity of these roots also plays a role. The more water and nutrition that the crop takes up, the more active roots will be present or made. During the start of the first harvest, the root system may be subjected to a serious setback, which should be kept as minimal as possible by adjusting the supply of water and nutrition. Then the crop can quickly recover again.

 

Crop 
After the first harvest, the crop’s fruit load needs to be balanced with the crop’s growth. The crop will convert the available amount of radiation into regrowth towards production of the next cropping phase. Regrowth should not be explosive or jerky. A good balance between vegetative and generative plant parts is necessary.

Roots
To grow at crop size requires more nutrition and, under certain conditions, more water. The uptake of nutrition and water require a large and active root system. The appropriate water and nutrition management, combined with adjusted climate management, encourage root development and secure the uptake of water and nutrition to meet the crop’s needs. This advice takes into consideration weather changes and seasonal influences.

 

Crop 
During this phase, the crop has the highest production capacity and available radiation. Steering towards vegetative or generative crop development should take place depending on the crop’s condition. The crop’s age is now gradually becoming a more important factor, and the quality of the harvested product requires more attention. A healthy and active crop will also function well when the weather changes or when there are extreme weather conditions.

Roots
The uptake of water and nutrition should meet the crop’s needs. These needs may be very large under certain conditions and during this phase may vary widely between days and longer periods. To cope with such situations, the crop needs both good root penetration into the substrate and an active root system. Good water and nutrition management combined with adjusted climate management (activating the crop) encourage root development so that the roots can take up enough water and nutrition to encourage product quality and crop growth. This advice takes into consideration weather changes and seasonal influences.

 

Crop 
During this phase, the crop’s performance will gradually decline. This decline is often due to the age of the plants and/or the length of their stems. Outside conditions may also negatively contribute to declining performance. Under these conditions, the crop’s susceptibility to diseases may increase. However, growers will continue to aim towards the highest possible production and quality. Timely investment in regrowth or reserves for the final production may help. The vitality and vigour during this phase often determine the overall result.

Roots 
The decline in the crop’s performance decreases root activity. The consequence is root necrosis and an increase in susceptibility to root diseases. Healthy roots that take up enough nutrition remain important to the product’s quality. By adjusting the water management, the root quality can be preserved during this phase and will replace the nutrition in the substrate optimally – even when less water is to be applied. A point of special interest is that the substrate should continue draining out well at the end of the cultivation – this result can be achieved with the advised water management.