Organic Plug Production: Evaluating Growing Media, Fertilizer and Economic Feasibility

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 2003: $2,954.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2004
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $2,605.00
Region: Northeast
State: Vermont
Project Leader:
Brenda Hedges
Greystone Gardens


  • Vegetables: peppers, tomatoes
  • Additional Plants: herbs


  • Crop Production: foliar feeding, organic fertilizers
  • Pest Management: biological control, cultural control, integrated pest management, physical control, sanitation
  • Production Systems: general crop production
  • Soil Management: organic matter

    Proposal summary:

    A plug—a containerized transplant with a self-enclosed root system—saves time and labor, and means the grower can avoid expenses like greenhouse equipment, heat, and labor. Yet organic plugs are both expensive and available only on a limited basis. The farmer will evaluate whether organic plug production is feasible for her operation, and she will compare two media types and two fertilizers for efficacy. Herb and vegetable transplants will be grown to organic standards and evaluated, and a pro forma income and expense projection will be developed based on a 3000 square foot greenhouse operation. Outreach will be through workshops and the agricultural media.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.