- Vegetables: tomatoes
- Pest Management: biological control, compost extracts, prevention
If these initial observations are valid, treatment with live chlorella vulgaris could make it possible to extend the life of tomato plants so that tomatoes can be harvested, where bacterial spot is endemic. Positive results will increase productivity and the length of the harvest period which will positively impact a farmer's bottom line.
The test garden site has not been planted with tomatoes during the previous 7 years. It will be divided into 2 sections: one will be treated with 3 inches of mushroom compost before planting, and with additional compost side dressing 4 weeks later. The other section will be treated with chlorella vulgaris weekly beginning at the time of planting, 50,000 cells per sq foot produced on farm at Sweetgrass.
Assignment of which section to treat with which amendment will be done by an independent observer.
Tomatoes: we will grow BHN1021. Plants will be obtained from Banner Greenhouses (if plants are not available they will be grown from seed, started in our hoop house in organic potting soil). There will be 25 plants in each of the test plots, planted at 24 inch intervals. Lower leaves will be protected from exposure to the soil with organic matter (straw), and plants will be watered with drip irrigation (using our irrigation well).
In addition to determining whether there is resistance to bacterial spot, we will assess the effect of chlorella on nematodes and on soil health and bacterial activity determined by Haney testing.
2.Plant vigor—a qualitative assessment by Zach Snipes (Clemson Extension Agent), blinded to treatment assignment.
3.Onset of bacterial spot (adjudicated by Zach Snipes).
4.Tomato yield (also adjudicated by Zach Snipes), measured as tomatoes harvested per plant
5.Nematode testing in each test section (Clemson Nematode Lab)
6.Haney testing at the time of planting, and 2 months later (Ward Laboratories, Kearney, NB)