- Vegetables: cucurbits, tomatoes
- Crop Production: application rate management, conservation tillage, cover crops, no-till, organic fertilizers, tissue analysis
- Production Systems: general crop production
- Soil Management: organic matter, soil analysis
Weeds are one of the biggest production hindrances in organic agriculture. Unlike conventional producers who rely on chemical herbicide sprays, herbicide-coated seeds, and genetically modified plants, organic growers must use a control regimen consisting of manual and mechanical weeding. Mechanical weeding or tilling the soil to eradicate weeds is effective but costly to the soil. No-till agriculture, which diminishes or eliminates tillage and instead relies on a dense, high-biomass stand of terminated cover crop to suppress weeds conserves both soil and off-farm nutrient inputs and thus can be especially advantageous to organic farmers. The objective of our experiment is to assess two tillage treatments (no-till and conventional tillage) and three fertilization treatments for organic tomato and summer squash production. Data will be collected on cover crop dieback, cover crop biomass production, weed management inputs, soil nitrogen, crop yield, and system inputs over two years.