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GREENHOUSE FERTILITY
MANAGEMENT
Greenhouse farming is a more effective way of growing certain crops and has many advantages:
Better security against adverse weather conditions, weeds and pests.
Easier to police against praedial larceny.
Longer harvest periods, especially for indeterminate varieties of crops; e.g. tomato, pepper and cucumber.
Highly marketable fruits: free of insect/pest damages.
Manual labour is less demanding as opposed to working on 2 or 5 hectare plots.
Amidst the many obvious advantages there lies an important factor which is often overlooked - proper fertility management.
Fertility management is the most difficult subject area for farmers in general. However it is extremely important for successful production. Some important areas of attention to guarantee a successful nutrition programme include the following:
Know how much of each fertilizer element is needed.
Know how much fertilizer to be applied.
Check the electrical conductivity (EC) and pH levels.
Be observant for signs that plants may be deficient or have excess of a nutrient.
Monitor plant nutrient status by periodically taking samples for tissue analysis.
Proper fertility management begins with conducting a soil test because we get the most out of our soil when it managed properly and it is difficult to manage what cannot be measured.
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ALMD MICAF
Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture & Fisheries
Government of Jamaica