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V. Gravel, C. Ménard and M. Dorais
The specific objective of year 1 was to compare a raised bed system (peat-based growing medium) with either a system using smaller containers or a conventional system using coco fibers as a growing medium. The specific objective of year 2 was to compare a first year peat-based growing medium in raised bed containers with a second year growing medium in the same containers. Both were compared with a conventional system. Two consecutive crops were evaluated. Grafted tomato plants (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) were grown from January 2008 to December 2008 and from January 2009 to December 2009. Plant growth and development, yield and soil solution nutrient content were evaluated throughout the production years. Carbon dioxide effluxes and fruit quality were also evaluated during the experiment.
This two-year study demonstrated that organic tomato yields similar to conventional yields can be achieved under commercial conditions using raised bed containers and appropriate organic fertilization management. Results also showed that improved plant development was observed using the same growing medium over a period of two years.
© 2012, Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada (OACC)