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Observations from a New Grower Using Plasticulture in Strawberry and Vegetable Production. Mike and Dianna Wilson Lily Lane Farms. Our story. Lily Lane Farms – started in 2012 21 acres located in Enfield, IL We grow strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, sweet corn, greens, cucumbers, and squash

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Observations from a New Grower Using Plasticulture in Strawberry and Vegetable Production


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    1. Observations from a New Grower Using Plasticulturein Strawberry and Vegetable Production Mike and Dianna Wilson Lily Lane Farms

    2. Our story • Lily Lane Farms – started in 2012 • 21 acres located in Enfield, IL • We grow strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, sweet corn, greens, cucumbers, and squash • Sell mainly at farmers markets locally and in St. Louis, also in local restaurants and from the farm

    3. First year with strawberrieson plasticulture

    4. FIRST YEAR WITH STRAWBERRIES ON PLASTICULTURE • LAYING PLASTIC • 19 rows, 275 feet long • 28 inch wide, 3-4 inch tall ridges • 4 foot black plastic • Observations: • Make sure closing wheels are set correctly to get adequate dirt back over the plastic so that plastic does not come loose • Work soil finely before starting, the beds will form a lot better • Lay ridges first, then lay plastic • Borrowed a mulch-layer, took a while to set up

    5. FIRST Year with strawberries on plasticulture • PLANTING STRAWBERRIES • Planted 8,000 Chandler plants • Staggered 14 inch spacings • Took 8 hours to plant them • Observations: • Good to have a holding tank to quickly fill setter water • The spike we used was too big • Pressed in plants behind setter

    6. First year with strawberries on plasticulture • ROW COVERS • 1.5 oz per yard • 36 foot wide • Used concrete blocks every 15 feet to hold down • Covered low of 38 degrees • Observations: • Make sure you use the correct oz/yard, it does make a different • Can be re-used if stored properly

    7. First year with strawberries on plasticulture • PRODUCTION • 5762 total quarts picked • Picking season May 1st to June 26th • Seven days picked more than 300 quarts per day • Highest production day May 17th • 726 quarts picked • Observations: • Picked from 6 am to 10-11 am each day • Plastic kept berries out of mud

    8. First year with vegetables on plasticulture • LAYING PLASTIC AND PLANTING • Bought our own mulch-layer and setter • 4 foot plastic • Tomatoes • Cherry tomatoes • Peppers • Yellow squash • Cucumbers • Zucchini

    9. First year with vegetables on plasticulture in high tunnel • LAYING PLASTIC AND PLANTING • Plastic was laid by hand • Time consuming • Hard to keep tension • Mid-June high tunnel came down

    10. First year with vegetables on plasticulture • PRODUCTION • 210 yellow squash • 649 cucumbers • 1727 peppers • 1685.5 pounds tomatoes • 102 pints cherry tomatoes • 218 zucchini • Observations: • Not as much cracking in tomatoes • Easier to pick

    11. Contact information Michael mobile: (618) 926-5302 Email: lilylanefarms@gmail.com Facebook: Lily Lane Farms