Overcoming the Obstacles of Growing Organically

By David Kuack

Earthworms contain a beneficial organism in their gut lining that helps protect plants from disease pathogens
Earthworms contain a beneficial organism in their gut lining that helps protect plants from disease pathogens

Before becoming U.S. protected culture representative at DeRuiter Seeds in Oxnard, Calif., Damian Solomon saw the inside of many greenhouse vegetable operations. He knows well the trials and tribulations of growing both traditional and organic vegetable crops.

Simplifying production

One of the production companies Solomon worked for started its organic greenhouse operation with a variety of vegetables including tomatoes, cucumbers and bell peppers. “After the first 18 months we began to concentrate solely on tomatoes and stopped growing the other crops,” Solomon said. “We quickly learned that trying to grow those crops in the same climate just wasn’t effective. The main crop was tomatoes. We had to make concessions on what climate we were going to grow in and usually that impacted the efficiency of the other crops. “Bell peppers and cucumbers can grow well in a tomato climate, but you are not maximizing the production by trying to grow them in the same climate. They really need their own special climate in order to get the most out of them.”

>>> Read the whole article from Issue 2