On this week’s episode, the guys discuss using biofumigation as a sustainable technique for controlling harmful soil pests like nematodes. Broadleaf mustard is a great cover crop to use for biofumigation. Travis talks about a plot that he has grown throughout the fall in an attempt to remove nematodes that he found on an okra crop. When certain crops (like mustard) are chopped and incorporated into the soil, they release chemical compounds that fumigate the soil and kill harmful soil pests.
They talk about best practices for incorporating the biofumigant crop into the soil, including what equipment to use and when to do it. They mention that the plant leaves must be adequately chopped for the biofumigant chemicals to be released. This is best done with a tiller or a harrow. The chopping and incorporation of the biomass is also best done when the soil is somewhat moist. Due to the release of the biofumigant gases, it is important to not plant anything in that area until the cover crop is completely decomposed. This will ensure any of the biofumigant effects do not affect the following crop.
On the Show & Tell segment, the guys talk about the large amounts of rain they’ve been having and how it has impeded their ability to cultivate the garden. They mention that they have been unable to inject fertilizer through the drip system, but have been side dressing using Chilean Nitrate. Travis talks about his onions and how he’s been fertilizing them regularly lately.
On the Q & A segment, they read a letter from a 16 year old boy who raises chickens for egg production. The boy grows his own corn for feed and was having trouble with weeds hampering his corn production. The guys were glad to grant his Christmas wish and send him a new High Arch Wheel Hoe to help him grow more corn.