Liz Maynard

Clinical Engagement Assistant Professor of Horticulture
Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture
Liz Maynard's website

82 articles by this author

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​Growers may be wondering whether to replant pumpkin fields where the stand is uneven due to excess moisture. Potential yield of the replants is one thing it would be good to know. We have data on yield of pumpkins direct-seeded or transplanted in mid-July in northern Indiana. The trials were no-till planted into a harvested wheat field. Pumpkins were harvested in mid to late October. Yield of direct-seeded pumpkins ranged from 0 to 0.6 tons per acre for 8 varieties in 2004, and from 2.6 to 6.4 tons per acre for 5 varieties in 2005. Yield of transplanted pumpkins ranged from 2 to 8 tons per acre for 8 varieties in 2004 and from 4.4 to 9 tons per acre for 5 varieties in 2005. For comparison, typical yields at this site for an early- to mid-June planting date with conventional tillage range from 10 to 25 tons per acre.[Read More…]


Sweet corn ready for sampling.

​Pinney Purdue Vegetable Field Day and Sweet Corn Sampler. Thursday, August 13, 2015. 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. CDT. Pinney Purdue Ag Center, 11402 S. County Line Rd., Wanatah, IN. Plot tours include soil health management and disease suppressive soils, tomatoes and peppers in high tunnels, and sweet corn varieties. To register, contact Lori Jolly-Brown, ljollybr@purdue.edu, or 765-494-1296.


​The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) at USDA publishes information about prices, supplies, movement, and quality of vegetables every business day. On Thursday, July 16, 2015, 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time, AMS will offer a webinar about the Fruit & Vegetable Market News, what information on organic crops is available, and how to use the Market News Portal. There is no cost, but participants should register in advance at http://bit.ly/FVWebinarMN071615. The market news reports have a wealth of information; I would encourage any grower not already aware of what is available to take a look at the Market News Portal https://www.marketnews.usda.gov/mnp/fv-home even if it is not possible to attend the webinar.


​Preparing for the 2015 Melon Season. Tuesday, June 30, 2015. 8:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M. EDT. Oaktown Produce Depot, 13990 N. Old U.S. 41, Oaktown, IN. This program is designed primarily for cantaloupe and watermelon growers, although all produce growers are welcome to attend. The Indiana State Department of Health will be on hand to discuss current departmental activities. Purdue scientists will update growers on current research. Other topics relevant to produce harvesting and packing will be discussed. For more information, contact Scott Monroe, jsmonroe@purdue.edu, or 812-886-0198. Planning for Success: Food Safety Plan Writing – Using Templates and Other Resources. Wednesday, July 1, 2015. 12:00 P.M. – 1:00 P.M. EDT. To participate online, go to http://bit.ly/FSPlanWriting. To participate by audio only, call 888-854-1541. For more information contact Scott Monroe, jsmonroe@purdue.edu, or 812-886-0198. Southwest Purdue Agricultural Center Field Day. Thursday, July 9, 2015. Southwest Purdue Agricultural Center, 4369 N. Purdue Rd.,[Read More…]


​High rainfall amounts lead to loss of nitrogen from the soil. Sometimes the loss is great enough that a crop will benefit from additional nitrogen application. This article will describe how nitrogen is lost and factors to consider in deciding whether to apply extra nitrogen. There are two main ways nitrogen is lost from wet soils. Nitrogen is lost to the air by denitrification. Denitrification occurs in saturated soils when there is little oxygen in the soil. In the denitrification process, nitrate is broken down by bacteria to form oxygen and volatile nitrogen compounds including nitrous oxide and nitrogen gas. These volatile compounds move into the air and nitrogen is lost from the soil. Denitrification is common on heavier soils. In Indiana, saturated soils lose 4% to 5% of their nitrate nitrogen for each day they are saturated. Nitrogen is lost below the root zone of the crop by leaching.[Read More…]


Seven day observed precipitation (in.) ending June 23

​Much of the state has seen excessive rains in recent weeks (Fig. 1). When soils are saturated vegetable crops suffer. This article, slightly revised from its original publication date in July 2003, describes and explains problems that are likely to occur.   Vegetable crops become stressed in waterlogged soils. Aboveground wilting, yellowing and death of leaves, and epinasty, or downward curling of leaves and stems are all responses to what is happening to roots. If we had a window into the soil we would see roots stop growing and root tips die due to lack of oxygen. Wilting occurs because roots in waterlogged soil do not conduct water as well and lack of new root growth limits water uptake, while the aboveground portion of the plant may continue to grow for a time even after the root has stopped. The root system just cannot supply water fast enough to prevent wilting.[Read More…]


​”Planning for Success: Food Safety Plan Writing” began Thursday June 4 and will continue on June 18 and July 1. The program is offered via WebEx, or by phone for audio only. Each program includes a presentation followed by time for discussion and questions and answers. “The programs are designed so that growers can participate over a lunch hour and get answers to current questions they may have as they work through the plan writing process,” says Scott Monroe, Purdue Extension food safety educator and organizer of the series. The series schedule (all times noon to 1 p.m. EDT): June 4: “Written Food Safety Plan Basics.” June 9: “Policies, Procedures and Documentation.” June 18: “Food Safety Protocols – What’s Out There.” July 1: “Using Templates and Other Resources.”   To join the program, go to http://bit.ly/FSPlanWriting. To participate by audio only, call 888-854-1541.


​Blossom end rot of tomato has been showing up in some protected growing structures. This article reviews the disorder and summarizes preventive practices. Blossom end rot is a physiological disorder caused by a deficient supply of calcium to the developing fruit. It is a common problem on tomatoes, but can also occur on peppers, eggplants, and melons. Blossom end rot appears first as a small darkened or water soaked area, usually at the blossom end of the fruit. This spot darkens, enlarges and dries out as fruit matures. The area may be invaded by secondary decay causing organisms. Prevention is the best way to avoid losses from blossom end rot. Prevention strategies emphasize ensuring adequate supply and availability of calcium, and managing plant growth environmental conditions to promote movement of calcium to the developing fruit. If I could offer just one suggestion it would be to maintain a consistent water[Read More…]


Waterwheel transplanters are commonly used for vegetables on plastic-covered beds. (Photo by K. Freeman)

Getting seedlings from the transplant tray into the field is essential for a good crop (Figure 1). Healthy transplants treated well will quickly establish themselves in the field, setting the foundation for a productive crop.​  Here I offer some suggestions for successful transplant establishment. Harden transplants by exposing them to higher light, cooler temperature, and slightly drier conditions than during transplant production (Figures 2 and 3). One goal of hardening is to slow growth of the seedlings and increase their stored energy. A second aim is to acclimate the plants to the field environment. A properly hardened plant will recover from the stresses of transplanting more quickly and begin to grow sooner than a plant that has not been hardened. Seedlings are commonly hardened by putting them outside in a partially shaded and protected location, often on a wagon so they can be moved indoors if low temperatures or high[Read More…]


Do you use cover crops in your vegetable operation? Dr. James Farmer, Assistant Professor at Indiana University, is looking for farmers who use cover crops to participate in interviews about the use of cover crops, education/training in using cover crops, and the outcomes of cover crop usage​. The interviews will be either in person or over the telephone and should last about 20-30 minutes. A $25 visa gift card will be provided to interviewees. If you would like to be considered for an interview, please contact Dr. Farmer at 812-856-0969 or jafarmer@indiana.edu.