Liz Maynard

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

77 articles by this author

Article List
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.


​Effective Management of Farm Employees – Webinar. Thursday, May 28, 2015. 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. EDT. Register at http://goo.gl/NvQ1eL. This webinar will be facilitated by Phil Durst and Stan Moore from Michigan State University. These Extension Senior Extension Educators will discuss the impact of personnel management on the engagement of employees based on phone interviews with dairy farm employees. Topics include training, communicating performance standards, encouraging mental involvement, and feedback. They will also address issues related to employing Latino labor. The webinar will be recorded. Sponsored by Purdue Women in Agriculture. For more information contact Amanda Veenhuizen, aveenhuizen@purdue.edu, 765-825-8502. Good Agricultural Practices A to Z Workshop – Marion County. Wednesday, May 27, 2015. 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. EDT. Indiana Farm Bureau Building. 225 S. East Street, Indianapolis. Register at tinyurl.com/RegisterGAPsAtoZ. This GAPs A to Z workshop will cover the basics of good agricultural practices for fruit and vegetable[Read More…]


​Some of the herbicides available for use on vegetables in Indiana are registered under a supplemental label or under a special local needs (SLN, 24(c)) registration. In these cases the instructions for use on vegetables are not on the main label that comes with the purchased product. For instance, in the Midwest Vegetable Production Guide, Dual Magnum® is listed as an option for watermelon, cantaloupe, and cucumber in Indiana and Ohio. The label on the herbicide container doesn’t list those crops. Neither does the main label available from a common online label site, www.cdms.net. This is because the product is registered for use on these crops under a special local needs (24(c)) registration. Anyone using the product should have on hand a copy of the label that provides specific instructions for use on the crop in question, in addition to the main label.  The 24(c) label in this example is[Read More…]


Driftwatch registry map with pin marking high tunnels at Pinney-Purdue Ag Center circled in yellow as an example.

​Vegetable, fruit, and organic farmers can register their production areas on Driftwatch.org to let commercial pesticide applicators know where the fields are. Beekeepers can also register sites where beehives are located. Once sites are registered and approved they appear on the Driftwatch registry map (see Fig. 1) and partnering applicators are notified. This helps applicators reduce drift or accidental application to vegetable crops.  Registration is free and easy. Why not do it today? Visit Fieldwatch.com to find the user guide with instructions.  If you registered fields last year you will need to renew the sites in order for them to show up in the registry this year. When renewing, it isn’t necessary to reenter all the information, just what has changed for 2015. Instructions for renewal are also online.


​Cover crops should be killed at least a couple of weeks before planting vegetables. That will give the cover time to partially decompose, and time for any cutworm larvae that may be in the crop to die or pupate. If wet weather delays killing or incorporation of cover crops, the time between incorporation and planting may be shorter than normal, or the cover crop may be larger than normal. There are implications for pest, nutrient, and cover crop management. Black cutworm moths prefer to lay eggs in vegetated areas, including fields with cover crops or weeds. They typically show up in early May. To track black cutworm moth catches in pheromone traps throughout the state, refer to the Purdue Pest & Crop Newsletter at http://extension.entm.purdue.edu/pestcrop/2015/index.html. If larvae are present in the cover crop and they survive until the cash crop is planted or emerges, they may cause serious stand loss.[Read More…]


​(Information provided by Office of the Indiana State Chemist, 765-494-1492, www.oisc.purdue.edu) The Indiana Pesticide Clean Sweep Project designed to collect and dispose of suspended, canceled, banned, unusable, opened, unopened or just unwanted pesticides (weed killers, insecticides, rodenticides, fungicides, miticides, etc.) is being sponsored by the Office of Indiana State Chemist (OISC). This disposal service is free of charge up to 250 pounds per participant. Over 250 pounds there will be a $2.00 per pound charge. This is a great opportunity for you to legally dispose of unwanted products at little or no cost. All public and private schools, golf courses, nurseries, farmers, ag dealers, cities, towns, municipalities and county units of government or others receiving this notice are eligible to participate. Pesticides will be accepted from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Local Time at the following dates and locations in August, 2015: August 18: Miami County Fairgrounds, Peru, IN August[Read More…]