Liz Maynard

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

77 articles by this author

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​Purdue Extension is starting the Indiana Food Hub Network this year. So what’s a food hub? The USDA working definition is “a centrally located facility with a business management structure facilitating the aggregation, storage, processing, distribution, and/or marketing of locally/regionally produced food products.”   Extension educator Roy Ballard, who is workkng with Local Food Coordinator Jodee Ellett to develop Indiana’s network, says, “Food hubs come in all shapes and sizes, and are finding great success nationwide. They can enable small- to mid-sized growers to enter a larger, wholesale-style local food marketplace with other growers by co-marketing products and services such as communication and distribution. But hubs are scale-neutral; they are providing a means for all sizes of farms and food entrepreneurs to expand their local food markets.”  If you want to learn more, or might be interested in forming a food hub, consider joining the new email list Indiana Food Hubs[Read More…]


​Two USDA grant programs may be of interest to vegetable growers or grower organizations. The Rural Energy for America Program helps growers and small rural business improve energy efficiency, or purchase or install renewable energy systems. The program includes guaranteed loan financing and grant funding. For more information see the USDA website at www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-energy-america-program-renewable-energy-systems-energy-efficiency or contact Indiana’s rural energy coordinator Jerry Hay at 812-346-3411 Ext.126. The Specialty Crop Block Grant provides funding to promote specialty crop competitiveness in Indiana. Grants are made to non-profit organizations, producer organizations, government agencies, universities and other organizations related to Indiana’s specialty crops industry. Past funding from this program has supported projects by grower groups, Purdue, and others in the areas of marketing, food safety education (e.g. GAPs A to Z programs), production education (e.g. Indiana Horticultural Congress), research on production practices, and more. Proposals are due to the Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA)[Read More…]


​For those who receive hard copies of the Vegetable Crops Hotline by US Mail, this will be the last issue mailed unless you have renewed your subscription for 2015. You may renew by 1) mailing subscription form included in this issue with payment, or 2) joining or renewing membership in the Indiana Vegetable Growers Association for 2015. If you attended a winter vegetable meeting, there may have been an opportunity to renew when you registered for the event. If you aren’t sure whether you have renewed or not, contact Barb Joyner at joynerb@purdue.edu or 812-886-0198.


​WebsitesBotany and Plant Path Extension – Vegetables ag.purdue.edu/btny/Extension/Pages/VegetablePathology.aspx    Entomology Extension – Vegetables – extension.entm.purdue.edu/veg/commercial/ Food Safety for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables – ag.purdue.edu/hla/foodsafety Hort Extension – ag.purdue.edu/hla/Extension/ Plant and Pest Diagnostic Lab – www.ppdl.purdue.edu Purdue Extension – extension.purdue.edu Purdue Small Farms – ag.purdue.edu/extension/smallfarms/ TwitterHort Extension – @PurdueHortExtRick Foster – @purduefvinsectNW Commercial Hort (Liz Maynard) – @nwchPlant and Pest Diagnostic Lab – @PurduePPDLSouthwest Purdue Ag Center (Dan Egel) – @SWPurdueAgFacebookHort Extension – www.facebook.com/PurdueHortExt Small Farms – www.facebook.com/PurdueExtensionSmallFarms SW Purdue Ag Center – www.facebook.com/SWPurdueAgCenter BlogsVegetable Diseases (Dan Egel) veggiediseaseblog.org Key PublicationsMidwest Vegetable Production Guide mwveguide.org   Vegetable Crops Hotline vegcropshotline.org Email ListsCommerical Fruit and Vegetable Email List lists.purdue.edu/mailman/listinfo/fruitveg


​Good Agricultural Practices A to Z Workshops. Funded by Purdue, as part of AgSEED Crossroads funding to support Indiana’s Agriculture and Rural Development, or by USDA/ISDA Specialty Crops Block Grant to Purdue. Programs focused on cantaloupe are also relevant to other fresh fruits and vegetables; all growers are welcome to attend. Register online at tinyurl.com/RegisterGAPsAtoZ. Tuesday, March 24, 2015. 12:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Focus on Cantaloupe. Ag Hall, Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds, 17746 County Road 34, Goshen, IN. contact: Jeff Burbrink, 574-533-0554, Ext 106, jburbrink@purdue.edu. Friday, March 27, 2015. 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Parke County Fairgrounds, 1472 U.S. 41, Rockville, IN. Contact: Jim Luzar, 812-462-3371, luzar@purdue.edu. Monday, March 30, 2015. 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.Purdue Extension Hancock County Office, 802 North Apple Street Greenfield, IN. Contact: Roy Ballard, 317-462-1113, rballard@purdue.edu. Wednesday, April 8, 2015. 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Washington County Extension Office, Washington County Government Building, Suite[Read More…]


Photo by E. Maynard

​Sometimes newly transplanted crops don’t take off like we’d expect. Consider the newly transplanted tomato seedlings in these images. In Figure 1, lower leaves are chlorotic (yellow) and leaflet edges and leaves curl downward. In Figure 2, lower leaves are chlorotic or bleached and some had necrotic (dead) spots. In Figure 3, some leaves have died and others have ‘scorched’ margins or tips. Figures 1 and 2 are from a high tunnel; Figure 3 is from the field. What they have in common is that the tomato plants are not thriving after transplanting. It may be hard to say exactly what is going on with each of these, but it would not be surprising if they were cases of over application of a fertilizer or soil amendment, leading to toxicities for the plant. Ammonium toxicity is common when soil is cool and wet, soil pH is low, and there is[Read More…]


​Welcome to a new year of the Vegetable Crops Hotline, Purdue Extension’s newsletter for people in the business of growing vegetables. Our goal is to provide timely information that will be useful for Indiana vegetable growers. If there is something you’d like to see included, please let us know.  Frequently we include links to web sites or publications available on line. If you aren’t able to access these resources, please contact us or a local Extension office to request a hard copy of the information. We are excited to start the year with a new format for the online version of the newsletter.  Each article will appear as an individual post on the site. Articles may be posted anytime they are written, not just every two weeks when an issue is compiled. When an issue IS compiled, it will include all the articles posted since the previous issue. In addition,[Read More…]


The goal of the Vegetable Crops Hotline is to provide vegetable growers with timely information that helps you to improve your vegetable production and marketing. This url tinyurl.com/lqww2lw links to a very short survey that will help us to make the Hotline more useful to you. We are especially interested in any comments you have regarding how we can improve the dissemination of information. This survey should take you less than 5 minutes to complete so we would be very grateful if you would take the time to complete it. This survey is voluntary and anonymous. All information is confidential and no hidden tracking of individual responses is being used. As always, thank you for your assistance.


Unit heaters that aren’t properly maintained can be a source of air pollution that harms seedlings. (Photo by E. Maynard)

Transplant production will soon begin in earnest if not already underway. It is sensible to check the greenhouse heating system before starting production to make sure it works and won’t pollute the air in the greenhouse. This checklist for gas or propane-fire unit heaters highlights some of the major points. If you are not familiar with the system a service technician can help. General Maintenance. Check for physical damage; Remove any obstruction in vent and exhaust systems; Make sure components are supported properly and securely. Fans and Blowers. Lubricate as needed; Check for smooth operation; Inspect for physical damage; Adjust belts as needed; Check connections to electrical power. Heat Exchangers and Burners. Inspect exchanger closely for cracks or corrosion where air-polluting gases can escape; Clean inside tube surfaces if required; Inspect for dark discoloration on metal which may be a sign of overheating and if found, investigate cause; Clean gas[Read More…]