Wenjing Guan

Vegetable Crops Hotline Editor & Clinical Engagement Assistant Professor
Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture
Area(s) of Interest: Commercial Vegetable and Melon Production
Wenjing Guan's website

200 articles by this author

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Getting seedlings off to a good start begins with a good growing medium for transplants. Growing media for organic production must meet the guidelines set out by the National Organic Standards Board, including not containing any synthetic substances (unless they have been approved for that use) or any prohibited materials. A number of products meet those criteria, and many of them are listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) to document that they meet the criteria. Last year, with funding from a USDA Specialty Crops Block Grant through the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, a group at Purdue began evaluating commercially-available, OMRI-listed growing media for vegetable transplant production (Table 1). Table 1. Growing media used in transplant production trials, 2018. Product Abbreviation Source Johnny’s 512 J512 Johnny’s Selected Seeds Morgan Composting 201 M201 Morgan Composting Penn Valley Potting Soil PENN Penn Valley Farms PromixMP Organik PMPO BFG Supply Seed[Read More…]


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2019 Indiana Small Farm Conference Date: February 28 to March 2, 2019 Location: Hendricks County Fairgrounds in Danville, Indiana Registration ends 2/20/19. More information about the conference can be found at https://www.purdue.edu/dffs/smallfarms/   Michiana Greenhouse & High Tunnel Growers Meeting Date: March 5, 2019 9:00 am – 3:30 pm Location: Elkhart County 4-H fairgrounds. 17746 County Rd 34, Goshen, IN Topics of the grower meeting include: Update on current research in greenhouse and high tunnels – what is new and emerging for 2019? How to use greenhouse lighting to improve quality and reduce production time; High tunnel irrigation and fertility management considerations; Disease and disorders from seed to transplant; Insect pest control & how effective are predators; Driftwatch update More information about the meeting can be found at https://extension.purdue.edu/Elkhart/article/31851   Southeastern IN Vegetable Growers Meeting Date: March 7, 2019 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm EST Location: Floyd County 4-H Fairgrounds, 2818 Green[Read More…]


SWIM meeting * Parke Co. Veg. meeting * Illiana Veg Symposium * Indiana Hort Congress * Small Farm Conference Southwest Indiana Melon and Vegetable Growers’ Technical Meeting Date: November 15, 2018 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm (EST) Location: Southwest Purdue Ag Center (SWPAC), 4369 N. Purdue Road, Vincennes, IN The main focus of the Southwest Indiana Melon and Vegetable Growers’ Technical Meeting is to discuss watermelon and cantaloupe varieties based on results of variety trials conducted at the Southwest Purdue Agricultural Center in 2018. The meeting will start at 5: 00 pm for board members to discuss topics for the upcoming Southwest Indiana Melon and Vegetable Growers Annual Meeting, which will be held on March 8, 2019 in French Lick, IN. Any member who wants to participate in the discussion is welcome. At 6:00 pm, dinner will be served. Following that, we will showcase variety trials.  Any grower interested in becoming a member is[Read More…]


Two new versions of vegetable disease extension bulletins: Downy Mildew of Cucurbits and Fusarium Wilt of Watermelon are available. They can be downloaded at: Downy Mildew of Cucurbits: https://mdc.itap.purdue.edu/item.asp?itemID=23207 Fusarium Wilt of Watermelon: https://mdc.itap.purdue.edu/item.asp?itemID=23211 


We are going to continue the study of evaluating grafted cucumbers for early season production in greenhouses and high tunnels by collaborating with farmers. You will find what we have learned through the process in the previous article. The same as last year, we are going to supply grafted and normal cucumber plants for free. These plants were grown in a conventional greenhouse. We will use untreated rootstock seeds, but they are not certified organic. What we want for you is to grow the same number and variety of grafted and normal cucumber plants, and keep track of the yields. We will provide a stipend for your efforts in tracking the data. In addition, we encourage farmers to learn grafting technique and produce grafted plants on your own. We will provide you with technical support and help with the process on site if it is needed. If you are interested[Read More…]


Figure 1. Cucumbers were grown in a greenhouse in April 2018

Cucumbers are extremely sensitive to cold. Locally grown cucumbers are almost only available in the summer. While in Asia, without the use of fancy heated greenhouses, cucumbers can grow all winter. Growing grafted cucumbers with cold tolerant squash rootstock is one of the key factors making this possible. Since 2016, we started to evaluate opportunities of using grafted plants to extend early season cucumber production under protected cultural systems in the Midwest. We observed promising results in our research trials. However, knowing research trials can only tell part of the story, we initiated multiple on-farm trials across Indiana to better understand if and under what circumstances growers would benefit from this technique. This article discusses the lessons we have learned so far and raises questions that need to be answered. Heated greenhouses A pronounced advantage of using grafted cucumbers was observed in the situations that cucumbers were grown in soils[Read More…]


This is the final issue of the Vegetable Crops Hotline (VCH) for 2018. Subscribers who receive a paper copy in the mail need to renew. A renewal form is included with this issue. We are providing up-to a three years’ subscription of VCH at a reduced price (1 year for $15, 2 years for $25, and 3 years for $30). You can check the number on the right bottom corner of your VCH envelope to find what year your subscription will last through. You can sign-up for Veggie Texts with the same form. Email subscribers will remain on the subscription list for VCH as long as the email address works. Email subscribers will need to send us an email or call us to sign-up for Veggie Texts. An Indiana Vegetable Grower Association (IVGA) membership form is included here too. IVGA membership no longer automatically includes the VCH subscription. You need to indicate[Read More…]


Farmer Rancher Program These grants are for farmers/ranchers to explore innovative sustainable agriculture solutions to production, marketing, labor, and other problems. There are three types of competitive grants: individual grants ($9,000 maximum), Team of Two grants for two farmers/ranchers from separate and distinct operations who are working together ($18,000 maximum), and Group grants for three or more farmers/ranchers from separate and distinct operations who are working together ($27,000 maximum). Projects may last up to 24 months. Interested applicants can find the call for proposals online as well as useful information for completing a proposal at https://www.northcentralsare.org/Grants/Our-Grant-Programs/Farmer-Rancher-Grant-Program. Proposals are due on December 6, 2018. Partnership Program The Partnership Grant program funded by the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR-SARE) program is intended to foster cooperation between agriculture professionals and small groups of farmers and ranchers to catalyze on-farm research, demonstration, and education activities related to sustainable agriculture.  Partnership Grants[Read More…]


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With the start of pumpkin harvest, it is a good time to review important considerations for harvest and postharvest storage of pumpkins and winter squash (butternut, acorn and hubbard squash etc.). Pumpkin and winter squash should be harvested fully mature to reach their optimal quality and fulfill their potential for long shelf lives. Characters indicating fruit maturity include loss of rind surface gloss, ground spot yellowing, and hardening of the skin to the level that it is resistant to puncture with a thumbnail. Except for some striped varieties, mature fruit should have solid external color. If fruit have to be harvested pre-mature because of plant decline, these fruit won’t store as well as mature fruit. The best practice is to harvest the fruit as soon as they are fully mature and then store under proper conditions. If mature fruit are left attached to the vines, it increases the chance of[Read More…]


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Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training Date: September 28, 2018, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm (EST) Location: Southwest Purdue Agriculture Center, 4369 N. Purdue Rd., Vincennes, IN Purdue Extension will be hosting a Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) Grower Training on September 28th. The training will be held in the basement of the SWPAP building at the Southwest Purdue Agricultural Center, 4369 N. Purdue Rd., Vincennes, IN 47591. This program meets the training requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule. Cost is $100 and covers course manual, completion certificate, and lunch. Register by going to www.SafeProduceIN.com and clicking on the “Get Trained” option. Participants must pre-register. Registration will be closed on 9/26/18. For more information, contact Scott Monroe at (812) 886-0198. Southwest Indiana Melon and Vegetable Growers’ Technical Meeting Date: November 15, 2018 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm (EST) Location: Southwest Purdue Ag Center (SWPAC), 4369 N. Purdue Road, Vincennes,[Read More…]