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Radishes have been harvested and the polytunnels are ready for summer at the Belgian experimental site

After the harvest of winter leafy vegetables, radished were sown and the Belgian experimental site in February. In May, when the risk of overnight frost is minimal in Belgium, the fruity vegetables were planted.

After the harvest of the winter leafy vegetables, radishes were sown at the end of February in the two polytunnels at PCG. Radish is a suitable crop for the spring season because of its tolerance to relatively low temperatures. The short period between sowing and harvesting of radish guarantees that the harvest can be done before the fruity vegetables (i.e. tomato and cucumber) have to be planted in the polytunnel. The radishes were harvested at the beginning of April, which was quite a job considering more than 41 000 seeds were sown in each polytunnel.

In May, when the risk of overnight frost is minimal in Belgium, the fruity vegetables were planted. Before doing so, the business as usual (BAU) area was prepared by adding green compost and organic fertilizer. To reduce weed pressure, the soil was completely covered by plastic mulch. In the BAU area, only tomatoes were planted. In the innovative (INN)  area, high-quality on-farm compost was added as well as organic fertilizer. Additionally, flower strips were sown at the borders of the tunnels to attract beneficial insects. Straw was used as a natural mulch to reduce weed pressure. A mixture of tomato and cucumber was planted in the INN area.