In 2009 and 2010 a field experiment was conducted with an alternative cultivation system in organic greenhouse production. The aim of the alternative system is to improve soil health, by broadening crop rotation. A precondition is the economic viability of the alternative system. In the so-called Köver system, planting beds are below-ground divided in compartments by means of a plastic sheet. On one half of the planting bed, greenhouse crops are grown, while on the other half antagonistic crops can be grown or the soil can be left fallow. Sweet pepper suffered from the antagonistic crops, which capture a lot of light. The rich soil stimulated the abundant growth of antagonistic crops (Tagetes patula c.v. Single Gold (Ground Control) and Capsicum annuum c.v. Snooker). This resulted in a production loss of 25% in sweet pepper. Although we didn’t measure a decline of production in combination with fallow, many stems of sweet pepper wilted. Future investigation should point out if the combination sweet pepper and fallow is viable. When cultivated in the alternative system, tomato reaches the same level of production as normal. The number of pathogenic root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne incognita) drops sharply during fallow. Two years of fallow had no additional effect on the decline of the nematode population. At the end of the tomato crop, the number of nematodes had increased again, independent from the previous conditions (sweet pepper or fallow). Tomato roots were a little healthier after the fallow period. However, the improvement of plant health was too small to result in higher production levels. The system needs a different fertilization approach.
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