Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis




Plant and Soil Science

First Advisor

Dr. Mark Williams


A field study evaluating the sustainability of four organic vegetable production systems was conducted in Lexington, Kentucky in 2006 and 2007. The four systems included no-till, raised beds covered with biodegradable black mulch, bare ground with shallow cultivation, and bare ground with shallow cultivation and wood chip mulch. The two-year study compared yield, weed control, labor, and costs associated with each system, as well as physical, chemical, and microbiological soil characteristics. In 2006, tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) were grown in the four systems, with no significant difference in yield. Summer squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) was grown in the four systems in 2007. The no-till system had significantly lower yields than other systems. The bare ground with cultivation and mulch system had the best weed control in both years.