Weekly Field Update – 12/13/21

Today’s update will be the last of 2021. We will take a short break for Christmas and get started again on January 18th, 2022. We want to wish everyone a happy and safe holiday and we look forward to a great 2022 growing season!

Coastal Region

Rob Last reports, “Pest and disease activity remains low in the area.  Disease pressure may increase following some welcome rainfall last week.  Remember to keep scouting.  I would also like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”

Midlands

Justin Ballew reports, “We finally got some much-needed rain in the Midlands. Temperatures turned cooler towards the end of the week, but the previous warm weather allowed a few strawberry plants to push out some blooms. This is a good time to remind folks to periodically sanitize dead leaves and blooms from the plants. Once a leaf or bloom dies, it becomes a great source of Botrytis inoculum. Now is also a good time to pull any weeds that are coming up in the plant holes. It’s best to pull them before they become big enough to outcompete and reduce the growth of the strawberry plants. Most plants I’ve looked at still have only one crown, but I am starting to see some plants develop a second. Plants are developing slowly, but at least we’re not seeing any real disease or mite issues.”

The recent warm weather caused a few plants to develop blooms. As the cold kills these blooms, it will be important to remove them from the plants to keep them from becoming a source of Botrytis inoculum. Photo from Justin Ballew.
Be sure to remove weeds from the plant holes so they do not outcompete the strawberry plants. Photo from Justin Ballew.

Upstate

Kerrie Roach reports, “Things have officially settled down with disease and insect pressure remaining fairly low for winter crops. Dormant pruning for tree fruits has begun and will continue over the holidays. Pruning out dead, diseased and damaged as well as unproductive wood will increase the health and production of the trees overall.”

Here’s a great video from NC State Extension on pruning mature peaches: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u42z2WuC4Nw

Here’s a great video from University of Tennessee Extension on pruning apples: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEFbZTEcUeY

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