Join us this Wednesday (3/24/21) at 12:30 pm for a discussion on diamondback moth management in Brassica crops. It will be a relatively short meeting, lasting around 45 minutes, so tune in while you eat your lunch. Click here to register.
Zack Snipes reports, “We got some needed rain but we got a lot of it in a short amount of time. Winter peas and spring planted brassicas are looking good. Tomato and squash are in the ground on some farms but because of the cooler weather and soil temperatures, really haven’t taken off yet. I see a lot of brassica fields leftover from the fall. These fields are harboring all of our insects and diseases that we will have to fight this coming season. Mow these fields down and turn them under. Do not leave them. I am seeing lots and lots of diamondback moths and black rot in these leftover fields. Some more sad news this week from the Lowcounty as Mr. Adair McKoy, Sr. passed away this past week. Mr. McKoy was full of wisdom and had years and years of practical farming knowledge that he loved sharing with others. Never did I visit him when I didn’t learn something new. His love and care for the land was truly inspirational.”
Justin Ballew reports, “We had some cooler, wetter weather last week that slowed things down a bit in the fields. Several brassica fields that were planted in the fall and grew through the winter are right on the verge of bolting. If harvest is finished in these field, they need to be bush hogged and disked in as soon as possible to keep diamondback moths and any other caterpillars from breeding and making their way into spring planted fields. Strawberries are still coming along. There are lots of green fruit and a few are ripening here and there. I heard of the first few being picked in Lexington County last week. The weather conditions this week are going to be perfect again for Botrytis spore development, so don’t let up on spray programs.”
This will be the final update of 2020. We will pick back up on 1/4/21. Be sure to keep an eye on the upcoming events tab give us a call if you need anything. Happy Holidays from the SC Grower team! We hope everyone takes some time to enjoy the season, and may 2021 bring you good health, great family time, and as always…prosperous fields!
Zack Snipes reports, “A chilly week in the Lowcountry took out or really slowed down some of our fruiting crops like pepper, tomato, and cukes. The brassicas and strawberries are loving this weather. One thing I have noticed lately is lots of worm damage on brassica. After talking to many growers, I hear that many are not using adjuvants in their spray tanks. Adjuvants can help your pesticides work better. A common one I would recommend on brassica crops is the use of a spreader-sticker. Brassica crops have a waxy leaf which repels water. The use of a spreader-sticker will help stick the pesticide droplet to your leaf and the spreader will help reduce surface tension so that the droplets spreads out on your leaf. You will be amazed at how much better coverage you will get with a spreader-sticker and how much better your pesticide will work (organic or conventional pesticide). Adjuvants are cheap so consider adding some to your tank today. For more on adjuvants and spray tips, join us on Tuesday night from 6-8 pm for the Organic/Sustainable Farm Meeting via Zoom. The registration link can be found here.“
Justin Ballew reports, “We had two nights last week where temperatures dipped below freezing. After a long fall growing season, the tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and squash are done. Now growers will be focusing on strawberries, greens, and herbs. Strawberries in some fields had developed blooms as a result of the late warm weather. Now that the cold has killed them, it will be important to sanitize them before the spring, as dead blooms can become a significant source of grey mold inoculum. As always, don’t let up on scouting for caterpillars in greens.”
Sarah Scott reports, “Brassicas are being harvested. Pest pressure is relatively high this season including aphids and diamondback months. Peach fields are being prepped for new plantings. In areas where armillaria root rot has been an issue in past crops, growers will use a plow to create burms to plant trees on. Rain has slowed plowing down but there is a dry forecast for the next 7 days.”
Pestalotia leaf spot and fruit rot are emerging diseases that were discovered last season on strawberries in the southeast. This could potentially have an impact on SC strawberry production, though the extent is yet to be determined. Please see these two publications (UF and UGA) and be on the lookout. If you suspect you’ve found Pestalotia leaf spot or fruit rot, please let your local Clemson Extension Agent know.
Zack Snipes reports, “Strawberries are planted and for the most part looking good. I am seeing some spider mite damage on plug plants. Get out and scout and treat as needed. In some areas we had 4 or more inches of rain last week which made fields sloppy, unable to be harvested, and tough to spray. Get out and look for worms in brassica this week.”
Justin Ballew reports, “Last week was warm and wet, as expected. We had a good amount of rain Tuesday evening and Wednesday. I expect to see foliar diseases increase this week. Pecan harvest continues in the midlands. While yields have been very good, nut quality isn’t quite where we want it. This is most likely from the trees not getting enough water at certain times during the summer when the nuts were filling. The weather is forecast to get cool this week. It there should happen to be a frost, that would be the end of the fall squash and tomato crops.”
Tony Melton reports, “We have seen some flea beetles/larvae feeding on strawberry transplants and yellow-margined leaf beetle has been bad on brassicas. Some crops have been drowned by the rain. Harvest or row-cover warm season vegetables before the frost to avoid damage. Harvesting the last of the butterbeans and peas this week. A lot (500 or more acres) of sweet potatoes are still in the ground and harvest will begin again after the soil dries.”
Andy Rollins reports, “Still inspecting strawberry plantings across the upstate. Look for uneven growth on either side of the bed and also in the row. Placement of drip tape depth and distance from plants is very important as is proper planting. Uneven up and down growth can be indication of root rot or other problems too, so look carefully. Unusually wet weather from recent hurricanes has given us conditions very favorable for fungal Botrytis growth. Dead tissue is very susceptible to being colonized first. Use of Captan, a protectant fungicide would be advised as long as conditions remain favorable.”
Zack Snipes reports, “It seems like we experience fall and summer in the same day this time of year. I visited a few farms and saw residual damage from whiteflies (silver leaves, virus, and stunted plants). The good news is that overall populations of whiteflies are down this week. The armyworm numbers are still high in a lot of crops so keep an eye out for those. We have lots of good products for them so choose something other than a group 3 or 4 insecticide. I have seen some white mold (Sclerotinia sclerotiorum) in some brassica crops this week. I have some great reports from strawberry fields and other not so great reports. If you have issues, please call me so we can fix them before they get out of hand.
Justin Ballew reports, “We had some very warm afternoons this past week. The air has been much drier as well. Young strawberries are responding well and have put out a good amount of new growth. Weak plants caused by J-rooting and deep planting are making themselves evident now. The drier air has allowed some growers to get a handle on the disease issues that have plagued us for the last few weeks. However, there is lots of warm, wet weather in the forecast, so plan your fungicide applications accordingly and rotate modes of action. Other crops are still growing well and we have folks picking tomatoes, squash, beans, and various brassicas.
Sarah Scott reports, “Patchy frost brought an end to some fields of summer crops like squash and zucchini, however most areas did not see damage from cold temps. Cole crops are progressing nicely but insect populations are high this fall, including aphids and imported cabbage worms. Strawberry plants have gone in and are taking root and getting established.”
Tony Melton reports, “Getting dry. Hope get some rain later in the week. Greens are growing very fast with warm weather. Frost burned the very tops of some crops like sweet potatoes, tomatoes, peas but did not really hurt them much. Very little grasshopper pressure for some reason this fall.”
Zack Snipes reports, “The cooler weather and lots of rain have brought out the diseases. I saw some watermelon diseases last week including gummy stem blight. We need to protect our foliage just a few more weeks to finish off those melons so keep at the spray programs if you can. Whiteflies continue to hammer us in all crops this fall. Strawberry planting is just about upon us. Rains and wet ground have slowed some farms from laying plastic. Remember that preplant fertility and herbicides are critical to spring success. Spartan and Devrinol are the only two preplant herbicide options this late in the season. Other products require a 30-day wait period. Let me know if you want me to come check your strawberry plugs before you plant them.”
Rob Last reports, “Fall crops are looking good in this area with good development in brassicas and beets. Insect and disease activity remain moderate however with cooler weathers and rainfall scouting will be critical to success for these crops. Adult moths are very active at present so be on the lookout for eggs and caterpillars. Plastic is down and awaiting strawberry planting in the next week.”
Justin Ballew reports, “The weather has been pretty fall-like and enjoyable over the last week. The cooler temperatures and high amounts of recent moisture have diseases like powdery mildew, downy mildew, and anthracnose increasing. Caterpillar activity has increased in the last week as well. Be sure to rotate modes of action when spraying for caterpillars. Strawberry growers are ready to plant and will probably start within the next week.”
Sarah Scott reports, “Daytime temperatures have been mild with cooler night temps. Early last week areas saw anywhere from trace amounts to 2 inches of rain. Low spots in fields may remain wet and this could lead to potential problems. Peppers are looking good as well as eggplant and late squash. Brassica crops are having some issues with aphids causing leaf curling. Pecans are beginning to fall as well. Scab seems to be particularly bad this year, most likely because of wet weather during critical spray times for fungal management in late June and July.
Tony Melton reports, “Greens are growing fast with cool temperatures; however, beans, peas, pickles, and sweet potatoes have slowed down with these temperatures. Most sweet potatoes need to find a home. We are using a lot of potassium phosphide to keep down root rot especially on greens. Most growers also use it as a dip for strawberries transplants or put through drip system as soon as they plant. Getting ready to plant strawberries as soon as the transplants get here.”
Kerrie Roach reports, “Clear skies since Tuesday with cool fall temperatures at night and warm days has consumers looking for all things fall. Growers with pumpkins, gourds, mums, corns stalks, and/or anything fall related have been busy keeping up with demand. Agritourism demand/opportunities has picked up significantly in the last few weeks. Apples are in peak season with Stayman being one of the current varieties available.”
Andy Rollins reports, “Upstate peaches are finished up for the year but muscadines are still being harvested although slowing some and strawberry planting is in full swing. I was called to examine poorly growing peach trees at an upstate farm. The majority of trees were dying from the most devastating disease of peach ‘Oak Root Rot.’ There was gumming at the base and I was fully expecting a greater peach tree borer problem but closer examination and cutting of the below ground bark revealed the Oak Root Rot fungus growing at the base of the trees. When pushing your older peach trees up be sure to examine the main roots for the sign of this disease which is the white to yellowish fungal growth deep inside of the bark below the soil level. There are a few other fungi that can have a similar symptom but they tend to grow just on dead tissue and don’t grow as deep into the wood of the tree. There are some things you can do about it, but proper identification comes first.”
Dr. Matt Cutulle reports, “With all the rain we had in August the weed seed bank is starting to pop. Nutsedge pressure can be really tough in September. For fall cole crop plantings, it is important to initiate the stale seed bed technique (allow weeds to come up and burn them down multiple times before planting). In some cole crops, such as broccoli, Dual Magnum may be used, which provides some pre-emergent suppression of yellow nutsedge (Max 60% probably). Following with an in-row cultivation several weeks after planting will strain the photosynthate reserves of nutsedge, which could be lethal to the nutsedge if we get a cold snap in late October.”
Zack Snipes reports, “I saw whiteflies everywhere last week. I saw them on just about every crop in the field: squash, zucchini, tomato, peas, eggplant, okra. We have very good options to manage whiteflies, so consult with your local agent or look up the specific products for the crop you are growing in the Southeast Crop Handbook. Be careful not to use pyrethroids for whiteflies as resistance will develop very quickly. Longer lasting, more specific options are available that are better options. I also saw a good many worms last week such as the melonworm in cucurbits and the beet armyworm in other crops. If you have whiteflies and worms in a crop then the group 28 insecticides (Coragen, Verimark/Exirel, Harvanta) are excellent options to take care of both pests at the same time with good residual.”
Justin Ballew reports, “Last week was extremely hot and dry, though we finally got some relief from the heat over the weekend. Crops are progressing well, though we are seeing caterpillar activity increase. We’re seeing diamondback moth and cabbage loopers in brassica crops and armyworms in tomatoes. Be sure to rotate insecticide MOA’s when treating for caterpillars. I’m also seeing a few whiteflies around, but nothing severe yet. Black rot is starting to show up on some brassicas. Strawberry growers are starting to apply their preplant fertilizers in preparation for shaping the beds.”
Bruce McLean reports, “Muscadine harvest is starting to wind down. Harvest looked good and had very good yields. Brix averaged out at 13.5 to 14.5%, depending upon the cultivar and the vineyard. Now is a good time to evaluate successes and problems from this season and write them down while they’re fresh on your mind. Also, look at the overall amount of foliage on the vines. Is it too much? Not quite enough? Start planning how you need to adjust fertility for next year. A post-harvest potassium fertilizer application has proven to be beneficial to the crop (in on-farm settings), especially in wet years. Overall plant health, spring emergence and vigor, and next year’s yields should be well improved.”
Tony Melton reports, “Getting dry and need some rain. Busy planting turnips, mustard, and collards. Harvesting processing sweet potatoes as quickly as they can process them (problems in the plant). Picking pickles and yielding much better with dryer conditions. Also, pickling plants having trouble with getting enough labor so very few peppers harvested. Still spraying processing peas for cowpea curculio. Watch out for southern stem blight it is still raging havoc.”
Kerrie Roach reports, “The last few peaches are making their way to stands and markets. Things are continuing to look good as the Apple crop progresses in the upstate. Growers to the north in Hendersonville, NC suffered multiple hail events causing a large amount of damage, but SC growers seem to have escaped the worst of it. Vegetable production has slowed significantly with many small growers finishing for the season over the next few weeks. Muscadines are coming into their prime, and look to be highly productive this year.”
Andy Rollins reports, “These plants were found positive for Phytopthora root rot last week in an early upstate strawberry planting. Inspection of plants when they arrive can accurately diagnose this problem. Brown to blackish colored roots are characteristic. A small portion of this material is taken from 5-10 plants then placed into a pouch that accurately identifies the presence of Phytopthora within a few min. As in picture, 1 line tells you the test worked properly 2 lines indicates presence of the fungus. Early treatment with Ridomil and or any of the phosphite (Rampart/Prophyt) is very helpful but must begin quickly if plants are widely infected for the best results.”
Zack Snipes reports, “We had between 4-6 inches of rain last week with daily thunderstorms. Growers are working the fields getting ready for the fall crops to go in. If it happens to rain on Wednesday night, then you should tune in to our Strawberry 101 class from 6-8PM. We will be discussing economics, seasonal timeline, varieties and common mistakes, and fertility. This is an excellent opportunity to learn about growing strawberries. You must register ahead of time to participate.“
Justin Ballew reports, “After some rain early in the week, the weather turned dry and the temperatures and humidity reminded us that summer isn’t over yet. Fall crops are continuing to progress well, though we are continuing to see a fair amount of disease like anthracnose, downy mildew, and bacterial spot due to the recent wet conditions. Caterpillar populations are climbing on fall brassicas as well. In scouting a field trial, I observed diamondback moths, cabbage loopers, and armyworms. Keep a close eye out and be sure to rotate chemistries when you start spraying.”
Sarah Scott reports, “Peach season has wrapped up in the Ridge and post- harvest fertilizer applications are being applied. Fall vegetable crops are looking good as we received some decent rain fall over the past week. Hot temperatures have had some effect on lower seed germination of some brassicas.”
Bruce McLean reports, “Harvest time is finally upon us. Sunshine and warm temperatures is doing the trick for giving growers that final push for ripening the muscadine crop. Crop is looking good, but some bitter rot and ripe rot is starting to show. Brix for Carlos and Noble is averaging around 13.5%. Doreen is still a little ways from being ready to harvest, but it won’t be long.”
Tony Melton reports, “So wet in areas it is hard to spray peas for curculio some are having to use airplanes. Harvesting sweet potatoes for processing and yield is good. Planting greens for processing. Harvesting pickles but stopped planting this week. Still harvesting processing peppers but harvesters are getting real tired.”
Kerrie Roach reports, “Heavy rains, humidity and continued high temperatures over the last week have continued an increased trend in disease incidence across the board in both vegetables and fruits. Growers need to be proactive to stay ahead of diseases (and insects) by scouting often and well. We are finishing out the peach season with late varieties like ‘Big Red’. Apples are gaining steam and early varieties are looking and tasting great. Overall the production seems to be on target for a significant increase over last season.”
Dr. Tony Keinath reports, “For the past few years, Orondis Opti on cucumber and cantaloupe and Orondis Ultra on pumpkin and watermelon have been the best fungicides to manage downy mildew. Based on results from a spring 2020 cucumber experiment at Coastal REC, Orondis is no longer the “silver bullet” it was 2 years ago. In my experiment, Orondis Opti rotated with Bravo controlled downy mildew in the early part of the season, but disease increased significantly during the latter part of the season and ended up higher than expected. Part of the shortcoming of the Orondis Opti/Bravo spray program was the Bravo rotation. Bravo sprayed by itself every other week did not control downy mildew at all, so spraying Orondis Opti/Bravo acted like Orondis Opti sprayed every other week, which was not enough. The labels for Orondis Opti and Orondis Ultra say they must be rotated with another fungicide. For the rest of the 2020 season, use Orondis Opti/Ranman + chlorothalonil on cucumber and cantaloupe, and Orondis Ultra rotated with Gavel or Ranman + chlorothalonil on pumpkin and watermelon. Always use the high rate (2.5 pints/acre) of Orondis products. Note that the mancozeb in Gavel or adding chlorothalonil helps to manage other foliar diseases like gummy stem blight and anthracnose. Yield data and input costs from my experiment are being analyzed to see if spraying Orondis leads to a higher net return despite the higher cost of this fungicide. Results will be presented at the virtual Cucurbit meeting in February 2021 to help growers plan downy mildew fungicide programs for the 2021 season.”
Rob Last reports, “Fall crops continue to grow well in the area. Given the current weather patterns pests and disease are active in some crops particularly where there are volunteers remaining from previous crops. Vigilance will be required in scouting an pesticide management programs. If In doubt scout.”
Justin Ballew reports, “It’s been cool, cloudy, and kind of pleasant outside this past week, though that has the vegetable crops growing a little slower. We’ve gotten some decent rains in most areas around the midlands as well. Bacterial spot is really showing up on fall tomatoes as a result of all the recent rain. It could be a bad fall for bacterial spot if the weather stays like this. Caterpillars are already out there on fall brassicas. It doesn’t take long once they’re planted. Start scouting, scout often, and rotate insecticides. Remember to contact one of us about screening your farm for insecticide resistance in diamondback moths once you start seeing populations build up.”
Bruce McLean reports, “Both fruit and vegetable development has slowed a bit due to cloudy conditions. Sunny conditions needed. Sweetpotatoes are sizing well and will be ready for harvest soon. Fall cucumbers and squash should soon be ready to start harvesting. Fall brassicas are being planted now. Muscadine crop is getting close to harvest. Noble is around 90% ripe; Carlos is around 60%; Doreen is still around 25%. Brix (sugar content) is off due to rain and cloudy conditions. Noble and Carlos brix are averaging around 11% with a low of 9.2% and a high of 15.0%. Doreen is averaging less than 10%. Did find a few Doreen that brix was over 19%… candy. Sunny conditions definitely needed.”
Tony Melton reports, “Beginning to harvest processing sweet potatoes but some have been stunted and delayed by excessive rain. Spraying processing peas for cowpea curculio. Starting to plant processing greens by seed. Even though lots of rain and having to mud through fields cucumbers for pickles are being harvested and still being planted.”
Andy Rollins reports, “Blueberry pruning is best served for the dormant time of year late January-late February. I met with a commercial grower who was anxious about getting started early partly because he has many plants completely unproductive for the second year in a row. I like to call this revenge pruning as that is the primary motivation. Be careful, you could end up hurting yourself more in the long run. In his case, it was all about light and proper pruning to encourage light down through the canopy. The orignial spacing of Rabbiteye type varieties was very close so we also considered killing every other plant to get more light into the bushes but this would not replace the need for properly selectively removing a few of the oldest canes each year, spacing them out so there is better light penetration. For a detailed explanation, please see NCSU Blueberry specialist Bill Cline’s presentation.”
Dr. Tony Keinath with a word on crop rotation. “To keep the soil on your farm productive over the long term, do not replant the same vegetable, or a related crop, in the same field “too often.” How often is “too” often depends on the crop and the pathogens present in the soil. Almost always, “too often” is less than 12 months between disking the old crop and planting the new crop. A general rule of thumb is 24 months between related crops, and in some cases, 36 months (3 years) is needed.
The main risk in replanting “too often” is building up root pathogens that survive in soil for years. Even in the heat, diseased roots and stems take several months to decay enough so they are not a source of pathogens. Thicker tissue, like the crowns of cantaloupe, can take 2 years to decay.
Another risk is foliar diseases that start on volunteers from the previous crop. The pathogens may be in or on some of the seed that sprouts, for example black rot on leafy brassica greens or gummy stem blight on cantaloupe and watermelon. A small number of infected volunteers means the disease has a head start right at the beginning of the crop.
Controls for soilborne pathogens (fungi, water molds, and nematodes) are limited.
Many vegetable crops have no resistance to these pathogens.
Fungicides do not penetrate soil well, or they are quickly inactivated.
Fumigants have many restrictions that require time-consuming record keeping and air monitoring.
Root-knot nematodes are a special problem, because they form galls on many vegetables and some field crops (cotton, for example) grown in rotation with vegetables. Summer cover crops of sunn hemp can lower nematode numbers. See https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in892 for a list of other warm season cover crops that help manage nematodes.
Without crop rotation, more fungicide sprays will be needed, which raises the risk of fungicide resistance. Fungicides and fumigants are not a substitute for good crop rotation.”
Justin Ballew reports, “Many areas got a little more rain last week and we had a break from the heat over the weekend. We have a lot of the fall crop planted now including squash, zucchini, tomatoes, and brassicas. So far everything is mostly growing well. We are seeing bacterial wilt develop in some of the fall-planted tomato fields. Bacterial wilt loves hot soil temperatures, which is typical this time of year. Be sure to follow a proper crop rotation plan (at least 3 years) to help manage bacterial wilt buildup in fields. Since the heavy rain we got a few weeks ago, we’ve also seen plenty of bacterial spot in what’s left of the spring tomatoes.”
Bruce McLean reports, “Most summer vegetable crops are starting to wind down. Peas, okra, watermelon, cantaloupe still harvesting at some volume. Late summer/fall squash, cucumbers and tomato harvest are a couple weeks away. Fresh market muscadines are being harvested now. Juice and wine muscadines are getting close – maybe 7-14 days away, depending upon location. In most juice and wine muscadine vineyards, Carlos is around 40% colored (ripe), Noble is around 60%, and Doreen is around 25%. Grape root borer (GRB) flight is still occurring, with moderately high moth counts in traps.”
Tony Melton reports, “‘Another Crop Bites the Dust’ from spreader/stickers. I have seen too many farmers sing this sad song. Be careful and know what you are doing when adding a sticker/spreader when spraying vegetables. Short season, tender vegetable crops will burn very easy in our heat and do not have time to come back like long season row-crops. Our state’s second major watermelon/cantaloupe season is in full season in Chesterfield County. Harvest is in full swing and will continue until frost. Curculio sprays are beginning to be applied to the fall pea crop. Looks like pickle harvest will continue until frost.”
Rob Last reports, “Across the area fall plantings are growing on and developing well. Scouting for pests and diseases will remain critical to ensure timely applications are made where necessary. For those with out fall planted crops thoughts are turning to next year with soil sampling. One key thing to consider at this point in the year is the use of cover crops. Not only will cover crops help to prevent erosion or loss of soil they also capture nutrients. In addition as these crops are incorporated they act as a source of organic material to aid in nutrient cycling in the soil as well as moisture retention.”
Zack Snipes reports, “We were spared from the worst of Hurricane Isaias. We clocked 21 MPH wind gusts and 1.66 inches of rain at the Coastal Research Station in Charleston. Most growers are working their fields after the much needed rain and are laying plastic for the fall crops. This is the time of year when insects, diseases, and weeds usually have parties in fields if they are left unattended. Remember to clean fields, remove crop residue, turn under weeds, and if possible plant a cover crop. I would recommend buckwheat, sorghum-sudan, or cowpeas this time of the year to build soil, suppress weeds, improve nutrient capacity, and increase beneficial insect habitat.”
A healthy field of cowpeas that can fix (or produce) up to 100 pounds of nitrogen for your next crop in that field. Photo by Zack Snipes.
Juvenile and adult leaffooted bugs having a party on unattended eggplant left in the field after the field finished picking. Photo by Zack Snipes.
Tony Melton reports, “Some fresh market sweet potatoes ready to harvest. Still planting process peas. Pumpkins laying over starting to run. Planting some fresh market squash and snapbeans. Still planting and harvesting hundreds of acres of pickles. Still picking thousands of pounds of processing peppers.”
Justin Ballew reports, “Most areas received at least a little rain last week and we had a temporary break from the heat. The increased moisture in some areas has lead to an increase in powdery mildew and downy mildew in cucurbits. Folks are still busy preparing fields and planting fall cucurbits and brassicas. What’s been planted is growing well. Some of the earliest planted fall crop tomatoes are already being staked.”
Some areas of the Midlands are getting rain. The moisture is allowing powdery mildew to increase. Photo from Justin Ballew.
Sarah Scott reports, “Peach season is winding down along the Ridge. Late varieties like Big Red are being harvested and end of season tasks are starting like summer pruning. Usually this is done to open up tree centers and remove any damaged or dying wood. Cuts at this time should be made no larger than a quarter. Late season peppers, eggplant and squash are being planted. Greens like collards and kale are being seeded as well. Afternoon storms have provided some much needed rain in some areas while others remain dry still.”
Good pruning cut less than the diameter of a quarter. Photo by Sarah Scott.
Kerrie Roach reports, “Things in the ‘Golden Corner’ are in full force when it comes to tree fruit. Peaches are still coming off and we about 60-70% of the way through the season. Asian pears and nectarines are coming off now, and apples are beginning to gain steam with early varieties starting to ripen. Late season rot issues are showing up in orchards where afternoon rains have prevented cover sprays. Merivon has been a consistent player for disease control, but a timely Pristine application has been shown to have much more efficacy on these late season rots.
Maturing golden delicious apple that still has a few more weeks until ripe. Photo by Kerrie Roach.