Zack Snipes reports, “We are harvesting the last remaining things in the fields, preparing fields for fall planting, and planting fall pepper and tomato. I found an interesting disease in watermelon this week that is known as bacterial rind necrosis. While it is not entirely known what factors and pathogens cause the disease, it is thought that environmental conditions could increase the presence of this disease. If you have seen this disease, take precaution by rotating fields, staying away from varieties known to have had symptoms in the past, and stay on top of irrigation and nutrient management. I have also seen some spongy squash this week. The combination of heat, high humidity, and poor pollination can all lead to poor quality squash.”
Watermelon with discolored rind from rind necrosis. Photo from Zack Snipes.
Soft squash as a result of poor environmental conditions. Photo from Zack Snipes.
Justin Ballew reports, “The weather cooled down a few degrees towards the end of last week and felt nice. Fall tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant are in the ground now. Downy mildew was found in the midlands in slicing cucumbers this past week, so folks growing fall cucurbits definitely need to maintain a good spray schedule. Also, late last week, bacterial wilt was confirmed for the first time in hemp. In the future, growers will need to practice good rotation between hemp, tobacco, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant.”
Peppers planted for a fall crop. Photo from Justin Ballew.
Industrial hemp plant wilting from bacterial wilt infection. Photo from Justin Ballew.
Lalo Toledo reports, “Bell peppers are being planted in Orangeburg and Clarendon counties. Hemp is growing well and is expected to make a good harvest. Worm damage was found on some hemp plants in Orangeburg county. Collards are also being planted. Mole crickets have been found tunneling in many collard fields.
Mole cricket tunneling around collard seedlings can expose young roots to the sun, causing them to dry out. Photo from Lalo Toledo.
Pee Dee Region
Bruce McLean reports, “Last week was a welcomed reprieve from the heat and humidity. Many crops seemed to respond positively from the temperature break, as well. Watermelon, cantaloupe volumes looked very good. Yellow squash, zucchini and cucumbers were well improved from the week before. Okra volume is on the rise, and should be coming off very well in a week or so. Peas and butterbeans, on the other hand, sustained significant damage from the heat and many plantings have dried up. The first of the week looks pretty dry with building temps. By the end of the week, some welcomed rain should be in the forecast.”
Zucchini are doing well in the slightly lower temperatures. Photo from Bruce McLean.
The volume of harvest of okra is rising in the Pee Dee. Photo from Bruce McLean