Former Extension Educator, Local Food Systems and Small Farms
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Tuesday, August 11, 2015
- Growing degree days, base 50, from April 1
- Monmouth 2224 Average (11 year): 2041
- b. Perry 2415 Average (11 year): 2177
- Rain fell in the Quincy and surrounding area the morning of Sunday, Aug. 9th. The first rain in two weeks, and it was needed. Some folks got a little more than what they needed or wanted (up to 4.5") but that's nothing new this year. Crops were really needing this moisture after 2 weeks of no rain and compromised root systems. We'll need to continue to receive timely rains throughout the year to keep this years' crops growing.
- Tomatoes (and many other crops) have been horrible this year, too much wet soil, too much disease pressure, too many weeds, etc. etc. etc. We can't do too much to alleviate these conditions now, but can start to plan for next year. the use of plastic mulch (or organic mulch) in the row can go a long way to reduce the fungal diseases, as can proper rotation. Utilizing something to cover the soil between rows can be critical as well. The organisms that are responsible for the major fungal diseases of septoria leaf spot and early blight survive in the soil (and any stakes or cages you use each year). Keeping soil from splashing onto the plants keeps those organisms from making initial contact with plant tissue. Sanitize those stakes/cages as well, and use a broad spectrum fungicide when weather conditions encourage diseases. Surface drainage can be improved by proper grading or use of terraces/outlets. The plastic and covering between rows not only helps with disease prevention, but also reduces weed pressure.