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Fruit & Vegetable Weekly Crop Update

Timely vegetable crop info for local producers.

weekly update 6-29-2012

Posted by Kyle Cecil -

  1. 4 inch soil temperature; 80 degrees F
  2. Growing Degree Days since April 1: 1244 GDD (avg would be 830 GDD)
  3. Whiteflies observed on squash. When silverleaf whitefly immature stages feed on squash leaves, their saliva introduces toxins into the plant that can have a dramatic effect on leaves. Developing leaves of affected plants can take on a silvery appearance starting from the leaf veins and moving outward. This appearance is not to be confused with a fungal disease. Observation of the leaf tissue must be made using a microscope. For more detailed information: http://www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/entfactpdf/ef319.pdf
  4. Blossom-end rot occurs on the fruits of plants. It can be a problem on tomatoes, peppers, squash, and watermelons. It is more common on fruit that is one-third to one-half grown and occurs on the blossom end of the fruit. It begins as a small, water-soaked spot that develops into a dark brown, leathery spot that may involve half the fruit. The surface of the spot shrinks and becomes flat or sunken. Blossom-end rot is caused by a lack of calcium in the developing fruit. The uptake of calcium from the soil by the tomato plant can be reduced by fluctuations in soil moisture–either excessively wet soil or excessively dry soil. The disease commonly occurs when plants are grown rapidly and luxuriantly early in the season and are then subjected to prolonged dry weather. Prevent blossom-end rot by maintaining a soil pH around 6.5, irrigating and mulching to maintain uniform soil moisture, and avoiding heavy applications of nitrogen. Control blossom-end rot by spraying with 4 tablespoons of 96 percent calcium chloride per gallon of water at 7- to 10-day intervals for 4 applications. Begin spraying with first appearance of symptoms. Overdosing plants with calcium chloride may result in leaf burn. Calcium chloride is suggested only for tomatoes.
  5. Hollow fruits are a common problem. They usually result from a combination of nutrient deficiency and irregular watering (when the soil gets very wet, then very dry). Keeping the soil consistently moist, but not wet, will help.

Kyle



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