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Fruit & Vegetable Weekly Crop Update

Timely vegetable crop info for local producers.

weekly update 5-4-2012

Posted by Kyle Cecil -

  1. Soil temp at 4 inches; 65 degrees
  2. Growing Degree Days since April 1: 290 GDD
  3. Wooden stakes are a place where the bacterial pathogens that plague tomatoes can survive between crops. It is prudent for growers to disinfect stakes that were in a field where a bacterial disease occurred last year. Use bleach at a rate of 0.5% (= 1 part bleach + 9 parts water), and use in a well?ventilated area. Soak stakes for 30 minutes. While bleach is highly effective, it is short?lived after mixing in water, with a half?life of only 2 hours, and it is especially prone to being inactivated by organic matter, thus pre?cleaning is critical.
  4. Hail damage evening of May 3. Assessing the effects of hail damage can be challenging. Important factors include the amount of defoliation and stalk bruising caused by the hail stones relative to the growth stage of the crop. While hail damage can result in severe yield losses, most of the time the human eye perceives greater damage than truly exists. For now, keep watch and see how the plants progress over the next week.
  5. High tunnel production. Just a word of caution, consult your manufacturers recommendation regarding trellising from the purlins of your high tunnels. Tomato plants, especially the indeterminates, when fully loaded can be extremely heavy.

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