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Fruit & Vegetable Weekly Crop Update

Timely vegetable crop info for local producers.

weekly update 5-17-2012

Posted by Kyle Cecil -

  1. 4 inch soil temp: 63.8 degrees F
  2. Growing Degree Days (GDD) since April 1; 467.5 GDD
  3. Tomatoes and soil temps. As root temperature increases beyond the optimum, 79 degrees F, root length, mass, and the extent of branching decreases. Further, the amount of carbohydrates accumulated by the fruit decreases significantly. Recent fieldwork by the University of Georgia showed that optimal tomato fruit number per plant, individual fruit weight, total fruit yield per plant, and plant fresh weight occurred when the 4-inch soil temperature for the season did not exceed 77.7 to 79.3 degrees F. Soil temperature > 2 degrees F above the optimum significantly decreased fruit number and individual fruit weight. Bottom line, carefully consider your mulching system in terms of its efficacy in keeping tomato roots cooler.
  4. Thornless blackberries are now in full bloom and new canes are tall enough for tipping if needed for the type of trellis system. For the T-type trellised black raspberries, the same situation exists, and the tipping can be done either with the fingers or shears (Chris Doll, U of I).
  5. High tunnel squash management. Squash grows best at temperatures between 75 and 85°F, and when night temperatures stay above 50°F. At temperatures between 50 and 60°F, growth is slow and flowering is often restricted. Temperatures above 95°F can damage blossoms causing flowers to fall off or develop misshapen fruit.

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