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Fruit & Vegetable Weekly Crop Update

Timely vegetable crop info for local producers.

weekly update 8-17-2012

Posted by Kyle Cecil -

  1. 4 inch soil temp: 71.1 F. Much more reasonable for getting our fall direct seeded crops to germinate.
  2. Growing Degree Days: 2779.0 GDD Average** = 2179.0 GDD
  3. Cover Crops-time to begin seeding some varieties and planning for others. The cover crops that will winter kill should be seeded very soon, such as oats in our area. Tillage radish and cereal rye would typically be seed in early September. Planting cover crops in September can also provide better weed control because summer weed seed germination has slowed down and winter annual seed germination has not yet hit full stride. Late summer weeds that do germinate after seeding the cover crop will be killed by the first hard frost, and winter annuals will often be outcompeted by the established cover crop.
  4. Fruit trees: Water your fruit trees very well so that water moves into the root zone. This will encourage deeper root growth; hence the roots are less liable to winter injury when the soil freezes. This will also ensure that trees go into dormant season with adequate soil moisture.
  5. Shade cloth on high tunnels. I often am asked how much temperature reduction one might see with the use of shade cloths on high tunnels. The answer is complicated...but...on average, a 30% shade cloth will reduce internal temperatures about 4 degrees. That doesn't sound like much, but when it is needed, it means a lot.

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