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Fruit & Vegetable Weekly Crop Update

Timely vegetable crop info for local producers.

fruit and vegetable weekly crop update 4-15-2013

Posted by Kyle Cecil -

1. 4 inch soil temp at Monmouth: 46.9 F

2. Growing Degree Days (GDD) base 50 : Since April 1 = 44.5 GDD Average** = 3.0 GDD

3. Bramble pruning needs to be conducted ASAP. For erect blackberries, remove the dead canes that fruited last year (if not removed last fall). For the remaining canes, prune the smallest ones out, leaving a cane every 6-8" in the hedgerow. Trailing blackberries follow a somewhat similar regime, removing the canes that fruited last year and leaving 6-8 of the larger canes per plant. (from Mike Roegge, U of I Extension, Adams Cty)

4. Transplant woes. It seems as though we have seen "every" issue one can see with transplants this year. The root issue is that all of us have transplants that need to get moved outdoors or in the tunnels. The common issues I have seen include; transplants are leggy (caused by over watering, not enough light and/or simply needing potted up or moved out), aphids and some whiteflies (again, getting the plants moved outdoors will go a long way here) and lastly overfertilization (use a fertilizer with lower Nitrogen and higher phosphorous.)

5. High tunnel production. Dense populations of aphids feeding on young plant tissue cause water stress, wilting, and reduce growth rate of the plant. Diligent daily scouting is essential. The presence of ants is a good indication of aphid activity. When found on young leaf tissue, control is warranted. Insecticidal soaps and horticultural oils are effective as well as encouraging lady beetle populations as predators.

Illinois Fruit and Vegetable Newsletter

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