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Fruit & Vegetable Weekly Crop Update

Timely vegetable crop info for local producers.

weekly fruit and vegetable crop update 9-4-2014

Posted by Kyle Cecil -

  1. 4 inch soil temp : 72.7 degrees F
  2. Growing Degree Days (GDD)since April 1,2014 = 1935.0 GDD Average** = 1874.0 GDD
  3. Now is the time to be ready for planting fall and winter crops. For a good overview of this strategy, watch this YouTube video from U of I Extension.
  4. Tomatoes and cracking. It has been awhile since a significant rainfall for our area. As such, tomatoes that are nearing maturity and have not been irrigated are susceptible to cracking if they receive a significant influx of water from a large rain event. There are two different patterns this damage may take. Vertical splits along the sides of fruits are known as radial cracking and are the most serious. This pattern of splitting commonly occurs during hot, humid weather. Cracking that occurs in a circular pattern at the top of tomato fruits, ringing the stem end, is known as concentric cracking. When cracking of either type occurs in green tomatoes, fruits are likely to rot before they fully ripen if left on the vine. The best strategy to prevent cracking is to maintain consistent water uptake by drip irrigation.
  5. Cover crop timing. Visit the Midwest Cover Crop Council decision-making tool to help you decide which cover crop best suits your needs. We will be conducting some on-line training shortly to discuss cover crops in vegetable farming systems. We are quickly approaching the time for seeding a number of our cover crops varieties.

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