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Fruit & Vegetable Weekly Crop Update

Timely vegetable crop info for local producers.

weekly fruit and vegetable crop update 8-16-2014

Posted by Kyle Cecil -

  1. 4 inch soil temp 70.3 degrees F
  2. Growing Degree Days (GDD) since April 1,2014 = 2223.5 GDD Average = 2202.0 GDD
  3. " My tomatoes are still green!" So goes the most common complaint I am hearing right now regarding field tomatoes. What is needed is more sun, heat and patience. We had set a daily record cool temperature last month (July 2) of 69 degrees. This trend has continued into August. For those with cherry type tomatoes, harvest has progressed at a normal pace. This is because small tomato varieties mature more quickly than larger ones. When we do get "normal" August temps that continue into the evening, tomatoes will ripen as normal.
  4. Pumpkins are setting fruit and most , if not all, of the row is covered by now. Be vigilant for powdery mildew. More control measures for the disease can be found here.
  5. Pumpkins and Pollinators. Pumpkins set fruit only if pollinated by insects. Fruit quality is enhanced by frequent visits by pollinators. I was on a farm last week in a field of pumpkins that was literally buzzing with activity. We counted six different pollinators working diligently in this field. One of the species was cucumber beetle. My point here is this, we also found nymphs of squash bug. The decision then becomes should an application of an insecticide be made for squash bug control? The grower's decision was to wait and closely monitor the squash bug population until pollination is complete. I think this was a wise and sustainable decision. Our entire food chain is somehow linked to services of pollinators. It is wise to protect this valuable resource whenever we can. I really commend this grower!

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