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Fruit & Vegetable Weekly Crop Update

Timely vegetable crop info for local producers.

weekly fruit and vegetable crop update 4-13-2015

Posted by Kyle Cecil -

  1. 4 inch soil temp: 49.9 F
  2. Growing Degree Days Since April 1: Actual total: 95 Average (11 year): 59
  3. Minimum soil temps for many common crops has been achieved. One can confidently have growing in the field by now; beets, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, radish, spinach, leaf lettuces, kale and turnips.
  4. Stale seedbeds and flame weeding. Flaming as a weed control method is gaining in popularity. Flaming is a method by which small broadleaf and grass weeds are momentarily exposed to an open flame of a L.P. torch. The cells in the plants are super-heated and burst thereby killing the plant. Broadleaves are more readily controlled by this method than grasses. The growing point of grasses is well insulated in the soil as compared to broadleaves. The standard procedure for flaming is this: till the bed early so all weed seeds will germinate, when the plants are small (cotyledon stage) flame the bed then plant. Another method is to work the bed, plant a short strip of seed, wait three days and plant the rest of the row. When the short strip of seeds emerge (used as an indicator of emergence) flame the rest of the row.
  5. Garlic looks great. Across the board, I have seen nothing but a fabulous garlic crop coming on for later this summer. This is true across Illinois as I have spoken with a number of growers and colleagues. Survival was tremendous and somewhat surprising. The cold November did not take its toll on plants. Garlic always surprises me on how adaptable it can be. Make sure you have uncovered your garlic rows as they need as much sunlight as possible.

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