Clemson Extension agents provide updates in The South Carolina Grower this week about the status of various crops being produced throughout the state.
- A bit chilly this morning with the temperature at 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The dry weather in October has really prevented the spread of black rot in brassicas. I am seeing a good bit of black rot symptoms on lower leaves but not upper leaves, which tells me the disease may have come in on transplants or have been in the seed when it was planted. I really expect this disease to explode if we get a little bit of rain. Unfortunately, there isn’t a good way to manage this disease with conventional or organic pesticides. Copper applications will somewhat slow down the spread of the disease to new or unaffected leaves.
- The dry weather has growers in a pickle about bedding up strawberry ground. Ideally, beds should have been made up and herbicides applied a month ago, but the dry weather has created less than ideal bedding conditions. Double drip lines may be necessary this year to thoroughly wet the beds.
- I will go ahead and get on my soap box and say GET YOUR DEER FENCES OUT BEFORE you plant strawberries.
- Crops in the area are developing well with good vigor and color.
- Pest and disease activity remains relatively low. Keep scouting for pest and disease activity.
- Diamondback moth numbers are beginning to increase slowly. I expect to see numbers continue to grow.
- Cabbage loopers are being found in low numbers.
- Strawberry plants are being delivered over the next week. Remember to check trays closely for pests and diseases. Rejecting infected plants now can save a lot of issues later in the season.
- Make sure to train and observe planting crews well, to reduce the incidence of transplant damage and “J-rooting”.
- The nice, cool weather and the open U-pick pumpkin patches made for a very fall weekend here.
- I did get a report that strawberry transplants will be delayed a few days due to production issues. A reminder, again, to make sure you inspect your transplants and remove any diseased or damaged plants.
- Citrus trees have nice ripening fruits.
- Garlic was planted over the weekend.
- There is moderate flea beetle activity in mustard and turnip green fields. Cucumber beetles have also been scouted as well.
- I have seen fusarium wilt in collards. This soil-borne disease can infect the crop or soil by planting diseased/infected seeds or transplants, leaving dead or diseased plant material on the ground, and having varieties without resistance to fusarium. Management and good sanitation practices are crucial to helping suppress the population in the soil from year to year. It depends on warm soil temperatures for growth, so these cooler temperatures will hopefully suppress the spread of it.
- Strawberry planting is in full swing in the Upstate with several early plantings already in. Most of the Upstate strawberries will be planted within the next week. We want to have them planted, if possible, by Oct. 15.
- A few growers are running late because of very dry conditions. Growers need to wet beds before planting and prepare overhead irrigation. If no overhead is available, it is common to have problems getting water to the plants through the drip alone when first planted. This is partly why I prefer two drip lines. Be aware of this and make sure plants can get to water.
- While planting, regardless of plant type, make sure plants are planted with the crown still above ground and the roots at the top of the surface slightly covered with soil and lightly packed in.
- Lastly, inspect plants before planting and have any problems identified. Many of them do not just go away. The sooner you can identify the problem, then you can adjust your spray program accordingly.