Some of our watermelon fields may be low in sulfur
For the last 3 out of 5 years (yes I know, but I get busy with other things) I have been looking at whether or not adding extra sulfur to watermelon is worth it. I was asked a similar question from a couple of eastern shore growers awhile back and I said I was not sure and I’d look into it.
Why so little yellow shoulders in tomatoes this year?
Normally at this time of year, I’d be writing about how bad yellow shoulders and other fruit ripening problems are in Maryland tomatoes. But this has been a strange season with May weather in March and March weather in May, which caused a great deal of catfacing problems this year.
Other Fruit Problems with 2016 Tomato Crop
Many of our tomatoes this summer look pretty ugly and is what I’d like to talk about this week. Some of the ugliness is due to high levels of gold fleck (Fig. 1). Gold fleck is caused by calcium crystals being deposited in the epidermal layers of the fruit when certain varieties are
Evaluating Grape Samples For Ripeness
It is critical to properly monitor and assess the fruit characteristics and maturity to make the appropriate management, harvesting, and winemaking decisions to produce the best quality grapes and wine possible. The last “Timely Viticulture” described how to take a proper sample that best represents the actual ripeness stage of the variety in that vineyard.
Some early varieties in many vineyards are just starting to bloom. This is a critical time for taking tissue/petiole samples to assess the nutritional status of your vines. The following are some timely considerations.
Soil pH Affects Nutrient Availability
Soils are composed of mineral and organic matter. Weathered rocks provide soil minerals, while organic matter forms from decayed animal and plant residues. An important component of healthy soil, organic matter helps maintain and improve soil’s physical condition.
Catfacing Problems in Tomatoes
There have been some reports from growers and educators of several sets of tomato fruit with catfacing or that are deformed (Fig. 1). Catfacing results in fruit with deep indentations in the blossom end or fruit with significant distortions. It is thought to be caused by a problem during the formation of the flower that results in the fruit not developing normally.
Potato Leaf Hoppers on Hops
I do not usually look at hops very much as only a few farms have them, but they are becoming a bit more common in the last 10 years (Fig. 1). Visiting two farms withy hops I saw marginal leaf damage (Fig. 2) on some leaves (found some thrips too) and then marginal leaf scorch on others (Fig. 3).
In the past I have talked about several different problems with garlic, be it mites, nematodes, fungal or bacterial diseases. However, this year I am seeing something different that I will just call ‘garlic viruses’ that may have been there in past years, but is more prominent now for some reason.
Mites (Two Types) Found in Strawberries
While visiting some strawberry fields over the last few weeks, I ran into a few areas that had two spotted spider mite (TSSM) feeding. These were mostly in fields that had been using row cover. Spider mites Tetranychus urticae are well adapted to high-temperatures and can complete their life cycle in as little as 7 days when temperatures are > 80º F.
Allium (Onion) Leafminer
The allium leafminer Phytomyza gymnostoma (also known as the onion leafminer) has recently been detected and confirmed from infested leeks in Lancaster County, PA. This is the first confirmed infestation in the Western Hemisphere.
Who’s the Boss
Mastering Marketing - April 2016
A primary attribute often given for being self-employed is “I’m my own boss.” But, business guru Peter Drucker stated, “The purpose of a business is to have a satisfied customer”. So, whether you’re a farmer, producer, or other type of small business owner; who’s the boss in your business? Is it you, your customers, or both?
Marketing— The Root of All Profits
Mastering Marketing - March 2016
I’ve written, taught, and executed marketing ideas and plans for some time now. But, after pages and pages of text and theories, I’ve found marketing really boils down to a couple key concepts executed over three similar categories. And, marketing is truly the root of all profits in any business.
Blossom End Rot in Tomatoes
This is just a reminder with the peculiar weather we have had lately with stretches of very high temperatures then cooler days and throw in the very heavy down pours we have had over the last few weeks, blossom end rot can become a real problem in tomatoes.
Crop Development Sampling
It is critical to properly monitor and assess the fruit characteristics and maturity to make the appropriate management, harvesting, and winemaking decisions to produce the best quality grapes and wine possible. The first step to assess ripeness and quality is to take a proper sample that best represents the actual ripeness stage of the variety in that vineyard.