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SC Fruit and Vegetable Field Report – April 5, 2021

Coastal Region

Zack Snipes reports, “Temperatures checked in at 28 °F at the northern end of Charleston County one night this past week. Strawberries were covered, but some blossoms are showing damage. The weather this week should really push berries and give us our first big flush of the season. Lots of acres of tomatoes are planted and were looking pretty good before the cold weather  Time will tell how much the cold will slow them down. It has been very windy in the Lowcountry, which I think has slowed down the development of some crops. Spring brassicas are looking great with very low worm pressure right now. That does not mean we should stop scouting. Populations can jump very quickly.”

Tomatoes were looking okay before the cold nights.

Tomatoes were looking okay before the cold nights.
Zack Snipes ©2021, Clemson Extension

A fall-seeded brassica crop beside strawberries is blooming.

A fall-seeded brassica crop beside strawberries is blooming. The thought behind this cover crop is that the early blooms will encourage beneficial insects which will prey on early-season thrips, which have been causing lots of cosmetic damage on strawberries the past few years.
Zack Snipes ©2021, Clemson Extension

Midlands Region

Justin Ballew reports, “We had a couple of frosts late last week, and the temperature got down to 30 °F at my house. Growers covered their strawberry fields, so we don’t expect to see any damage there. We’re getting very close to picking on a larger scale. I’ve seen some nutrient deficiencies in a few strawberry fields, so be sure to tissue sample periodically and adjust fertigation accordingly. Now that we’re into April and the forecast looks warm, many growers will begin planting cucurbit crops this week. A few already had seeds in the ground before the frost. The first plantings of sweet corn are up and growing well.”

One of the first plantings of sweet corn is up and looking good.

One of the first plantings of sweet corn is up and looking good.
Justin Ballew ©2021, Clemson Extension

Pee Dee Region

Tony Melton reports, “Still determining damage from frost. One grower had 40 acres of butterbeans emerging – sprayed with a frost control product. Sweet potato slips are up, covered with plastic, and beds are covered with slips (about a month out from planting). Cabbage is beginning to cup, head, and touch in the rows. Asparagus was hurt by cold, and most of the harvest is over. Starting to plant pickles, peppers, and tomatoes. Picked all ripe fruit and sprayed for diseases before frost – this coming weekend will be a good harvest for most growers.”

Upstate Region

Kerrie Roach reports, “With some very cold nights last week in the upstate, the apple and peach crops took a significant hit. With extreme differences in topography, each grower has different severities of loss, but the overall consensus is not great. It will be another week to tell for sure on the apples and a little over a week to tell on the peach crop with certainty. One orchard recorded a low of 25 °F on the first night and 26 °F the following night. Night one was actually less damaging because of a persistent wind, where night two was calm and allowed the cold air to settle in. As we assess damages in the orchards, here is a great explanation of how it is done: https://extension.psu.edu/orchard-frost-assessing-fruit-bud-survival

If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at hgic@clemson.edu or 1-888-656-9988.

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