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SC Fruit and Vegetable Field Report January 11, 2021

Coastal Region

Rob Last reports, “Vegetable crops are growing out of the impacts of frost well. There is active Alternaria in places on brassica crops. Insect activity in vegetable crops in the area remains low. Strawberry crops are moving well, with a few spider mites and aphids being observed. Remember, if mite treatment is needed, use a specific miticide to target the pest to avoid flaring populations. If you need a second pair of eyes to help scout, then please give me a shout.”

Zack Snipes reports, “I’ve been getting a good many calls about strawberries in recent weeks. The warm weather has really pushed our berries, perhaps too far along for this time of year.  I know of a couple of farms that are already harvesting, which I’m not sure is a great thing this early in the season. Most fields look good with great growth, but we only have a few crowns for each plant. Hopefully, some cool weather will come in and slow them down. Make sure to sanitize the plants by removing all dead tissue and put out a preventative spray once you are done sanitizing. Good preventative sanitization right now can do wonders for disease management later in the season.  Now is a good time to manage weeds before they get too large. And while I am at it…now is the perfect time to get ready for the season by checking sprayers, getting fertigation systems set up and calibrated, and purchasing pesticides you know you will need for the season.”

A sanitized plant and the dead and diseased tissue that came off of it. This needs to be taken out of the field and discarded. Zack Snipes, ©2021, Clemson Extension

A sanitized plant and the dead and diseased tissue that came off of it. This needs to be taken out of the field and discarded.
Zack Snipes, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Corn spurry is a weed that needs to be managed now before it’s too late. Zack Snipes, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Corn spurry is a weed that needs to be managed now before it’s too late.
Zack Snipes, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Midlands Region

Justin Ballew reports, “The weather has remained cool, so everything is growing pretty slowly. We had another very rainy day last week, and we got a little over 2 inches at my house. That’s over 6 inches for me so far in 2021, and I’ve had some folks tell me they’ve gotten over 8. We are seeing some cold damage to strawberry foliage, but nothing to worry about long term. Just make sure to sanitize any dead leaves and flowers as the temperatures warm in the spring. I’ve already seen some Botrytis developing on dead flowers, so we definitely need to remove these sources of disease inoculum. I’m counting 2-3 crowns per plant right now. If you’re behind that, it may be helpful to put row covers on for a couple of weeks. Just scout for spider mites carefully first.”

Cold damage around the margins of strawberry leaves from the hard freeze right after Christmas. It didn't get cold enough to damage the crowns. Justin Ballew, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Cold damage around the margins of strawberry leaves from the hard freeze right after Christmas. It didn’t get cold enough to damage the crowns.
Justin Ballew, ©2021, Clemson Extension

This bloom was killed by cold weather. It isn’t easy to see here, but there are already a few botrytis spores developing on the flower. If not sanitized, this could become a significant source of inoculum. Justin Ballew, ©2021, Clemson Extension

This bloom was killed by cold weather. It isn’t easy to see here, but there are already a few botrytis spores developing on the flower. If not sanitized, this could become a significant source of inoculum.
Justin Ballew, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Pee Dee Region

Tony Melton reports, “Cold hurt green winter strawberries more than ripe ones due to increased sugar in ripe ones. Still got some squash producing in high tunnels if covered inside a tunnel with row covers. We’re bedding green fields to allow weeds to germinate so they can be killed using stale-bed culture.”

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

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