SC Fruit and Vegetable Field Report- July 10, 2023


Tom Bilbo – Extension Entomologist

  • Pickleworm and melonworm have arrived in the Lowcountry. Be on the lookout and ready to spray for this pest complex because of its potential to cause significant yield loss. Summer squash is at particular risk because of these pests’ strong preferences. It only takes one worm to ruin an entire squash or melon. They can also destroy many of the flowers before they become fruit, as well as feed on the rinds.
  • Bt products (Dipel, Xentari, etc.) can work well for managing caterpillars for organic growers (as will Entrust) but are limited by their short residual activity. Longer residual helps against these pests because once they burrow into flowers or fruit, they become protected from subsequent foliar sprays.
Pickleworms burrow within developing fruit, ruining the fruit.

Pickleworms burrow within developing fruit, ruining the fruit.
Tom Bilbo, ©2023, Clemson University

Midlands Region

Rob Last

  • The hot weather over the last week has been a blessing for many warm-season crops, such as watermelon and cantaloupe, to encourage the ripening of crops.
  • Crops coming to market include tomatoes, peppers, corn, early okra, eggplant, watermelons, squash, blackberries, and cantaloupe.
  • Keep scouting for pests like tomato hornworms, aphids, and whiteflies.
  • Both foliar and root diseases are prevalent. Timely scouting and applications of fungicides will be beneficial to protect crops.
  • Sunscald is also very apparent on heavily loaded crops of tomatoes, peppers, and watermelons. Kaolin clays can help to mitigate the effect.
Watermelons are looking great.

Watermelons are looking great.
Rob. Last, ©2023, Clemson University

Upstate Region

Andy Rollins

  • Peach picking is light but is continuing in the Upstate.
  • Most strawberry growers are killing plants and cleaning up fields, preparing for next year.
  • We are seeing many problems on vegetables. We are finding Southern stem blight on pepper. Page 255 of the 2023 vegetable handbook addresses control options.
  • We believe we have fusarium wilt in tomato and squash coming in after excessive rain the week before last. We are waiting for results from the lab to be sure.  The tomato has damaged cambium that is proceeding toward interior of the stem.
  • Successful new plantings of blueberries are doing well.
Symptoms of Southern blight on pepper can be observed on the stem right at the surface of the soil.

Symptoms of Southern blight on pepper can be observed on the stem right at the surface of the soil.
Andy Rollins, ©2023, Clemson University

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

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