Zack Snipes reports, “Everything is progressing nicely in the Lowcountry. We got some much-needed rain last week. Temperatures have been cool, so things are somewhat slow from a developmental standpoint. All the crops look great, especially the tomato crop. We have a really nice fruit set and very little disease. I am expecting to see bacterial spot to show up sometime soon and have been getting a few calls about bacterial wilt taking down plants. I’ve also gotten a few calls about blossom end rot. That is typical on the first fruit set and will usually correct itself provided there is ample calcium in the soil AND the soil moisture is consistent. In our sandy soils, the main cause of blossom end rot is allowing the soil to dry out during the fruiting stage. Folks might want to consider multiple 30 minute to 1-hour irrigation cycles on tomatoes per day.”
Justin Ballew reports, “We got right at an inch of rain at my house this past Wednesday. While the rain was much needed, the moisture and cool temperatures have allowed plant diseases to get a foothold in numerous crops. Over the last week, I’ve seen bacterial blight in mustard, downy mildew in collards, Septoria leaf spot in Italian parsley, and of course botrytis and a little bit of anthracnose fruit rot in strawberries. Growers have been sanitizing, applying fungicides, and/or terminating old crops to manage diseases. When selecting fungicides, be sure to rotate MOA groups (referred to as “FRAC Codes” in the SE Vegetable Crop Handbook) to avoid developing fungicide resistance in your fields.”
Pee Dee Region
Tony Melton reports, “A major pickle company found cucurbit downy mildew on pickles in Calhoun County. I have seen 100 acres of pickles damaged by hail and another 100 acres damaged by Reflex carry over. Next year, please make sure you are planting the right variety of strawberries for the intended market. When markets get full like this year, buyers are picky about what they will buy, and unfortunately, many acres were not harvested to their full potential. Remember to control thrips on small peas, cucumbers, tomatoes, and beans.