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SC Fruit and Vegetable Field Update September 7, 2021

Midlands Update

Justin Ballew reports, “We’re getting a little dry here in the midlands, and folks have been running irrigation a lot. Last night (9/6), we got a shower at my house, but it didn’t amount to much. Our fall crops are looking really good right now. The dry weather is holding down disease though we are still seeing some insects, mainly caterpillars. Squash, zucchini, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, turnips, and other brassicas are all growing pretty well.”

Fall zucchini that is ready to be picked. Justin Ballew, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Fall zucchini that is ready to be picked.
Justin Ballew, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Phillip Carnley reports, “Muscadine production is in its final stages here in Orangeburg and Calhoun counties, with most growers preparing to harvest or in the process of harvesting. There is still a noticeable amount of angular leaf spot on many vines, but it is not much of an issue this late in the season. Continue to keep an eye on the population of grapevine borers with the use of traps. Also, keep an eye on the water, as it is needed for nice plump fruit.

Small amounts of foliar diseases are present in muscadines. Philip Carnle, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Small amounts of foliar diseases are present in muscadines.
Philip Carnle, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Growers are preparing to harvest muscadines in Orangeburg and Calhoun counties. Philip Carnley, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Growers are preparing to harvest muscadines in Orangeburg and Calhoun counties.
Philip Carnley, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Pee Dee Region

Bruce McLean reports, “Soils are getting pretty dry in many locations. Even though dry weather would greatly benefit the muscadine growers, we could use a little rain. Vegetable crops are looking pretty good. Spider mite activity has increased over the last couple of weeks, especially on tomatoes. Bedding and fumigation (for strawberries) are getting ready to begin. Wine and juice muscadine harvest is upon us. Muscadine harvest is going to be a bit tricky this year. Half the crop is ready to pick in many locations, and half the crop needs a little additional time, especially Carlos and Doreen cultivars. This is likely due to the late spring freeze that we experienced this year. Primary growth (that recovered from the freeze) is giving us a timely crop. Secondary growth (growth from secondary buds) is a little delayed. Watch harvesting too much under-ripe fruit. Under-ripe fruit does not contain the sugars or the juice and will reduce your overall juice yield and total sugars.”

“Skirting the vines” is a common practice where the grower removes (by shearing) the excessive vegetative growth to allow the fruit to be more easily shaken from the vines during harvest. Bruce McLean, ©2021, Clemson Extension

“Skirting the vines” is a common practice where the grower removes (by shearing) the excessive vegetative growth to allow the fruit to be more easily shaken from the vines during harvest.
Bruce McLean, ©2021, Clemson Extension

Upstate Region

Kerrie Roach reports, “Things have significantly slowed down in the Upstate with the Labor Day weekend signaling the true end of summer. The growers doing fall vegetable production are in the thick of things, with insect and disease monitoring of utmost importance. I would typically be posting about apples and the harvest for this season, but the late cold event from April 22, 2021, has put a significant damper on local orchards. Growers have apples available, but u-pick operations are very limited if not canceled for this season. Orchard management is imperative even when the trees are not producing and can be a good opportunity to get weed control and pest management under control.”

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

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