Savannah Valley District

Weekly Field Update

Phillip Carnley, Area Horticulture Agent 


Strawberries are looking good around the Midlands. The biggest issue I’ve seen is still Neopest and getting plants to size up. With Neopest, stay on top of a preventative spray with Thiram or Switch. If plants are still small, row covers are your friend and will help force crown development. Make sure before covering that plants are free of spider mites and disease. Easter comes early this year, and growers are eager to meet that Easter rush for berries. Be mindful of the growth stage of your plants and previous weather history so as not to set yourself up for failure. There is some leafspot lingering around but nothing too major so far.  As always, deer are still a major concern and have been seen feeding in some of the higher populated areas.

Blueberries are ahead this year in development and are starting to bud and bloom in the Midlands. There is a lot of cane dieback from cane blight and winter tenderness from late applications of nitrogen, but overall health looks good.

Leafy greens are still producing very well. Mustard, depending on the age of the planting, is bolting frequently. Turnips and rutabaga have played out recently, and a few growers are using them as green manure.

Peaches are being pruned and seem to have put on great new growth for the season. Some orchards are still being ripped out and replanted. 

Onions are growing nicely for those who planted them. Make sure to keep an eye out for any leaf spot that may be present and carefully manage fertility. If the curing and shelf life of onions has been a problem in the past, look at your late-season fertilizer applications. A fast-growing plant is susceptible to rot and has a shortened shelf life. Before harvest, pull back on fertility.

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