Things to Do / Things to Think About This Month - March 2017

 
  Hort Snacks - March 2017
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 Strawberries
  • Monitor crown health – plan course of action if damage is evident
  • Plan plant pickup, field planting layout, planting labour, etc.
Raspberries
  • Thinning of floricane raspberries / removal of spent floricanes
  • Mowing to ground and removal of last year’s growth from primocane raspberries
  • Remember – using Reemay row covers will increase earliness and yield of primocane raspberries
  • Make first application of nitrogen at month’s end (snow melt); 2nd application in Mid-May
    • Floricanes - 20-40 lbs actual N/acre for each application (total 40-80lbs N/acre yearly)
    • Primocanes - 35-60 lbs actual N/acre for each application (70-120 lbs N/acre yearly)
  • Adjust rate if banding
Saskatoon Berries
  • Pruning / Thinning
    • dead, diseased, low-spreading branches before bud break
    • branches bigger greater than or equal to “Loonie” sized
  • If regenerating or renovating entire orchard Mow entire orchard
  • In planning new fields which will eventually be mechanically harvested consider:
    • Lay of land, slope, flat
    • Rows in line with prevailing winds, shelterbelts
    • Don’t mix varieties
    • Keep saskatoons and chokecherries separated
      • Row spacing for machine harvesting should be 5-6 m (16-20 feet)
    • Ensure sufficient headland area for turning harvesters around
    • Choice of varieties choose varieties that ripen uniformly
    • Ease of irrigation set up, proximity to water, delivery
    • Grassing requirements
Vegetables
  • Some vegetable transplants may be started this month, but only those that require 6 or more weeks to grow
Marketing – Generalities
  • Take a look at all of your existing product market “outlets” for each crop
    • Determine if they are adequate
    • Make adjustments (if necessary)
    • Do this for projected markets as well (it never hurts to be prepared)
  • Do a review of your pricing
    • Is it adequate?
    • Has anything changed to might allow price adjustments?
General
  • If / when soil conditions permit it, carry out soil sampling (if not done in fall). Calcium, magnesium, sulphur, sodium are important components, in addition to main macronutrients (N, P, K)
  • Do a last minute check up on all equipment that you are going to use this spring (if you haven’t done this already)
  • Depending on what sort of spring you are having, some field preparation activities may be possible
  • Final planning of planting / packing layout
  • Prepare rough summer schedule for planting, spraying, irrigation, etc.
  • Go and visit another grower
Pest Monitoring / Management
  • Brush up on disease and insect pest identification
  • Saskatoon berries
    • If plants progress rapidly, 1st Decis application may be required at month’s end (green tip to bud elongation)
NOTE: Daylight Saving Time starts the 2nd Sunday in March so … SPRING FORWARD
 
 
 
 
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Robert Spencer.
This information published to the web on February 27, 2017.