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

 
  Hort Snacks - October 2017
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 Strawberries
  • Apply herbicides prior to freeze-up and incorporate with water (see pesticide labels for details)
  • Straw mulch application is also a requirement for good winter survival of strawberries
  • Strawberry plants will shift into dormancy after 3 to 5 frosts in the –5°C range. A protective layer of straw can be applied at this point. Temperatures of –7°C can cause some crown or bud damage therefore straw should be applied prior to these temperatures.
    • Clean wheat or rye straw should be applied at a 10-15 cm (4-6 inch) thickness over the rows
    • Producers having difficulty finding wheat or rye straw can substitute barley, oat or flax, if necessary.
    • Straw is often applied in late October or even early November – however recent experience suggests that an earlier application (perhaps mid-October), with careful monitoring of temperatures, may be better than following a general calendar rule.
Raspberries
  • Complete spent cane removal of floricane raspberries
  • Remove weeds from within row area
Saskatoon berries
  • Remove weeds from within row area
Vegetables
  • Complete harvest of any unharvested crops
  • Consider the quality of the produce that is being placed into storage – frozen, damaged, diseased produce will not improve in storage – be harsh when it comes to culling
  • If cover crops have not been planted for soil conservation, think of other ways to prevent soil erosion due to wind, water, etc.
  • Consider ways of disposing of cull piles – they harbour disease, insects, and other potential problems, plus are unsightly
General / Other
  • Sample soils in existing and future berry and vegetable fields
    • Depth
      • 0-6 inches & 6-12 inches for strawberries
      • 0-6, 6-12 & 12-24 inches for raspberries and Saskatoon berries
      • 0-6 inches & 6-12 inches for the majority of vegetables; for deep-rooted perennial vegetables, also sample 12-24 inches
  • Ensure good soil moisture prior to freeze up
  • Apply registered herbicides
  • Once herbicide and mulch is applied there is nothing to do until spring? = NOT!!
    • This is the best time of year to make plans for changes in varieties, check in/out procedures, promotional activities, etc. as it is still fresh in your mind.
    • By waiting another month or 2, your memory will not be as fresh and things may be forgotten. Plan your winter timetable now to make the best use of services that may be available.
    • Make notes of things that must be done and when you can do them, e.g. strawberry transplanter needs new fingers; order additional herbicides, etc.
  • Ensure sprayers and other equipment are repaired and ready for next year
  • Winterize sprayers and other equipment
  • Repaint signs if necessary
How much straw??

(The eternal strawberry question)

To apply 4-6 inches of straw over rows
  • 2-3 tons/acre (4.6-6.7 t/ha)
  • 120 small square bales / acre
  • 10-12 large round bales / acre
  • Apply 4 inches over each row and then 1-2 inches over 4-5 rows
 
 
 
 
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Robert Spencer.
This information published to the web on September 29, 2017.