Things to Do / Things to Think About This Month - July 2018

  Hort Snacks - July 2018
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  • Maintain good weed control – dandelion and chickweed infestations can contribute to Tarnished Plant Bug damage (issue in day-neutrals)
  • Application of nutrients – primarily nitrogen – should be done as soon as June bearer harvest is complete - 50lb/ac N, P & K; Make 2nd application in mid-August - 15-20 lb/ac N (using calcium nitrate)
  • Mowing old leaves of June bearing strawberries (only) at renovation should only be done if harvest and mowing can be completed by August 5
  • Irrigation (if not supplied by rainfall) should be continued at this runnering stage of June bearers
  • Day-neutral strawberries will require constant nitrogen feeding until end of August - 10-20 lbs actual N/ac/month - may be split into weekly or bi-monthly applications
  • Field cooling of strawberries should be considered if temperatures exceed 30C. Day-neutral flower bud formation ceases at 26-28C
    • Failure to cool will result in the conspicuous absence of a crop a month later
Saskatoon berries
  • Ensure any off-plant types (e.g. chokecherries) are pruned out of the Saskatoon berry rows prior to harvest
  • Soil moisture can be reduced after harvest to encourage plants to harden-off
  • Harvest at night or early morning to take advantage of fruit temperatures (reduces cooling requirements)
  • Cool crop immediately after harvest to preserve produce quality
    • Ensure that there is airflow through the harvested product to cool more quickly
    • If freezing the graded crop, consider that smaller quantities or thin layers will freeze more quickly than bulk quantities – which will affect final quality of the frozen product
  • Harvest product at appropriate stages, with consideration given to cost of harvesting versus total yield
    • Multiple harvests of each planting can increase total yield but quality (and returns) may be higher for early harvests of each planting
  • Cool harvested product quickly to slow post-harvest degradation
  • Final washes/rinses should be in potable water
Greenhouse ornamentals
  • If holding plants for extended periods, ensure plants are kept healthy, fertilized and free from pests
    • Apply sufficient water, maintenance fertilizer, etc.
  • Clear out older stock as quickly as possible
General / Other
  • Adjust irrigation as soil moisture conditions and plant requirements change.
    • As plants begin to mature and fruit fills, moisture requirements typically increase.
    • Maintain soil moisture levels through harvest (particularly during fruit formation and filling)
  • If June was particularly wet and you have sandy soils, it is possible that soil nitrogen levels may be depleted. Make light applications of nitrogen. Heavy applications of nitrogen can lead to soft fruit and plants
Pest Monitoring / Management
  • Continue to monitor disease and insect pest development and make appropriate controls (adhering to PHI and REI restrictions)
  • Remove / prune out diseased plant material
  • Check out PMRA website for most recent info on registered pesticides
  • Abandonment (ploughing under) of an annual crop can sometimes be more cost effective than trying to salvage a heavily infested crop with chemical sprays (weeds, insects, disease)
  • Consider cultural pest control practices such as exclusion, using such technologies as row covers, netting, etc.
  • Raspberries
    • Monitor for spider mites and control if necessary
    • Examine primocane growth on floricanes for spur blight infection
      • Plan post-harvest fungicide spray if identified
  • Saskatoon berries
    • Continue to monitor for Entomosporium and apply fungicides with short Pre-harvest interval if necessary
      • Ensure that you do not exceed seasonal maximum number of applications
    • If Woolly Elm Aphids have been or are an issue in your orchard, application of Orthene, Alias or Admire is permitted on bearing and non-bearing plants
      • Apply as close to peak aphid migration as possible – early to mid-July to mid-August (depends on crop and season)
      • Apply after harvest in bearing plants, although Alias / Admire may be applied with a short PHI window (14 days)
  • Greenhouse ornamentals
    • Monitor for spider mites and aphids, as well as foliar diseases such as powdery mildew
    • Correct situations that encourage fungus gnats
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Robert Spencer.
This information published to the web on June 26, 2018.