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Showing posts from May, 2019

What's Killing My Kale Episode 20: Let's talk transplants!

In  Season 2, Episode 2  of our fruit and vegetable podcast  What's Killing My Kale?  we're talking all about transplants with Alissa Jacobsen, a farmer who currently works at Open Hands Farm in Northfield. Alissa has worked on many farms at different scales and with different types of markets and goals. We covered a wide range of topics including:  Transplanted cucumber with sun scald. Photo: Natalie Hoidal Avoiding issues like sun scald Accessing space for starting seeds when you don't have access to high tunnel or greenhouse space Maximizing greenhouse and high tunnel space throughout the year The logistics of hardening off seedlings at different scales of production Growing healthy transplants Taking care of your body during this often physically strenuous time of the growing season.  Click here to listen to the episode.   You can listen to it now, or download it to listen later.  You can find all previous (2018) episodes on  FruitEdge . What&

Where Did Those UMN Vegetable Production Guides Go?

You may have noticed that the UMN Extension website had an overhaul mid-season last year. One change that impacted fruit and vegetable farmers right away was the relocation of the production manuals that used to be linked on the front page of the Fruit and Vegetable part of the website. Good news: Many of those production guides are still available online in PDF form! They are stored in the UMN digital conservancy, along with a plethora of other interesting publications dating as far back as the early days of the University of Minnesota. We have listed all of them here: Minnesota High Tunnel Production Guide for Commercial Growers Growing Garlic in Minnesota Asparagus Production Guide Minnesota Fruit and Vegetable Growers Manual for the Beginning Grower Nutrient management for commercial fruit and vegetable crops in Minnesota Nutrient Management for Fruit and Vegetable Crops: Using manure and compost as nutrient sources for vegetable crops Nutrient management for fruit

Update on Bud Break on Grapes at the UMN Horticultural Research Center – May 24, 2019

Author: Aimee Foster. It’s the day before the long Memorial Day weekend, marking the traditional kick-off to summer in Minnesota, and we are out at the Horticultural Research Center in Excelsior, MN, west of the twin cities metro, to check on bud break progress on grapes. We looked at bud progress a few weeks ago, on May 7, and found Itasca and Marquette in bud swell but not quite official bud break. Overall, it’s been slower than average this spring but we are well on our way now with official bud break on all varieties. Several varieties, like Itasca, Marquette, Frontenac and Frontenac Gris, are expanding multiple leaves and growing shoots while varieties such as La Crescent, Swensen Red, and Edelweiss are still in the early stages of bud break and just beginning to expand leaves. Itasca is leading the pack by a slight degree while Marquette is not far behind. Bud break has occurred on both varieties: leaves have been expanding and shoots range from 1.5 to 3 inches long. Itas

Calculating Fertilizer Rates for Vegetable and Fruit Crops

Author: Annie Klodd.  A common question this time of the year is: "I have done my soil test, and it says I need to add a certain amount of nutrients. How do I determine what fertilizer to apply and how much?" Whether you are using an organic or synthetic form of fertilizer, the same basic concepts apply for calculating how much fertilizer to add to the field. Each fertilizer product, whether it is bone meal, Sustane, urea, or another organic or synthetic product, contains a specific concentration of nutrients. These concentrations are listed on the label. Your job is to decide which fertilizer to use, and how much of it, based on your farm's goals and soil conditions. This article will explain the process in detail and show the basic equations needed. If you have already done this and just need a refresher, here are the steps: Know the nutrient concentrations in your soil Determine how much of each nutrient to add, in lbs/acre, with the tables in the nutrient manag

Are you thinking of getting a GAP audit this year?

Author: Annalisa Hultberg, Extension Educator- Food Safety, Horticultural Systems This time of year many growers are starting to think about marketing the crops they will be harvesting later this summer.  We get calls and emails from growers wanting to get ready for new markets and who are considering getting their farm “GAP-certified.” Should you get a GAP audit on your fresh produce this summer? Read on for some tips. A GAP audit is basically a verification that your farm is following science-based best practices for food safety in growing fresh produce. A few things to consider: What is a GAP audit? A GAP audit is when an inspector from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) or another certifying body comes to your farm with a checklist to verify that you have implemented and are following Good Agricultural Practices during the growing, harvesting, packing, storage, and transportation of your product. What gets audited? It is your product (e.g. cucumbers, green bean

What's Killing My Kale Episode 19. Dealing with Bud Injury in Cold Climate Fruit Trees

Moongold apricot flowers, 5/7/19. Photo: Annie Klodd. In Season 2, Episode 1 of our fruit and vegetable podcast  What's Killing My Kale? we take a deep dive into fruit bud injury with Dr. Amaya Atucha of University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Atucha has a wealth of knowledge on this topic, so it made for a fascinating and useful conversation that we think fruit growers will find very helpful! Topics covered include: What do critical freeze temperatures for fruit buds really mean, and who decided this? Is it possible to predict injury before a late freeze event? How did this winter impact fruit trees in the upper Midwest? What should growers do now to help their trees recover from the winter and produce a healthy crop? Click here to listen to the episode.   You can listen to it now, or download it to listen later.  You can find all previous (2018) episodes on FruitEdge . What's Killing My Kale?  is a podcast production of the University of Minnesota Exte

Fruit bud break progress at the Horticultural Research Center - May 7, 2019

Author: Annie Klodd, Extension Educator-Fruit and Vegetable Production Bud break at the UMN Horticultural Research Center is moving along slowly due to cool temperatures the past week. This is not necessarily a bad thing; a slower bud break helps keep the buds protected from unexpected late spring frosts for a longer time period, because buds in earlier stages are more tolerant to freezing temperatures. A week ago, I reported half inch green and tight cluster on several apple varieties, green tip on Alderman plum, and first swell on North Star and Bali cherries. Here are some photos of bud break this morning (May 7, 2019) at the Horticultural Research Center in Excelsior, Minnesota, west of the Twin Cities. McIntosh apple entering first pink stage State Fair apple trailing behind at tight cluster: State Fair apple at tight cluster We do not yet have enough growing degree days accumulated for bud break in grapes. The Itasca grape is further along in bud swell than many