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Showing posts from July, 2023

Weekly update 7/27/2023

  Authors: Natalie Hoidal , and Marissa Schuh At this point in the season most growers are juggling a bit of everything: planting, weeding, harvesting, and dealing with mid-season issues like increasing insect and disease pressure. It’s also a key time where your management practices still have a big impact on the health of your crops later in the season, so it’s worth taking time to scout for insect and disease issues.  Crop updates In high tunnel cucumbers , spider mite and aphid numbers have really jumped on a lot of farms. Aphids For aphids, a threshold is that if more than 20% of the runner vines have aphids, you should consider treatment. There are lots of organic products with aphids on the label (microbials, oils, soaps, etc.). In university trials, the efficacy of each product has varied widely.  M-Pede and other horticultural soaps can work well on aphids, be sure to get good spray coverage in new growth, young leaves, and the underside of infested leaves. These types of p

Japanese Beetle & Fruit Crops: Mostly Good News

Bill Hutchison, Extension Entomologist, Eleanor Meys, Undergraduate Student, & Suzanne Wold-Burkness, Dept. of Entomology, University of Minnesota   As of this week, and with the record number of days over 90F this summer, the Japanese beetle (JB) is rapidly approaching the end of its annual emergence curve. As of Monday, July 30 th , we will be between 75-90% emergence for southern Minnesota. Interestingly, due to the “urban heat island” effect in the Metro area, JB development is more advanced (90% emergence) than the ambient temperatures driving degree-day accumulations in the rural areas ( see DD map for July 24- 30 th ). That said, JB numbers in pheromone traps will continue to remain active through August and early Sept., and some JB will be present on preferred host plants through August as well. Current JB counts , via pheromone traps, at our 3 sites this year remain in the low to moderate range. Preferred fruit crop hosts include: Heritage fall raspberry, Honey Crisp a

Weekly vegetable update 7/13/2023

Authors: Natalie Hoidal , and Marissa Schuh , We are transitioning into full-on summer: zucchini, cucumbers, and tomatoes are being harvested, and sweet corn isn't far behind. The good news for next week is that a cool front is expected. The bad news is that the cool front is projected to bring in more wildfire smoke, at least for a few days. In this update we'll discuss some midsummer insects and diseases to watch for, some reminders about harvesting garlic, and updates about our 100 farms soil testing project. Crop updates Cucurbits Cucurbits are vining out. Squash bug eggs are being found on many farms, squish these as you see them. Their eggs are coppery and laid in clumps. The clumps are most often found nestled between leaf veins on the underside of leaves, but squash bugs also don’t seem to be married to laying their eggs there – you can find them on all parts of the leaves, stems, and even sometimes on flowers. You may also be seeing recently hatched immature s

Last call! Registration closes July 18 for the Organic Fruit and Vegetable Field Day

  Marissa Schuh, Horticulture Integrated Pest Management extension educator Thinking about scaling up your vegetable production? Curious about high tunnels, day-neutral strawberries, or cover crops? Want to connect with UMN researchers and extension educators? Sign up now to attend the Organic Fruit and Vegetable Field Day July 25 from 5-8 on the UMN St. Paul campus . Enjoy a free meal, tour university research plots, and network with other growers and resource people from the UMN. This event is free and will be interpreted, please register so we can make sure we have enough food and the right interpreters in place. For more information and registration, visit the event information page  or fill out the below form. You can also call 651-480-7732. during business hour to register. Loading… Questions? Reach out to Marissa Schuh at

Weekly vegetable update 7/5/2023

Authors: Natalie Hoidal , Shane Bugeja , Marissa Schuh , Anthony Adams , Claire LaCanne With clearer skies and cooler nights, this week is providing some respite from a hot and smoky summer in Minnesota. However, temperatures across the globe are hitting record highs. This week's update includes an overview of fruiting problems in cucumbers, nutrient deficiency symptoms in tomatoes, causes for funky looking peppers, reasons your sweet corn might be lodging (falling over), a discussion of June weather, and some tips for dealing with blister beetles. Crop updates Cucurbits There are two main issues to look for this week in cucurbits: blossom end rot (mostly on zucchini and summer squash), and fruit abortion. If your fruit is developing with rot on the blossom end, it could be Choanephora rot (which is easily distinguishable due to its fuzzy appearance) or blossom end rot. Fluctuating water levels are the main culprit for blossom end rot, so trying to provide more consistent irrigati

Renovate your strawberries to prepare them for next year

As strawberry harvest wraps up for June-bearing strawberries, it's important to prepare beds now for next year to reduce disease pressure and ensure a healthy crop next year. This process is called renovation. Check out our YouTube video about renovation for a step-by-step guide to the process:  We also have a webpage for folks who would prefer to read about the process.