Weekly Field Update – 10/24/22
Clemson Extension agents provide updates in The South Carolina Grower this week about the status of various crops being produced throughout the state.
Justin Ballew reports, “Temperatures turned cool for a few days in the Midlands this past week. We had two consecutive days where the low temperature was under 35 (degrees Fahrenheit) in Lexington (low of 32.7F) and four consecutive days in Pomaria (low of 29.7F). As a result, our fall cucurbit, tomato and pepper crops don’t have much time left (they’re mostly done in areas north of Lake Murray). Strawberry growers are in better shape than we expected. The vast majority have been planted, so we won’t be finishing up quite as late as we expected. Be sure to overhead water transplants to keep them from drying out (10-to-14 days for bare-roots with leaves, 5-to-10 days for bare-root cutoffs). Folks in other parts of the state with heavier soil often just use their drip to get transplants established, but I wouldn’t recommend this for growers in the coastal plain. Our sandy soil just doesn’t hold enough moisture. We’ve previously seen stand losses near 50% when overhead water isn’t used after planting.”
Andy Rollins reports, “Strawberry plantings are still being put in. Plant suppliers were late getting tips, and plant growth suffered in some cases. When planting these plugs, the bottom half of the plug doesn’t have any roots, and when planters try to pull them, it leaves the potting soil behind. Suppliers have recommended allowing these plants to grow a little longer in the trays for a better root system before planting them. We are thankful for the weather service calling for a warmer winter, which will be greatly needed for many growers to get their plants established this fall/winter. I spoke with Dr. Mark Hoffman as growers were concerned about the cold weather. He encouraged growers to allow plants to get established after planting late for 7-to-10 days, then cover with row covers to encourage fall growth. Some growers don’t have row covers and have to take what weather we get.”