232 articles tagged "Vegetable Crops - General".

Purdue Extension is participating in the Great Lakes Vegetable Producer’s Network, a live weekly roundtable discussion during the growing-season for commercial vegetable producers in the Great Lakes and Midwest region. Join us! We broadcast live via Zoom at 12:30 ET/11:30 CT every Wednesday from the first week of May to the first week of September. If you have a pressing vegetable production issue that you would like discussed, simply email it, along with your phone number, to greatlakesvegwg@gmail.com.  



Figure 1. Overwintered Canada thistle shoots emerge in April in central Indiana.

Spring is here and with it comes the emergence of weeds- especially problematic perennials like Canada thistle (Figure 1). Below is some information about Canada thistle and methods to manage it. Keep in mind two things: 1) many of these strategies will work for other perennial weeds, and 2) management of perennial weeds often requires persistence and an integrated approach. Scientific name: Cirsium arvense (L.) Scop. Legal status: Canada thistle is considered a noxious weed in 46 states including Indiana. It is a non-native invasive species from Europe, and landowners with Canada thistle on their property are obligated to take measures to control it. Growth habit: Deep-rooted and colony-forming perennial. Plants form a low-growing rosette in the spring prior to bolting in mid-to-late May. Reproduction: By seeds carried up to 1/2 mile by wind and through adventitious shoots that develop from root buds. Control: Often multiple types of control measures[Read More…]


The Climate Prediction Center’s outlook for May is dominated by uncertainty regarding both temperature and precipitation (Figure 1). The computer models could not settle on a consistent pattern for either above- or below-normal temperatures for the month and precipitation outlooks are only slightly confident that there will be above-normal precipitation in southern Indiana. Shorter-term outlooks through mid-May are predicting increasing confidence for continued below-normal temperatures but very little guidance regarding precipitation. Climatologically speaking, there is less than a 10-percent chance that a hard freeze (at or below 28°F) is still likely to occur aside from the northeastern counties in Indiana (Figure 2).  However, forecasts are predicting above-freezing overnight lows for this region, so the threat of any expansive, hard freeze is minimal. With the recent cold temperatures, modified growing degree-day (https://www.agry.purdue.edu/ext/corn/news/timeless/HeatUnits.html) accumulations have slowed. As of April 20, 2020, GDDs are running 20 to 45 units below normal (Figure 3). Enjoy[Read More…]


Two types of injury on young warm-season vegetable plants are caused by low temperatures: frost/freezing injury and chilling injury. Frost/freezing injury occurs when temperatures drop below 32°F. Ice formation in plant tissue cuts cell membranes. When the tissue thaws, the damage results in fluids leaking from the cell, causing water soaked damage. Frost/freezing injury is detrimental to warm-season vegetables, such as melons, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and beans. To avoid damage, the best way is to plant warm-season vegetables later in the spring, after the last frost has passed. However, weather is difficult to predict, and there is a growing trend of planting early to achieve early harvests. For the early planted warm-season vegetables, here are a few suggestions that may protect plants from low temperature damages. Covering. The idea of covering the seedlings is to create a microclimate around plants. Because the heat accumulated in soil irradiate back at night,[Read More…]


Staying true to global climate trends these days, March 2020 finished warmer and wetter than the 1981-2010 climate normal period. Snowfall across the state was below normal and localized flooding was a common feature. There were 3-to-5 more days than average in March where rainfall was observed. This has led to saturated soils throughout the state and a desperate need for some drying out. Will that happen? The national Climate Prediction Center is currently sending mixed messages. The April outlook suggests increased confidence in temperatures being warmer than average and slight confidence that precipitation will be above normal. However, shorter-range outlooks are suggesting even greater confidence for cooler temperatures throughout the rest of the month with uncertainty about rainfall amounts relative to normal. A significant cold wave is expected to pass through the state over the next several days into next week. Overnight lows will be at or below freezing,[Read More…]


If it hasn’t happened already, vegetable growers will soon drop seeds into transplant trays in preparation for the 2020 season. Or, in a few weeks, vegetable growers may drop seed into the ground. In either case, it is possible that one of several fungi that survive in the soil may attack the seed or seedling as it emerges from the ground. This disease is known as damping-off. The symptoms of damping-off range from a poor stand of seedlings when the fungus kills the seedlings before it emerges from the soil to seedlings that have fallen over due to a lesion of the stem (Figure 1). There are several fungi which may cause damping off. These include Pythium, Rhizoctonia, Theleviaopsis, Fusarium spp. and many more. The identity of the culprit may seem unimportant, but if the problem persists, knowledge of the causal fungus may help one to know how to alter[Read More…]


As Indiana growers start the 2020 season, it is important to remember to clean and sanitize equipment and tools. In this article, I would like to discuss the importance of and how to sanitize. Bacteria and fungi that cause plant disease may survive on some types of equipment. Examples include: stakes, transplant trays, shovels, greenhouse benches etc. Equipment can be contaminated by diseased plants in close contact with the surfaces. For example, a tomato with bacterial canker may rub up against a wooden stake, transferring some of the bacteria to the stake. Such bacteria may cause disease problems next year. A transplant tray of cantaloupe with a damping-off problem may have the same disease next year if the tray is not properly cleaned and sanitized. It is important to clean the equipment of crop debris or soil prior to the use of one of the sanitizers described below. Equipment free[Read More…]


In a normal year, vegetable growers may drop samples by the SW Purdue Ag Center in Vincennes Indiana for problem identification. However, this is far from a normal year. Due to concerns about the coronavirus, SWPAC is closed to walk-in visitors. We do not know how long this situation may last. We have devised an alternative method of dropping off samples that will avoid face-to-face contact. Follow these instructions to drop off samples. Contact Dan Egel or Wenjing Guan before stopping by or attempting any drop off (see contact info below)! There will be a sign on the front door with instructions about how and where to drop off a sample. Do not try to enter the front door. When leaving the sample, include as much info as you can about the sample. You will be contacted as soon as possible about the sample by phone or email. Leave only[Read More…]


Dear Vegetable Crops Hotline readers, Firstly, I want to let you know the status of a few Purdue Extension Events related to fruit and vegetable growers. That PSA Grower Training in LaGrange County that was planned on March 20 was canceled due to concerns about the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). A Strawberry Workshop that planned to be held in May at Southwest Purdue Agricultural Center may need to be canceled or delayed. We will let you know the decision soon. The Hydroponic Workshop that was planned to be held in June or July at West Lafayette, and the Small Farm Education Field Day that planned to be held on July 30 at Purdue Student Farm, West Lafayette, do not expect changes at this point. We will keep you posted about the details of our coming events. Meanwhile, please read the article below about what you should know and how to[Read More…]


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