4 articles tagged "Special Cultural Practices".

Figure 2. Plants died in the second day after average soil temperature was 54 °F

Growers start to plant tomatoes in unheated high tunnels around the end of March in southern Indiana. Around that time, there may still be a few light frosts, or even heavier ones, like the one we just experienced in the past week. With additional help from row covers inside of high tunnels, temperatures normally can be maintained above 32°F. Tomatoes typically do not have problems with the short-term low temperatures. However, this may not be the case for cucumbers. Although they are both warm season crops, Cucurbits (cucumbers, cantaloupes, and watermelons) are much more cold sensitive than Solanaceous crops (tomato, pepper). From a temperature perspective, this article discusses important considerations for deciding the time for planting cucumbers in a high tunnel. The best condition to grow cucumbers is when soil temperatures are above 70°F. This situation may not happen until the middle of May inside of the high tunnels, according to our[Read More…]


A grafted tomato plant growing in a high tunnel. (Photo by Wenjing Guan)

​You might have heard about tomato grafting, or you might even already have tried the new technique. Yes, it has multiple benefits: control of soilborne diseases, enhanced tolerance to abiotic stresses, and increased productivity. It works for some growers, but not all. Why? There are several reasons. First, effects of grafting on controlling soilborne diseases depend on the presence of the disease that the rootstock is designed to control. For example, grafting might not be very helpful for white mold, because current commercial rootstocks do not have resistance to white mold. However, grafting might work if the primary problem is Fusarium crown and root rot, as most commercial tomato rootstocks have resistance to this disease. With that said, it is very important to look at the disease resistance profile before deciding on the rootstocks. Second, grafting effects on improving yield depend on factors such as scion and rootstock cultivars, cultural[Read More…]


Shoots infected with downy mildew.

​Purdue University’s Boiler Hop Yard has started its second growing season with the hopes of providing Indiana growers with science-based recommendations for hop production in the Midwest. With summer rapidly approaching, hop bines are now climbing over 10 feet high in portions of Indiana, and the Boiler Hop Yard is no exception. Downy Mildew. One of the biggest threats to Indiana hop production is downy mildew. Downy mildew (Pseudopernospora humuli) can cause hop quality to depreciate, yield to be stunted, and sometimes even plant death. Downy mildew was identified in the Boiler Hop Yard in mid-April this year, and is present in other Indiana hop farms as well. Downy mildew overwinters in the crown of the hop plant, and appears in the early spring on newly emerged primary basal or aerial spikes as a sidearm (Figure 1). These spikes have irregular growth patterns and are undesirable in hop production. The[Read More…]



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