November Checklist (10/29/14)
1. Deer – In just a matter of a few days, deer can do more to reduce your crop potential than even a week late planting! Seriously, no grower can afford to spend “so much” on this crop, and not take steps to STOP DEER. The very best strategy I have heard with deer over the years is, DON’T LET THEM EVER START FEEDING IN YOUR FIELD. Once they find your plants, they will be back again! As one grower explained to me, its sort of like your finding a delicious restaurant – you will be sure to go back! We have even seen deer this fall before a grower in Alamance County finished planting on Sept. 25th
2. Check for dead plants and reset ASAP. A good rule of thumb is to have at least 5% extra plugs for re-planting. If you are trying to locate extra plugs Go to the NCSA Plant Sales Bulletin Board: http://www.ncstrawberry.com/B_S-plants.cfmPlant S
NC Strawberry Association members can post their own listings by Non-members should email plant needs to firstname.lastname@example.org. Cut-off plants may also be available from northern CA – be sure to have them air freighted.
3. What does a “normal” looking Chandler look like on the 1st of November? This photo was taken 11/1/12 in Alamance County (at a new growers farm), and it showed the general appearance of these Chandler plugs that were set a little more than month earlier (9/25). You can see a plant that has several healthy leaves, and you can tell the plants are growing actively and not GOING BACKWARDS. You can also that the plant is actively growing by examining the new root system – this case the roots were 9 inches deep.
Fig. 1a &b. This photo on the left was taken 11/1/12 in Alamance County (at a new growers farm), and it showed the general appearance of these Chandler plugs that were set a little more than month earlier (9/25). You can see a plant that has several healthy leaves, and you can tell the plants are growing actively and not GOING BACKWARDS. You can also that the plant is actively growing by examining the new root system – this case the roots were 9 inches deep.
4. Extra fertility? A number of growers are eager to know if they he should be doing any more fertility in the fall, and the answer is generally NO. Just look at how green the newest leaves are on your plants, and there’s your answer. If you applied about at least 60 units of N pre-plant you should not need to add any additional nitrogen in the fall.
5. Mites? It is important to scout in the fall for spider mites using a 10x hand lens to check the undersides of leaves for Spider Mites.
6. Place order for row covers NOW; these will help greatly to conserve irrigation water during frost protection next spring. In reference to row covers for this fall season, there is some good work that has been done to show benefits of row cover application in Camarosa when daily highs begin to drop down into the mid-to-low 60s. In Salisbury, NC, you can see that daily highs begin to reach 65 F in early Nov. That has proven to be the best time to apply row covers to Camarasa to enhance fall season growth and development. Generally, we do not see the same benefit with the application of row covers in the fall with Chandler. It is interesting to also note that when daily highs fall below 55 (around Dec 1 in Salisbury), there doesn’t appear to be any further advantage to having row covers on! In fact, you need to remove them before Thanksgiving to help harden plants off for winter. If you are going to try this fall covering on Camarosa, you now only have a few days to get this “organized.” It might be a really good thing to do if you were late in getting planted this year.
Here is a look at week ahead from SkyBit at Clayton, NC. Much colder by Monday morning! However, please do not panic about getting covers on by this weekend unless your crop may be exposed to mid-20s or lower! Albion is more sensitive to cold extremes at this time of year than Chandler or Camarosa. And, if you are fruiting this variety in the fall, then you obviously need to take cold protection measures to save blooms and berries from frost Sunday night.
7. If planting is delayed a week or more, fall row covers can help enhance plant growth and partially compensate for late planting for both Chandler and Camarosa. Chandler does not need fall covers in the piedmont or coastal plain if planted on time; however, mountain locations require both fall and winter row cover use to produce maximum yields.
8. In reference to Camarosa some good research has been done to show benefits of fall row cover application in Camarosa when daily highs begin to drop down into the mid-to-low 60s – this is usually around Nov. 1st in Central Piedmont of NC. It is interesting to note that when daily highs fall below 55 (around Dec 1 in Central Piedmont), there doesn’t appear to be any further advantage to having row covers on! In fact, you need to remove them before Thanksgiving to help harden plants off for winter.
9. If row covers are used for extended periods, consider treating annual ryegrass with reduced for full rates of Poast to control excessive growth and potential bed shading.
10. Watch the extended forecast for any unseasonably warm or cold periods throughout row cover application period. Plants under row covers in warm periods during late fall and early winter may break bud and flower (not good). Alternatively, sudden cold snaps in November (teens and low 20s) can cause crown damage to unprotected plants (depending on physiological state/degree of dormancy), and applying, or re-applying covers before a severe freeze event may save your crop! Albion may be especially sensitive to a sudden freeze in late October and November.
11. Albion growers may wish to submit blossoms killed by fall freeze(s) to Clemson for botrytis resistance testing. Clemson prefers to get 20 + dead flowers in late fall/winter to do the test. They are reliable sources of botrytis. But If there is a need for even earlier tests, we also accept leaf samples. A quart-sized zip lock bag packed with leaves plus stems should be mailed to us overnight. No wet towel needed in bag if shipped overnight. The leaves should display 50% to 90 % decay or necrosis. Make sure the leaf sample is collected from a wide area (0.5 to 1 acre)The mailing address for sending 20+ blossoms is: Guido Schnabel, Clemson University, 105 Collings St./220 BRC, Clemson, SC 29634
12. If strawberry plants form runners in the fall after planting, cut these runners off – hand scissors or pruners do an excellent job. It is okay to delay runner removal until early to mid-November (very few runners form after mid-Nov). Runner removal may be combined with hand-weeding operations. We anticipate a lot of hand weeding in beds that were not fumigated this season.
Have a great day!
p.s. Just heard from Robert Satterfield, Program Specialist, NC Farm Service that:
“The sales closing date to get NAP coverage was September 1, 2014 for the 2015 crop year. There will be an opportunity to get buy up coverage on 2015 strawberries once that option is made available, that may be in November but I have not heard. We are going to training on buy up coverage the week of Nov. 3rd.”
Robert is speaking at Expo on Tuesday, Nov. 18th, 3:30 pm: SE Expo Oct 27 agenda
Raleigh, NC 27695-7609
General George S. Patton.