AWIS 10-Day Weather Forecast: Cold Over the Weekend
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Dear strawberry community,
The days of cold weather seem to be ages ago. But it really only was just this weekend when almost all of NC was covered in snow and experienced freezing temperatures. As I said before, it is currently a gamble to put covers on or leave them off. The weather can change in a heartbeat and rain often leads to heavy covers. If you leave covers on, the wet and warm weather in crease the risk for grey mold to built up under your covers significantly. If you have chosen to take covers off, it will be hard to put them back on for this weekend due to the ongoing rain. Here are some thoughts:
IF you have removed your covers, please take the chance and control for grey-mold before covering up again. Grey-mold control is important NOW, before row covers are applied again. Grey-mold (or Botrytis cinerea) can very quickly build up resistance to one or more fungicides. It is extremely important to let a professional laboratory assess which fungicides your specific population of grey-mold is resistance to. You only should spray the fungicides which will efficiently control grey-mold.
There is a new fungicide resistance testing service in the Southeast: The University of Georgia has established a Fungicide Resistance Screening Service, which can be reached under the following link: UGA MDL Laboratories. Please submit your samples according to the instructions on the web-site.
The Strawberry IPM Guide (pdf) is highly recommended as literature on which spray applications will work and which won’t.
AWIS 10-day Weather Update. Weather data are provided by AWIS Weather Service
IF you haven’t removed your covers, you probably want to keep them on. Rain is expected in the next days and will make covers wet and heavy, and colder temperatures are expected for Friday and Saturday (see Figure 1). There is a big chance that you will need to cover over the weekend. With only partially cloudy nights and wet weather beforehand, frost can be expected in many areas even if air temperatures are over freezing. Watch your dew point (below), measure temperatures under the covers, and observe signs of frost building up on your pipes, the grass or equipment.
Figure 1: AWIS temperature maps: minimum temperatures on Fri (2/28) and Sat (2/29).
AWIS 10-day weather forecast for the region (please go to AWIS Weather Service to find out more detailed weather information).
As always, I hope this helps. Please stay safe,