Posts Tagged ‘cantaloupe’

Cucurbit Downy Mildew Update – August 19, 2011

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Bob Mulrooney, Extension Plant Pathologist; bobmul@udel.edu

There were reports of downy mildew on pumpkin in northern New Jersey at the beginning of the week. This was sent to the WCU mailing list to make you aware that downy mildew was beginning to appear on more than just pickling cucumber in the area. With the recent thunderstorms, cooler nights and morning fog, conditions will be more favorable for disease development. Maintain your fungicide program at this time. Growers should be aware that the fungicides that have been the most effective on downy mildew on cucumber (namely Presidio, Ranman, and Previcur Flex) will also be very effective on pumpkin, cantaloupe and any other cucurbit. Tanos and Curzate could be added to that list as well for cucurbits other than cucumber. Be aware that Presidio has some plant back restrictions for crops not on the label. The link will take you the new supplemental label: http://agdev.anr.udel.edu/weeklycropupdate/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/PresidioSupplementalLabel.pdf. Wheat can be planted 30 days after treatment. This was added in the supplemental label.

Controlling Powdery Mildew in Cucurbits

Friday, July 8th, 2011

Kate Everts, Vegetable Pathologist, University of Delaware and University of Maryland; keverts@umd.edu

Powdery mildew is a problem on cucurbits each year. All cucurbits are susceptible, however host plant resistance in many cucumber and cantaloupe cultivars has successfully managed the problem. Susceptible varieties as well as other crops like pumpkin and squash are hit hard by powdery mildew. Disease builds up during July and becomes severe in August and September. Powdery mildew is a challenge to manage, especially in hot dry conditions. Also, there is resistance in the powdery mildew pathogen to many of our fungicides such as Quadris. Therefore, fungicides must be chosen carefully.

To manage powdery mildew, select cultivars (varieties) with resistance or tolerance. Even a moderate level of resistance will improve the efficacy of a fungicide spray (and help reduce the damage if you miss a spray). Scout the field and apply the first powdery mildew spray when you see one lesion on the underside of 45 old leaves.

Always follow good resistance management guidelines. 1) Keep on a good spray schedule (a 7-day interval for powdery mildew). 2) Apply fungicides at label rate (don’t cut the rate). 3) Be sure you are getting good fungicide coverage of your plants. 4) Be aware of products that are at risk for resistance development. 5) Materials with different modes of action (FRAC codes) should always be alternated. 6) Late in the season when powdery mildew has become well established, only apply protectant fungicides such as chlorothalonil or sulfur.

Below are the fungicide programs suggested for the various crops.

Summer Squash or Cucumber: Alternate a tank mix that contains chlorothalonil and either Procure, Rally, Folicur, or Inspire Super, with a tank mix containing Pristine plus chlorothalonil.

Muskmelon: Alternate Quintec plus chlorothalonil, with a tank mix containing chlorothalonil and either Procure, Rally, Folicur, or Inspire Super.

Extensive white sporulation of powdery mildew on pumpkin leaves.

Pumpkin: Alternate Quintec plus chlorothalonil with a tank mix containing chlorothalonil and either Pristine, Procure, Rally, Folicur, or Inspire Super. An alternative and less expensive option is to alternate Micronized Wettable Sulfur with one of the above options. Sulfur may injure plants, especially at high temperatures, which is why it is only recommended for pumpkin. Certain varieties can be more sensitive.

 

Cucurbit Downy Mildew Alert – July 1, 2011

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Bob Mulrooney, Extension Plant Pathologist; bobmul@udel.edu and Kate Everts, Vegetable Pathologist, University of Delaware and University of Maryland; keverts@umd.edu

Downy mildew was confirmed on seeded cucumbers in Cumberland County, NJ near the city of Vineland. There were no reported downy mildew infections on any transplanted cucurbits in this area. This is the first report of downy mildew on cucurbits in the Mid-Atlantic region this year. Downy mildew has also been increasing in North Carolina the last several weeks. This is a very long leap from NC to NJ if this infection was from air transported spores. Traditionally we can expect downy mildew to arrive here sometime around the 4th of July. DE and MD have sentinel plots for monitoring downy mildew on cucurbits and have been negative for downy so far. These are scouted regularly in addition to reports and samples that we receive from the field. Hopefully we can provide an early warning when it appears here so that timely fungicide applications with downy mildew specific fungicides can be made.

What growers should do:

● Now that downy mildew has been detected in the region growers should be scouting on a daily basis.

● In areas where rainfall has occurred, growers may want to apply targeted fungicides to cucumbers. Tank- mix Presidio, Ranman, or Previcur Flex with a protectant fungicide and alternate sprays with a material with a different mode of action. Because downy mildew has only been found in adjacent states on cucumber, targeted sprays on other cucurbits crops (pumpkin, squash, watermelon, etc.) are not necessary, at this time. Instead scout aggressively and continue a broad-spectrum spray program.

● All abandoned cucumber and summer squash fields should be sprayed with gramoxone or disced under immediately after last harvest to kill the foliage! Abandoned fields left unattended after use will only serve as a source of inoculum for other fields once downy mildew makes its way into our area.

● Please see the 2011 Commercial Vegetable Recommendations Guide for specific fungicide recommendations

● To track the progress of cucurbit downy mildew in the eastern US and to keep up with reports of Downy mildew from other states please visit North Carolina State University’s Cucurbit Downy Mildew Forecasting Center at http://cdm.ipmpipe.org/

 

Air Pollution in Vegetables

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Gordon Johnson, Extension Vegetable & Fruit Specialist; gcjohn@udel.edu

We are starting to see evidence of air pollution damage in sensitive vegetable plants. Those vegetables most susceptible include potatoes, watermelons, cantaloupes, snap beans, pumpkins, and squash.

Damage is most common during hot, humid, hazy weather with little wind. Air inversions, when warm air at the surface is trapped by even hotter air in the atmosphere above, lead to build up of air pollutants that cannot disperse and, consequently, plant injury. The most common form of air pollution injury to plants is ozone damage. Ozone is a strong oxidant and is formed by the action of sunlight on products of fuel combustion. It is moved from areas of high concentration (cities, heavy traffic areas) to nearby fields.

Ozone injury in susceptible vegetable varieties develops when ozone levels are over 80 ppb for four or five consecutive hours, or 70 ppb for a day or two when vegetable foliage at a susceptible stage of growth. Because it occurs in areas with high levels of automobile exhausts, crop injury is often visible on fields in close proximity to roads, especially with heavy summer weekend traffic. High pollution indexes in Baltimore and Washington are also a good indication that ozone damage may occur.

In potatoes, symptoms of ozone damage occur on the most recently emerged leaves and can be seen as a black flecking. Early red varieties are most susceptible.

Injury on watermelon leaves consists of premature chlorosis (yellowing) on older leaves. Leaves subsequently develop brown or black spots with white patches. Watermelons are generally more susceptible than other cucurbits to ozone damage. Damage is more prevalent when fruits are maturing or when plants are under stress. Injury is seen on crown leaves first and then progresses outward. Seedless watermelon varieties tend to be more resistant to air pollution injury than seeded varieties, so injury often shows up on the pollenizer plants first. “Ice box” types are the most susceptible.

Ozone injury on watermelon

In muskmelons and other melons, the upper surface of leaves goes directly from yellow to a bleached white appearance.

Ozone injury on squash and pumpkins is intermediate between watermelon and cantaloupe starting with yellowing of older interior or crown leaves. These leaves subsequently turn a bleached white color with veins often remaining green.

In snap and lima beans, ozone causes small bleached spots giving a bronze appearance on upper leaf surfaces and pods. Leaves may ultimately turn chlorotic and senesce (drop).

Ozone injury can be easily misdiagnosed as mite injury, pesticide phytotoxicity, or deficiencies.

The key to avoiding air pollution injury is to plant varieties that are of low susceptibility and to limit plant stresses. Certain fungicides such as thiophanate methyl (Topsin and others) offer some protection against ozone damage.

 

Results of the 2010 On-Farm Cucurbit Powdery Mildew Fungicide Resistance Trial

Friday, June 10th, 2011

Bob Mulrooney, Extension Plant Pathologist; bobmul@udel.edu

In 2010 a multi-state project including DE, PA, MD, VA, NY and NJ was undertaken to determine the extent of resistance to fungicides for powdery mildew control in cucurbits. Plants of a susceptible pumpkin variety were grown to the 2-3 leaf stage, sprayed with different fungicides at varying rates and placed in commercial cucurbit fields with powdery mildew for 1-2 days. The plants were collected and allowed to continue to grow and develop symptoms in a greenhouse, then evaluated for the amount of powdery mildew on the leaves compared to the untreated plants exposed at the same time. The results from the two fields in DE showed that at least for these two fields that there is resistance in the powdery mildew populations to Topsin M, Flint, Endura, and Rally. The resistance to Rally at the high rate was very low indicating that some control would be expected at the highest label rate of Rally. No resistance was detected to Quintec, either in DE or any other state. I did not include Inspire or Folicur. No resistance was found to Inspire, but NY and PA did see some resistance to tebuconazole (Folicur). Cucurbit growers in DE and MD should not expect to see control of powdery mildew from thiophanate-methyl (TopsinM), or a stand-alone strobilurin fungicide like Flint, Quadris or Cabrio. The results of this trial indicate that the high rate of Pristine (Endura plus Cabrio) may still provide some control but there is resistance to the boscalid (Endura) component occurring in the region.

 

Grafted Vegetables

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

Gordon Johnson, Extension Vegetable & Fruit Specialist; gcjohn@udel.edu

Using grafted vegetables for field production is relatively new practice in the United States. However, it is a common practice in Asian countries as well as other areas of the world.

Grafting involves selecting a rootstock that will confer some desired trait, usually resistance to a soil-borne disease. A scion plant is selected, normally the crop and variety with the horticultural traits desired. The scion is grafted onto the rootstock. For example, with tomatoes, a seedling is severed just above the cotyledon. The above-ground portion (scion) of a desired variety for harvest is secured to the root system (rootstock) of the disease-resistant seedling. Once the grafted transplants heal, they can be planted in the field for normal production.

Vegetables that have been successfully grafted include tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants and watermelons, cantaloupes, cucumbers, and other cucurbits.

Grafting can be effective as a non-chemical control method for many soilborne diseases such as Verticillium wilt and Fusarium wilt in tomatoes, Fusarium wilt in watermelons, and root knot nematodes in tomatoes and cucurbits.

Grafting onto vigorous rootstocks can also allow plants to be more stress tolerant because the rootstock has a greater rooting area. This will allow for better water stress and heat tolerance.

Grafting can also improve overall productivity of crops when no disease or stress is present. Again, the vigorous root systems can improve overall nutrient and water uptake and increase fruit yields. In watermelons, rootstocks have been shown to improve fruit quality and holding ability in the field.

Much research is underway on grafted vegetables throughout the region and several growers have started to use grafted plants for production.

 

Early Transplanting of Warm Season Vegetables

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Gordon Johnson, Extension Vegetable & Fruit Specialist; gcjohn@udel.edu

Earliest plantings of watermelons, cantaloupes, summer squash, and tomatoes will begin in the next 10 days. First transplanting of crops such as peppers and eggplant will begin in early May. One of the characteristics that all of these crops have in common is that they are warm season vegetables that are sensitive to cold temperatures, both in the root zone and above ground. There has been a tendency to risk earlier and earlier plantings as growers try to hit the early market. Over the years, many of our early plantings of summer vegetables have suffered because of early cold damage and inadequate provisions to protect plants.

For early transplanted warm season vegetables choose the lightest ground that warms up quickly. Plant higher sections in the field first. Avoid areas that receive any shade from woods or hedgerows. Early fields should be protected from extreme wind and should not have frost pockets. Rye windbreaks planted between each bed are desirable for early plantings because they limit heat transfer by wind. If no rye windbreaks have been planted, then consideration should be given to using row covers to protect the plants – either clear slitted or perforated low tunnels or floating row covers. Even where windbreaks have been used, row covers may be necessary for extremely early plantings.

Lay plastic mulch well ahead of time to warm soil. Black plastic mulch should have excellent soil contact. Firm beds and tight mulch are much more effective in warming soils. Make sure that there is good soil moisture when forming beds and laying plastic because soil water will serve as the heat reservoir during cold nights.

When producing transplants, use larger cell sizes and grow plants so that they have well developed roots in those cells for the first plantings. Large cell sizes will perform better than small cells in early plantings. Careful attention needs to be paid to hardening off warm season vegetable transplants that will be planted early. Gradual acclimation to colder temperatures will reduce transplant shock. Do not transplant tender, leggy plants or plants coming directly out of warm greenhouse conditions for these early plantings.

Watch extended weather forecasts and plant at the beginning of a predicted warming trend. Monitor soil temperatures in plastic beds and do not plant if they are below 60°F. Soil temperature in beds should be measured at the beginning of the day when at the coolest. When soil temperature conditions are not favorable, wait to plant. Avoid planting in extended cloudy periods, especially if plants have come out of the greenhouse after an overcast period. These plants will not perform well. Extra caution should be taken to minimize root injury during transplanting. When transplanting, make sure that there is good root to soil contact and there are few air pockets around roots.

In years with cold, cloudy, windy weather after transplanting, we have had large losses of transplants in the field. It is critical to have warm soil conditions after transplanting to allow roots to grow out into the bed quickly. In cold, cloudy conditions, plants shut down physiologically, little root growth occurs, and the existing roots on the transplant do not function well. If there is any wind, plants lose more water than they can take up and they die due to desiccation. This is accelerated when the sun does come out – the first sunny day after an extended cold, cloudy period is when you will see the most wilting of weakened transplants.

If cold weather occurs after transplanting, warm season vegetables vary in their ability to tolerate adverse weather after being set out. Tomatoes will stop growth but will grow out without much damage once warm weather returns. Summer squash and cucumber transplants may be temporarily stunted but generally grow out of the condition. Watermelons will hold if they have been hardened off properly. Cantaloupes can be stunted if exposed to excessively harsh early conditions. Peppers and eggplants will not put on any root growth until temperatures are warm enough. If stunting occurs on any of these warm season vegetables, you may lose the early advantage you were seeking. In addition, remember that all of these vegetables are susceptible to frost damage and will be killed by a late freeze.

 

Cucurbit Downy Mildew Update – August 20, 2010

Friday, August 20th, 2010

Bob Mulrooney, Extension Plant Pathologist; bobmul@udel.edu

The forecast for downy continues to be moderate to low for most of Delaware and the eastern shore. Maintain fungicide programs to protect cucurbits from infection by downy mildew. This time of year it begins to move to pumpkin, winter and summer squash, cantaloupe and watermelon. For more information on the forecast see the website http://cdm.ipmpipe.org.

Powdery Mildew and Alternaria on Cantaloupe

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Bob Mulrooney, Extension Plant Pathologist; bobmul@udel.edu

Powdery mildew is beginning to get established on cantaloupes now. Include fungicides for powdery in your spray programs. See the article titled ‘Powdery Mildew on Cucurbits’ in WCU 18:15 for more information.

 

Powdery mildew on cantaloupe

Alternaria leaf blight is not widely seen anymore because many of our hybrid cultivars have differing levels of resistance and growers keep good spray schedules. I could not help showing you what it looks like if you should run across it and wonder what that leaf spot looks like. It was seen on an old variety ‘Hales Best Jumbo’. Control is provided by alternating Bravo (chlorothalonil) or mancozeb with Pristine or alternating Bravo with a tank mix of Bravo plus Quadris, Cabrio or Reason.

 

Alternaria leaf blight on ‘Hales Best Jumbo’

Cucurbit Downy Mildew Update – July 16, 2010

Friday, July 16th, 2010

Bob Mulrooney, Extension Plant Pathologist; bobmul@udel.edu

Wednesday’s rain was a high risk event for cucurbit downy mildew in the region. Be sure downy mildew fungicides are being employed for disease control at this time. There have been no new reports of downy mildew in DE, MD, NJ or PA. That will probably change if this weather pattern continues. Keep current on disease progress by visiting http://cdm.ipmpipe.org/.