We placed a sample of the blossom blight symptom collected from the high tunnel raspberries on July 15th in a plastic bag with a moist paper towel in it. Today we saw the grayish mycelium or fungal strands indicating the blight is caused by Botrytis or gray mold. This is the first time we have seen this problem in the high tunnel, but weather had been wet and overcast and we put shadecloth (47%) on the tunnel in early July which may have helped create conditions favoring Botrytis development. We will add Elevate, a botrycide, to the spray for SWD and hope to solve this problem.
We noted a blossom blight symptom in the raspberries that we suspect to be Botrytis. The canes have been separated and secured to the trellis wire in some areas to improve air circulation and I reduced the irrigation schedule since there was some standing water around the grow bags. I have put a sample of a blighted blossom in a closed plastic bag with a moist paper towel to see if the fungus will sporulate and hopefully be positively identified. We will begin to apply pesticide sprays soon for both Japanese beetle and spotted wing drosophila, and we will probably add a suitable fungicide. We also sent in a fertigation water sample to double check the nitrogen level getting to the plants.
Mars table grape is the first grape cultivar to undergo veraison – the onset of ripening signaled by a change of color and berry softening in red grapes and a translucence and softening of the berries in white grapes.
Japanese beetles emerged early and are damaging the vineyards, particularly those near Highway 95 and the Research Vineyard adjacent to an unsprayed patch of apples, mulberries and other weeds. This is the most severe outbreak we have seen. Japanese beetles were first seen on grapes at the State Fruit Experiment Station on July 8, 2011.
Dr. Elliott is fixing to retire on August 1, 2016. We had a fish fry to help celebrate his retirement. People recounted all that he has done for our State Fruit Experiment Station and for each of us personally. We will certainly miss him!