Where's the Rain? It's dry folks!!! But just remember to water deeply and thoroughly a couple times a week...NOT every day a little bit at a time (you will promote shallow roots that way, and cause stress on your plants)...
Fruit Pest Alert Spotted wing drosophila (SWD) has become widespread in Tennessee and elsewhere. This pest starts out each spring at a low number and it builds in the spring and summer on many types of small fruit both wild and cultivated, cherries, and other plants that produce thin skinned fruit not consumed by humans. Strawberry crops escape most of the damage because they occur early in the growing season when SWD numbers are low. Unfortunately, even low amounts of SWD damage can make fresh fruit unmarketable. SWD numbers build rapidly as blueberries, blackberries and raspberries start to mature. Small fruit crops in the late summer and fall have the highest SWD pressure.
Protective insecticide sprays need to begin when immature fruits start to turn from green to a color indicative of maturing fruit. The sprays kill the SWD adults that rest of the sprayed leaves or fruit. Some insecticides will kill larvae soon after hatching but it is best to prevent the adults from piercing the skin of fruits and laying eggs. IPM/Production guides for blueberries, organic blueberries, caneberries, bunch grapes, muscadines, and strawberries in the Southeast are available at the Small Fruit Consortium home page: http://www.smallfruits.org/
Note that it is currently unclear how significant SWD will be as a grape pest (F. Hale).
For accurate diagnosis and appropriate control measures, contact us at the Extension Office, open Monday-Friday (8:00 am-5:00 pm)! Master Gardeners staff the lab on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays from 10:00 am-3:00pm. Bring a sample or a photo of what ails your homestead, and we'll find an answer... Melody Rose, UT Extension Agent Lydia Sweatt, Master Gardener Volunteer, Monday Jeanne Driese, Master Gardener Volunteer, Monday Glenn Karuschkat, Master Gardener Volunteer, Tuesday Ken Harrison, Master Gardener Volunteer, Wednesday
Black Cutworms Black cutworms primarily overwinter in the warmer Gulf Coast States. Each spring, the moths fly northward with the prevailing winds in storm fronts. Moth activity in the spring is usually monitored using pheromone traps. When moths are first caught, egg laying will soon occur. Moths lay single eggs on lush green weeds such as chickweed in fields. Note that black cutworms are also a pest of grass in lawns, sod farms and sports fields. When herbicides or cultivation are used for pre-plant weed control, the food source for the cutworms is lacking until the planted crop comes up. If crops are already present, they may lay eggs directly on the crop seedlings. Black cutworms are nocturnal feeders and one cutworm later instar larvae can clip and devour 3-5 small plants such as sweet corn and tomato. Scout for cutworms at dawn when they still may be active. Also count damaged plants and apply insecticides to prevent further damage if live cutworms and damage are found (F. Hale).