Monday, February 25, 2013

Are you ready for spring?

Andy Rollins,  Clemson Extension Service sent me this image last week. In the circle are some basal buds breaking at the base of pruned cane as well as some buds further up the cane. Daylength, temperature (cumulative and current temperature) and plant hormones are key components that determine when buds on a plant will break.  The daylengths are getting longer, 12 hours and 7 minutes in Clemson SC last week when this was taken.  Chilling hours (cumulative temperatures between 34-45F) is at 325 units, according to one model, however, I think the real chilling is higher (the inception time depends on a temperature trigger of 28F and that first occurred this winter in January). The chilling unit accumulation at the Piedmont Research Station, in Salisbury NC, where some of our research plots are planted is over 1300 units. Daytime temperatures are getting warmer, although they are not staying warm, so continued growth will not occur for a while.

However, spring is not far away. Get pruning done, trellises repaired, irrigation system prepped, winter pesticide applications out (lime sulphur on blackberries has to go out at delayed dormant before buds are 3/4" long). See SRSFC IPM guide for the latest recommendations.

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