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Pest Update

With rains and seasonal weather, disease has begun to creep in. In the last week, I've seen apple scab and in a new twist, scab on stone fruit. For apple scab, it's too late for sprays to be effective in controlling the disease and you are better off removing fruit that has fallen around the trees. Removal of fallen leaves is also recommended. I've seen some Plum Curculio damage on apple trees as well.

Spotted Wing Drosophila still remains a problem for most growers in the area with the fruit flying hitting our area from mid-June to first hard frost. Both Michigan and Wisconsin provide guidance and recommendations.

It's still very early for disease and insects on the summer crops.

Crop Update

Now on to some good news. I expect a strong peach and cherry season if you are growing either of those. While many peach trees were removed/killed following the winter of 2014, some still had peach trees survive. There are two currently at the Winnebago Extension Garden with good looking fruit (although I should have pruned the trees). A sour cherry tree has also been prolific in production, yielding in the last two weeks. Strawberry season began last week regionally and it may be shorter than usual due to the weather.

Both rhubarb and asparagus did well this spring. The fern on the asparagus patch at the Winnebago Extension Garden came up in the last week. When rhubarb goes to seed and the asparagus fern appears, the season is now over for both of these crops.

You may also have had your cool season plants bolt. This "bolting" is when lettuces and others go to seed. This results in the crop being bitter and not appealing. You might try to replant this again or wait until August for a fall season crop.

We are about 2-3 weeks away from garlic in the area. Your scapes have most likely appeared. These green, "snake" like growths should be cut off. Don't throw them away as you can use them as you would any other garlic.

Experiment Update

The main experiment this summer is container gardening. I'm using 5 gallon buckets to grow a tomato, pepper, and watermelon. Within the bucket, I'm using a mixture of compost and vermiculite to help with drainage. Because of a low NPK in compost, I am addressing nutrient needs with fish emulsion. As you can imagine, there does need to be some drainage holes for these containers.

So far, the plants are looking good. Peppers are producing well with a 'Luncbox' variety chosen. I'm waiting for it to change color before picking. The tomato is a 'Patio' variety designed for the container garden. You can see in photos that it is producing small fruit. The Crimson Sweet watermelon is growing quite well in the container and 'm fairly surprised/pleased with it so far. I expect to harvest tomato and peppers in 2-3 weeks. I'll also need to trellis/move the melon somewhere else in the garden.

I'm also growing Haskep berries. These unusual fruit are tart and fairly compact. I've got 12 of these planted with them flowering. Like Aronia and others, Haskep is thought to be another trendy berry.

Next Steps

Be vigilant in your garden and growing area. Heavy rains and weather will dictate the development of certain diseases if the fungus or bacteria is present. If you are growing any members of the squash family, be on the look out when your plants flower as this is the time many of these cucumber beetles will move in and take over.