Sunday, June 30, 2013









Friday, June 28, 2013

 The first heat wave of 2013 is about to sweep into the PNW. This one will have a rather unique attribute as compared to typical heat waves - it will be muggy.
Temps in OR jumped rapidly yesterday.   The ridge will set up the warmest temperatures of the year, and even challenge record highs for many. The key difference this time will be elevated relative humidity.  Surface humidity levels will combine with high temps to have us all feel uncomfortable outside. Usually we have cooler overnight conditions during our heat wave events - this time the dew points will remain high, so it will be uncomfortable even at night.
 The weekend will present temps in the 90s in most west side locations. There may be a slight offshore air flow kick-in by Monday, for the hottest period of this cycle being Monday/Tuesday west of the Cascades.  HUMIDITY will remain a factor. Sweat city. Don't be surprised if some sites in the Willamette Valley tip into triple digits Tuesday.
 The long 4th of July holiday weekend will continue on the warm-to-hot side, although peak temps will subside from earlier in the week. It will remain dry (excluding thunderstorm action) for the first half of July. Temps are likely to jump back up in the July 10-14 period.  Overall, Spotted Wing Drosophila  programs must remain in place; high humidity will challenge plant disease management, esp where overhead irrigation is utilized.

Strawberries - nearing end of crop.
Raspberries - affected by the rain and
heat, still medium crop.
Blackberries - will be ready in 1-2 weeks,
several weeks ahead of normal ripening.
Spotted wing drosophila - kind of low numbers
due to the wet or hot weather, so far.
Apples and pears sizing nicely - big fire blight
 problem around Medford.  No fire blight
findings in Lane County, yet.
The hot weather MAY cause sun burn on
apples, pears and berries if not protected.
Protect newly planted trees with white latex
paint mixed one to one with water, especially
the S-SW side of the bark on new trees.
Typical first filbert moth spray goes on
this next week.  Moth numbers seem low so far.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

More crazy weather.  By the 4th it is to be near
100 degrees, so be aware of sun burn on apples
and pears, sun scald on young trees facing south
from the 4 pm afternoon sun on the young tree
bark - paint white with an exterior latex paint
mixed 1-1 with water.

Weeds growing crazy.

Berry crops - mediocre with the rain, but the
berries will really ripen fast with he high temps.

This weather has slowed down the spotted wing
drosophila, but with really warm weather coming,
be aware.  However, in most cases, temps above
85 degrees, insects don't do much mating.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

According to my Oreogn spies, more
drizzly weather. Boooo.
Bad for the berry and cherry crops.
However, looking at the bright side, this will
slow down the Spotted Wing Drosophila, the
little fly that gets into all of the berry crops and
turns them to mushhhhhhh.

Blueberies are really ripening now and will be in
full picking very soon, depending on the farm location.
Always call the farm to see when the berries
or crops are ready.

Here in Tajikistan there are so many predatory
insects since they don't use a lot of insecticides
here.  In one orchard two people had big praying
mantis crawling on theire legs and shirts.  That
was really fun to see that high of praying
mantis populations.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Nearing the end of June.  Strawberries nearing end. 
Raspberries - with weather up and down.  Cherries -
OK as long as the rain does not split the cherries. 
Expect filbert moth next week.  Usually see a flight
the first of July and a flight the first of August. 

Annual hazelnut tour, first Wednesday in August.

Weather continues to cause cole crops to bolt
or go to seed.
Great weather for weeds.
My pomegranates look almost the same size as here
in Tajikistan.  One farm had them hard ball size already. 
The good ones get to be 8-10cm.
I am back with computer access.

I was 7 days in Isfara, Tajikistan without any
internet access.  I was almost having withdrawals
but realized, I can live with Email for a few days  :)

I only had 149 message to responded to.

The weather is being  - weird.  Hottish, then rain
for two or more days.  This is tough on the end
of the strawberry;  the raspberry crop and
the picking cherries.

It keeps insects at bay for a while longer.

While in Tajikistan they had amazing predators
 in theire orchards.  Most of the time we saw a
 lot of praying mantis, lady bird beetles and
syrphid flies.  Didn't see any real aphids other
than early in the season.

The warm brings back powdery mildew
and the wet and warm brings apple and pear scab
back again.

Hazelnut control usually starts around July 4th.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Interesting sideline:  I have been a type 1 diabetic for 53 years.  When I go on international humanitarian assignments, I let the interpreters know that if I act weird, probably means I am having an insulin reaction.    Which fortunately is only rarely.

In 2012 we were sitting at a lunch table with 8 people and they saw me check my blood with a glucose meter, One Touch.  So everyone wanted their blood tested.  Come to find out the grower was diabetic and his blood was rather high, plus the farm owners father was diabetic.

Then today we sit down for the typical after farm walk, farm meal.  The owner is also diabetic and Muzzafar, the interpreter;  asked me if would test the farmers blood.  Sure why not.  So another half hour discussion of how to manage diabetes.  Interesting partners, farming and diabetes.
My farmer friends in Tajikistan and their new pruners and saws :)

Tajikistan is really hot right now,
over 40 degrees C or 100 degrees F.
Met with two farming groups today.  Gave
then hand saws and pruners.  One fellow has
9 kids and is the MAIN PRUNER for most of 
southern Tajikistan area and he pruners
most of the winter.

Watch out for powdery mildew, it is going
 rampant with the warm weather.  Reduce
overhead watering.  Good aeration.  Use
sodium bicarbonate or wettable sulfur.  Being
this early can be devastating to the crops.

Monday, June 10, 2013

According to my spies in Lane County,
another week of great gardening weather
and the veggies and fruits show do very well.

Warm means more powdery mildew and any
wetness means more apple and pear scab.

Weeds are becoming a pain so don't
let them get too big.

Use old carpet, newspaper, cardboard in
 between the garden rows to smash the weeds.

Ate fresh apricots here in Tajikistan. The
growers stated picking last week.  Breakfast
of Taj. bread and goat cheese and apricots.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The week continues to look good.
The Facebook posts show the gardens are
exploding with produce; also spotted wing
drosophila, flea beetles and cucumber beetles.

I will be on leave for a while in Tajikistan helping
grows learn how to grow apricots better.  10 days
will be in Isfara with probably no internet access. 
My lovely wife  will be home tending the garden.
Wish she was here :(

This means that the bloggers and Facebook
pagers and groups can write what is happening.
Don't let me down.

Friday, June 7, 2013

A great growing week.
Veggies doing good now.
Thin apples and pears.
Cabbage and cauli doing well.
Beans up 3 inches.
Tomatoes blooming.

Many cole crops bolting.
Pumpkins and cucumbers just germinating.
Lawns and weeds going cazy.
Spotted wing drosophila coming out.

 Codling moth - protect apples and pears.
Protect cherries with yellow sticky boards.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Most veggies coming up very nicely.. 
Table beets, squash and pumpkins, peas,
beans growing good..
 Protect from slugs and snails

Tomatoes have been doing good for four
weeks, green but not too much growth. 

Eggplant, cabbage, cauliflower and
corn need for heat.

Transplanted tomatoes, peppers and
basil  peppers doing well.

Monday, June 3, 2013

  Visiting a lingonberry farm with two Finish
researchers;  then visited the North Willamette
 Research and Extension Center in Aurora to
look at blueberry research projects.

Tuesday -- go to the National Clonal Germ
Plasm Repository in Corvallis;  visit a haskap
research plots;  talk with the state bee
expert. Dr. Sagili.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Another great weekend.
Many warm season seeds germinating.
Cole crops - those from last year are
bolting and going or have gone to seed.

Continue to thin apples and pears. Remove
 the new sucker growth in the center
of all pruned trees.

Weeds in the garden are going crazy
due to the rain.