What do you need?

Use the search below to search the site or find your local unit office.

Return to Skip Menu

Main Content


Title Summary Date ID Author(s)
10 Years' Experiences with Plasticulture Strawberries in a Colder Area

Over the past decade we've produced Chandler strawberries on plastic mulch on one to two acres per year in the mountains of western Virginia at elevation of about 2,400'.

Jul 23, 2009 2906-1320
1988-1995 Apricot Variety Evaluations in Virginia Feb 24, 2015 422-761 (HORT-100P)
1995 Apple Variety Evaluations Feb 24, 2015 422-760 (AREC-130P)
2015 Spray Bulletin for Commercial Tree Fruit Growers Feb 23, 2015 456-419 (ENTO-115P)
Actigard May Reduce Disease in Strawberry

One of the biggest problems facing strawberry production in Virginia is disease management.

Jul 14, 2009 2906-1330
Assessing the Economic Feasibility of Growing Specialized Apple Cultivars for Sale to Commercial Hard Cider Producers Sep 30, 2013 AREC-46P
Blueberry Mulching Re-visited

We continue to be impressed and pleased with the new growth on our older highbush blueberries since we began a more regular or calendar-based soil mulching program on them a couple years ago.

Aug 11, 2009 2906-1379
Brown Rot on Peach and Other Stone Fruits Mar 25, 2015 450-721 (PPWS-64P)
Cucumber Beetle Management in Melons

Cucumber beetles can be a major pest of cucurbit crops in Virginia, particularly cantaloupes and cucumbers. This was displayed in dramatic fashion this spring at the Eastern Shore AREC.

Jul 21, 2009 2906-1303
Elderberry Resources

Elderberries, although somewhat bland to eat fresh, have always been quite a treat when rendered into jam, syrup, or wine. But the native American species, Sambucus Canadensis (Caprifoliaceae, or honeysuckle family), has never reached the mainstream market as have blueberries and strawberries.

Jul 24, 2009 2906-1334
Forced-Air Produce Cooler

Field heat removal from freshly harvested produce is critical for subsequent handling and storage. Heat removal should be done immediately after harvest to maximize storage potential of the produce. The longer heat removal is delayed, the shorter the shelf life. Force air cooling has been design to remove field heat to bring the produce temperature down to the storage temperature.

Jan 28, 2015 442-060 (AREC-118P)
Frost/Freeze Protection in Strawberries

Even though the coldest part of the season has past, beware of temperature fluctuations during bloom that can plunge below freezing and damage emerging flowers. Strawberry crowns are fairly tolerant of low temperatures when fully dormant. However, as the plant awakens, re-hydrates tissues and begins to grow there is a concurrent loss of cold tolerance.

Aug 17, 2009 2906-1386
Growing Apples in Virginia Feb 16, 2015 422-023 (HORT-95P)
Growing Cherries in Virginia Feb 26, 2015 422-018 (HORT-166P)
Growing Peaches & Nectarines in Virginia Feb 17, 2015 422-019 (HORT-96P)
Growing Pears in Virginia Feb 19, 2015 422-017 (HORT-97P)
Hill System Plastic Mulched Strawberry Production Guide for Colder Areas

This production guide was written to answer inquiries for information by many potential new strawberry growers in this region north of the Carolinas. The information presented herein was developed from our research results and field experience of several years with plasticulture strawberries at Kentland Agricultural Research Farm near Blacksburg, Virginia, at an elevation of approximately 2,400 feet above mean sea level.

May 1, 2009 438-018
Managing Plant Diseases with Biofungicides

Diseases in greenhouse vegetables and floriculture crops can be managed effectively with biological fungicides (biofungicides). A biofungicide is composed of beneficial microorganisms, such as specialized fungi and bacteria that attack and control plant pathogens and the diseases they cause (USDA). These specialized fungi and bacteria are microorganisms that normally inhabit most soils.

Jul 17, 2009 2906-1298
Mite Management on Recently Planted Plasticulture Strawberries

Fall management of mites: Transplants and plugs can arrive with mite problems right off the bat! Be sure to carefully examine the undersides of the leaves (with 10x lens) of your new bare-root and plug plants in the field for the presence of 2-spotted spider mites in the early fall.

Jul 22, 2009 2906-1313
Multi-Cropping Plasticulture in the Mid-Atlantic Area

Plasticulture is very expensive for smaller growers to establish. Multi-cropping would spread these costs over more than one crop. Double-cropping is done in the mid-Atlantic area but the favorable climate of Virginia's Eastern Shore should make three crops possible.

Jul 22, 2009 2906-1314
New Primocane Raspberry Experiences and Potentials - Update for Year 2002

This is the first of a two part series written by former Virginia Tech Extension Specialist, Charlie O'Dell. Charlie has been keeping very busy in retirement growing small fruit and vegetables for his U-Pick operation near Blacksburg. In this segment he has some great insight and practical experience to share with us about new primocane raspberry varieties and production considerations for both new and established growers.

Jul 23, 2009 2906-1321
New Strawberry Variety Released By NC State; Being Tested In Virginia Tech Study

Over the years that strawberry plasticulture has been implemented in the region, growers have relied on only a few cultivars, most notably "Chandler" and "Camarosa", to support this high-dollar industry. Last month, Dr. Jim Ballington of NC State announced the public release of a new cultivar developed through his breeding program.

Jul 22, 2009 2906-1315
Notes on Harvesting and Handling Melons

Depending on where you are in Virginia, cantaloupe harvest has been ongoing since mid-to late June in the Southeast, and early July in the Piedmont and Southwest. Watermelon harvest is in full swing in the east and just starting for growers in the Southwest. These two types of melons make up the majority of acreage in the state, though there are some honeydew and specialty melons such as casaba, crenshaw and french charentais grown for direct markets.

Jul 21, 2009 2906-1308
Observations from the Crows Nest - Notes on Winter Protection of Strawberry Crowns

Recently during the cold snap we had in January I had a few eastern Piedmont growers inquire as to the need for covering their strawberries, I posed the question to Charlie O'Dell regarding his past experiences with strawberry crown damage in an uncovered, unprotected situation.

Jul 29, 2009 2906-1349
Off-season Management Tasks and Considerations for Selected Small Fruit Crops

Late fall, winter and early spring is an important period of management for small fruit crops such as strawberries, blackberries and raspberries, blueberries, and currants/gooseberries. Paying attention to management details during this time helps to ensure a successful crop the following season.

Aug 17, 2009 2906-1390
Peach and Nectarine Varieties for Virginia Feb 23, 2015 422-762 (AREC-128P)
Pest Management Guide: Field Crops, 2015 Feb 13, 2015 456-016 (ENTO-70P)
Pest Management Guide: Horticultural and Forest Crops, 2015 Feb 16, 2015 456-017 (ENTO-71P)
Physiology of Pruning Fruit Trees Feb 26, 2015 422-025 (HORT-98P)
Potential for Vegetables During the Strawberry Season

The potential of bringing early vegetable crop sales into the strawberry season is a marketing opportunity worth considering. It makes sense to have early season vegetable crops available as customers come out for the first strawberries of the season.

Aug 4, 2009 2906-1365
Pruning Peach Trees Jan 28, 2015 422-020 (HORT-93P)
Response of Erect Blackberries to Improved Water and Nutrient Management

A few years ago we planted an acre of newer varieties of erect blackberries including thornless varieties Apache, Arapaho, Navaho, Chester and Ouachita, and thorny ones including Shawnee, Kiowa and Chickasaw.

Aug 17, 2009 2906-1392
Small Fruit Planting - Reasons for Planning Ahead

More often than not you have heard recommendations that call for planning planting activities a year in advance for perennial crops such as small fruit: blueberries, brambles and strawberries. This recommendation is an important one and made for several key reasons: future weed control, fertility management, soil building, and to facilitate early planting.

Aug 7, 2009 2906-1371
Specialty Crop Profile: Blueberries

Blueberries are long-lived, woody perennial shrubs that produce an annual crop of one-quarter- to threequarter- inch diameter berries (Figure 1). They are members of the Ericaceae family that includes plants adapted to acid soil such as azaleas and rhododendrons. Blueberries are naturally found in well-drained, but nutritionally poor organic sands. In some areas of the country (southern New Jersey, southwest Michigan, and the Carolina coastal plains) where these soils are prevalent, important commercial production exists. Blueberries can be successfully grown in mineral (clay, loam mix) soils, but can be a special challenge for growers out of the natural adaptation zones. Careful site and cultivar selection, site preparation, and proper cultural practices are critical to ensure success.

May 1, 2009 438-103
Specialty Crop Profile: Blueberries for the Upper Piedmont and Mountain Regions - Part 2

Planting of bare-root stock should be scheduled as early as possible in the spring (Feb-March) when the danger of severe frost has passed. Containerized plants can be set in the fall (Sept-Oct.), in all but the coldest elevation regions.

Aug 11, 2009 2906-1380
Specialty Crop Profile: Pawpaw

Pawpaw (Asimina spp.) is a native fruit crop that is in the beginning phases of domestication in this country. As it is adapted to a commercial orchard setting, many issues related to genetic refinement, production and culture, handling, use, and marketing are being addressed by various research and educational programs. The primary effort is coordinated by Kentucky State University where an intense program was initiated in the 1980s. This publication provides basic background information about pawpaw, its potential, and the issues related to its development as a niche specialty crop in Virginia and throughout the Eastern U.S.

May 1, 2009 438-105
Specialty Crop Profile: Ribes (Currants and Gooseberries)

Currants and gooseberries are two closely related species within the genus Ribes. This genus is diverse with over 150 known species and hundreds of cultivated varieties (cultivars). Currants and gooseberries are easily distinguished by the presence or absence of thorns; gooseberries have thorns, while currants do not.

All ribes are long-lived perennial shrubs that are cold hardy, some to USDA Zone 2. Species and cultivars vary in plant size and form, but are usually upright to spreading (three to six feet) in habit. Disease and insect resistance are variable, depending on the cultivar. The fruit are versatile and nutritious with some currants being especially high in vitamin C. Fruit within species vary in presentation, ease of harvest, flavor, shape, size, texture, and color.

May 1, 2009 438-107
Specialty Crops Profile: Blueberries for the Upper Piedmont and Mountain Regions - Part 1

As a small fruit crop, blueberries are a good fit for the diversified small farm and direct marketing operation. Interest in this nutritious and versatile berry is on the increase, as consumers discover its flavor and uses in fresh and home baking recipes.

Aug 10, 2009 2906-1378
Specialty Muskmelons

Cantaloupe or muskmelon (Cucumis melo) production is an important vegetable crop in Virginia. In 2001, Virginia producers grew 800 acres of cantaloupes valued at $1.4 million.

Aug 7, 2009 2906-1372
Stinger Registered For Virginia-Grown Strawberries

The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the EPA have approved a state label for use of Stinger (clopyralid) on strawberries grown in Virginia.

Jul 28, 2009 2906-1346
Strawberry Anthracnose Ripe Fruit Rot and Management Recommendations

Anthracnose symptoms on ripe strawberry fruit include typical sunken and round lesions with an orange discoloration within the lesion and brown spots on green fruit.

Jul 23, 2009 2906-1323
Supermarkets as Alternative Market Outlets for Virginia-Grown Berries Jan 18, 2010 448-508
Training and Pruning Apple Trees Jan 30, 2015 422-021(HORT-94P)
Training and Pruning Apple Trees in Intensive Orchards Feb 24, 2015 422-024 (HORT-99P)
Weed Management Update in Small Fruit

One question that I have frequently received this year, just like last year, concerns the availability of Surflan (common name oryzalin). Surflan is a commonly-applied preemergence herbicide for control of annual grasses like crabgrass and foxtail, along with certain annual broadleaf weeds like chickweed, pigweed, and lambsquarters.

Jul 24, 2009 2906-1328
Weed Management in Small Fruit Crops

For small fruit growers, the challenge of weed management is one of the greatest they will face to successfully grow these crops. Factors such as climate, weed introductions and adaptability, and years of agricultural activity have come together to select for weed species that are aggressive and persistent. Without management, weeds compete with crops for light, nutrients and water, resulting in stressed plants, poor fruit quality and yield.

Jul 24, 2009 2906-1327
Winter Injury and Cool Temperatures Create Ideal Conditions for Botrytis in Strawberries*

Winter injury has left many dead leaves that will serve as a major source of Botrytis spores in the early spring season. Likewise, a number of plantings recently experienced freeze injury to emerged blooms. These dead flowers can become infected with Botrytis; the pathogen can grow down the peduncle and into the upper crown tissue to cause a Botrytis crown rot.

Aug 18, 2009 2906-1395