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2022 Midwest Vegetable Guide

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Fruiting Vegetables – Horticulture Midwest Veg Guide 2022 147 nearly all fruit is catfaced so it does not detract from the fruit's marketability. Variety selection is the most practical way to limit this problem. Exposure to some herbicides (e,g, 2, 4-D or dicamba) can lead to similar fruit deformation. Cracks, radial and concentric: Rapidly growing fruit and fruit exposed to the sun tend to crack more readily. Cracking is more severe under hot, dry conditions followed by rainfall. To defend against growth cracks, select crack-resistant cultivars, maintain healthy foliage, and carefully manage water availability through irrigation management and the use of plastic mulch. Micro-cracks or rain checks: Very small cracks in the epidermis (called micro-cracks or rain checks) sometimes develop on fruit shoulders under highly humid conditions. Rain check is often more severe on fruit that has been exposed due to poor leaf cover. To minimize the problem, maintain healthy foliage and select varieties with good foliage cover. Sunscald: Fruit exposed to the sun may overheat and develop sunscald. The affected area turns white and does not ripen. The tissue may shrivel and sink in. It is most common when foliage does not shade fruit exposed to hot afternoon sun. Damage is usually confined to the area of the fruit with greatest exposure to the sun. Tomato variety, mineral nutrition, staking and pruning methods, and disease pressure can all influence the amount of foliage cover. This disorder also is observed on peppers and fruit of other vegetable crops. Zipper scars: These may be caused when the blossom sticks to the developing fruit. Zipper scars are especially common during cool weather. To avoid this problem, select resistant varieties and maintain proper greenhouse temperatures. Harvesting Eggplant for fresh market: Harvests can take place every few days once fruits ripen to a glossy finish. Fruit sizes depend on variety. When the skin sheen gets dull and seeds turn brown, they are past their prime. Fruit quality diminishes late in the season. Fruit should be handled carefully to avoid bruising. Time from transplanting to harvest ranges from 80 to 100 days. Peppers for fresh market and processing: Harvests can take place every few days once fruit reaches marketable size or color. Careful selection of early-ripening varieties and passing up green harvests will maximize the yield of colored fruits in our northern climate. Fruit quality diminishes late in the season. Time from transplanting to harvest ranges from 70 to 100 days. Tomatoes for fresh market: Harvests can take place every few days once fruits start to ripen. Small-fruited varieties such as 'cocktail', grape, or cherry tomatoes can be harvested 'on the vine' by cutting clusters of fruit. To avoid unnecessary extra handling, place these clusters directly into sales containers. Time from transplanting to harvest ranges from 70 to 90 days. Tomatoes for machine harvest and processing: Ethephon applications may be used to accelerate and concentrate fruit ripening, facilitating once-over machine harvesting of processing tomatoes. If needed, apply 3.25 pts. Ethephon 2SL in 5 to 70 gallons of water per acre as a spray over the entire planting when 10 to 30 percent of fruits are ripe. Harvest 15 to 21 days after treatment for optimum ripe fruit accumulation. Time from transplanting to harvest ranges from 90 to 110 days.

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