I hope your crops didn’t suffer too much from this morning’s frost. According to weather stations in RI on Cornell’s NEWA network, it went down to 27 degrees in Scituate. There are 5 new weather stations in RI connected to NEWA. Four of the weather stations were purchased and installed by the RI Fruit Growers Association with a DEM Specialty Crop Block Grant. The 4 RIFGA weather stations are in North Scituate, West Greenwich, Middletown, and Little Compton. NEWA takes the weather data and runs it through many crop production models for apples, berries, grapes, and many insect and disease models for vegetables! And even if you are interested in a pest not on NEWA, NEWA tracks degree days. It’s really an incredible tool! There are tutorials throughout NEWA, and we can help you set up a User Profile and get comfortable using NEWA. Check out NEWA and let me know what you think.
Allium leafminer has been found on onions, scallions, garlic, leeks, and chives throughout RI. There are two generations each year – one in the spring and one in the fall. The fall generation is much worse than the spring generation, but in the last couple of weeks at some RI farms we found many Allium leafminer egg laying scars. Egg laying for the spring generation should be finished now or very soon. See this fact sheet for management information: https://ag.umass.edu/vegetable/fact-sheets/leafminer-allium
If your Allium planting isn’t too large it may be possible to pick off leaves with egg paying scars. This would stop any larvae from tunneling in the leaves and down to the onions or garlic.
There is a new virus of tomatoes and peppers – Tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV). This virus was seen in MA in 2022 – and tomato seeds infected with the virus were shipped in 2023. The potentially infected seeds are Sweet Prince and Brandywise (not to be confused with Brandywine). At the URI Plant Clinic we have immunostrips that can test for ToBRFV. Immunostrips are like Covid rapid tests for plant diseases and viruses. If you have suspect tomato or pepper plants please contact us. See pictures and learn more about ToBRFV at: