New approaches to frost control

The height of the vines influences how they fare during cold weather.

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  • Compost tea recipes

Compost tea recipes

  • May 1st, 2010

Tweaking the aeration time, handling, and changing additives can create diverse compost teas—even though they were made with the same compost. Washington State University researchers saw differences in the microbial organisms, nutrients, pH levels, and salt concentrations of compost teas that all started from the same compost and water.

CeCe [...]

What are compost teas?

  • May 1st, 2010

Compost teas have been promised by some companies to be a wonder-all product, protecting plants from disease, increasing growth, breaking down toxins in the soil, enhancing taste of fruits and vegetables, and more. Though few of the claims are supported by science, there may be something to learn from [...]

  • Good Job

Good Job

  • May 1st, 2010

Apple Blossom Queen Margaret Robinson presented a plaque to WSU Extension Educator Tim Smith when he was named Apple Citizen of the Year 2010.

Tim Smith is Apple Citizen of the Year
Tim Smith, a Washington State University Extension educator for the past 25 years, has been named Apple Citizen of [...]

  • Organic fertilizer calculator

Organic fertilizer calculator

  • April 15th, 2010

Oregon State University has developed a tool to help growers compare the cost, nutrient value, and nitrogen availability of organic fertilizers.

The Organic Fertilizer Calculator is an online Excel-based calculator designed to help farmers compare organic fertilizers and plan the most balanced and cost-effective fertilizer program for their farm. Growers [...]

  • Options for weed control

Options for weed control

  • April 15th, 2010

Good weed control is most important early in the season, but fall may be a better time to get the job done.

Good weed control is essential in modern orchards, where trees are planted at high densities on weak, shallow-rooted rootstocks and can’t handle much competition for water and nutrients.

Given [...]

  • Nutrition guidelines for grapes

Nutrition guidelines for grapes

  • April 15th, 2010

Dr. Joan Davenport, who has long championed the need for grape nutrition guidelines specific to the Pacific Northwest, is in the process of publishing an Extension bulletin with the new recommendations.

The long- awaited nutritional standards developed specifically for Pacific Northwest juice and wine grapes are in the process of [...]

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  • April 15th, 2010

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  • Organic matter matters

Organic matter matters

  • April 15th, 2010

Soils are one of the most complex biological communities. A teaspoon of soil has more than 180 million bacteria, according to USDA’s Hal Collins.

Managing soil organic matter is usually not a priority for most farmers who must worry about yield, pest management, labor, and other things that impact the [...]

  • Effective fruit thinning

Effective fruit thinning

  • April 15th, 2010

To evaluate thinning effectiveness using the “fruitlet model,” individual apples must be labeled and measured two or three times to assess their rate of growth.

While chemical fruit thinners can work fairly well on apples, the thinning effect is variable year to year.

Growers are reluctant to make repeated thinner applications [...]

Micronutrients for juice grapes

  • April 15th, 2010

Though results are preliminary, representing only the first year of work, a research project studying micronutrient utilization by juice grapevines has found that timing and the combination of nutrients can make a difference in plant response.

Washington State University soil scientist Dr. Joan Davenport and her colleagues at WSU’s Irrigated [...]

  • Constructing a trellis

Constructing a trellis

  • April 15th, 2010

When planting an orchard, don’t forget to leave room for the anchor, which is the most critical component of a trellis. It should be as far away from the end post as the height of the post, and the end post should lean slightly towards the anchor.

Anchors are the [...]

  • Irrigation options

Irrigation options

  • April 1st, 2010

Plantings at Yakima Valley Orchards are irrigated with drip. Travis Allan checks on a Honeycrisp block planted in 2007 where overhead sprinklers are being installed for frost protection.

An increasing number of orchardists are using drip irrigation systems to get their new orchard blocks off to a good start.

Tom Auvil, [...]