By Kathryn Carter, Dr. Wendy McFadden-Smith and Amanda Green, OMAFRA
The hot weather has continued to push degree day accumulations (GDD) forward and as of July 12, 2020 the GDD from this year are now ahead of last year’s growing degree day accumulations. The GDD accumulations for 2020 (base 5 °C) for the Niagara Parkway South area are 1060 GDD, Lakeshore Rd 1024 GDD and Beamsville 1030 GDD which put us slightly ahead of 2019 with respect to degree day accumulations (Ontario Tender Fruit Growers, 2020).
Rainfall for July has been low (Figure 1) however some areas have received much needed rain over the weekend. Irrigation is still being used in some orchards and vineyards.
Tender Fruit and Fresh Grape
In Niagara fruit diameters are as follows: pears ~60 mm, plums ~40 mm, peaches ~ 53 mm and nectarines~ 50 mm. Tart cherries are ~20 mm.
Sweet cherry harvest is wrapping up. Harvest has started on tart cherries, plums and some nectarines.
Leaf removal is winding down. Shoot positioning and hedging is being completed in vineyards. For more information on hedging see Hedging in vineyards .
We are starting to see some symptoms of drought with warm temperatures and continued dry weather. Symptoms of water stress in grapes include reduction in shoot growth, tendrils drying up, drooping leaves, leaf bleaching and leaf senescence. Refer to How Grapevines respond to water stress to see symptoms of drought stressed vines.