July 25, 2003

Grape Anthracnose and Black Rot

Anthracnose and black rot are two common Iowa grape diseases. They both like the same environmental conditions, so often one plant will have both diseases, which can lead to confusion.

The anthracnose fungus, Elsinoe ampelina, overwinters in infected plant material. In the spring when the temperature is at least 36 F, spores are spread by wind and splashing rain and can infect all aboveground parts of the plant. However, warmer conditions (up to 90 F) promote more severe infections.

Harvesting and Storing Melons

Watermelons and muskmelons are delicious summertime treats. To obtain the best flavor, watermelons and muskmelons must be harvested at the right stage of maturity. Once harvested, proper storage prolongs their storage life for as long as possible. Guidelines for harvesting and storing watermelons and muskmelons are presented below.