Bruce Bordelon

Professor of Horticulture
Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture
Area(s) of Interest: Grapes and Small Fruit
Bruce Bordelon's website

75 articles by this author

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Apple harvest is winding down with late varieties such as GoldRush and Pink Lady being harvested. Quality has continued to be good, although some stem-end cracking has shown up on some cultivars. We have continued to run about a week early throughout the season.

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Powdery and downy mildew can develop on grapes in the late season, post harvest. It is important to keep vines as healthy as possible going into winter. With the long fall we are experiencing, downy and powdery mildew are both becoming prevalent in many vineyards. Growers should consider a late season application of fungicides to keep these diseases under control to protect the foliage and assure adequate cold acclimation. Downy can be controlled with phosphorous acid products, mancozeb, or captan. However, none of those fungicides will control powdery mildew. So a tank mix including one of the above with a sterol inhibitor such as Rally or Tebuzol would be a good approach.  

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Crown gall is a common disease of many perennial plants. It causes fleshy tumors to develop on the plant and usually results in plant death. Grapes are among the most sensitive fruit crop to crown gall. The disease is caused by the bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens. This is the same bacterium that is used to genetically modify important crops. There are at least three biovars of A. tumefaciens that cause crown gall. The particular strain that infects grapes is biovar 3. This strain was renamed Agrobacterium vitis since it only infects grape vines and close relatives. The life cycle of Agrobacterium is interesting. The bacterial cells infect the plant through wounds. These can be caused by insects, mechanical damage, or in the case of grape vines, cold injury. Once the tissue is damaged, the bacterial cells can attach to the plant cells. However, rather than causing a canker or rot by[Read More…]

There are a number of common grape pathogens that can cause fruit rots each year in the region. Black rot and Phomopsis cane and leaf spot are by far the most common fruit pathogens. We also see Botrytis gray mold on some cultivars in cooler regions and years. Another common rot is Sour rot, but it is actually caused by yeasts and bacteria, not filamentous fungi and is spread by fruit flies. It occurs most often when heavy rains near harvest cause berry splitting. I wrote about it in a recent issue. In the past few years we’ve had a troubling rot on a new cultivar to the region, Marquette. This early ripening red has excellent wine quality and is one of the new “super cold hardy” cultivars from Minnesota. That makes it a great choice for northern Indiana vineyards. However, Marquette is not without disease problems. While only moderately[Read More…]

Apple harvest continues and apples are still running about a week ahead of normal. A higher than usual amount of stem-end cracking is showing up. Fruit showing these cracks should be sold first and are not suitable for long-term storage. Grape harvest is winding down with only the latest varieties left. Primocane blackberry and raspberry harvest continues.    

Grape harvest is in full swing across the state. The weather could not be more ideal. Warm sunny days and cool nights are ideal for fruit quality. Lack of major rainstorms is also a plus. This year is almost a complete opposite of 2016, when high temperatures and rain persisted through July and August, causing major fruit quality issues. The 2017 vintage should be excellent!

First it was email, then the internet. That was almost 30 years ago. Today various forms of social media is used by just about everyone. Obviously Facebook and Twitter are much more commonly used than email, and more people text today than make phone calls. But, there is still a place for mail lists. Mail lists continue to be a successful communication tool. The way a mail list works is that people subscribe themselves and then have the authority to post messages to the list. All other subscribers on the list receive the message. One message can be sent to hundreds of readers at once. Replies to messages on a mail list can either go only to the sender of the message or to the entire list. Purdue HLA Extension maintains two mail lists for users. The “Fruitveg” list is for all fruit and vegetable growers, farm marketers, etc. in Indiana and surrounding[Read More…]

Southwest Purdue Agricultural Center High/Low Tunnel Tour co-sponsored with Dept. of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies at Indiana University August 10, 2017 Vincennes, IN Contact Wenjing Guan,, or Dan Egel at Registration: Call 812-886-0198 Pinney Purdue Vegetable and High Tunnel Field Day – co-sponsored with Dept. of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies at Indiana University August 15, 2017 Pinney Purdue Ag Center Wanatah, IN Contact Kym Schwinkendorf at or 219-386-5232 Registration: or call 219-386-5232 Organic Vegetable Seed Production & Varietal Selection Workshop August 22, 2017 West Lafayette, IN Contact Lori Jolly-Brown ljollybr@ Registration: Hydroponic Workshop II September 8, 2017 Purdue University-HLA Contact Lori Jolly-Brown ljollybr@ Register at Purdue Wine Grape Team Fall Workshop September 25, 2017 Purdue West Lafayette campus Contact Jill Blume Indiana Horticultural Congress February 13-15, 2018 Indianapolis Marriott East Indianapolis, IN Contact Lori Jolly-Brown Visit for more details  

June bearing strawberries are “short day” plants that set flower buds in response to short days. As we get into late summer, days shorten and strawberry plants respond by setting the flower buds that will result in the crop next spring. It is important to maintain appropriate nutrition and soil water status during this time. General recommendations are to fertilize strawberry fields with 20 to 50 pounds of actual nitrogen per acre per during late summer.  Nitrogen rates depend upon amount supplied at renovation and plant vigor. New fields with high vigor may not need additional nitrogen now, but older fields should benefit. Irrigation during this time is also extremely important if rainfall has not been sufficient in your area. We suggest about 1 inch per week. Continue to irrigate strawberries through fall to assure a good crop next year. Also maintain good leaf health by controlling leaf diseases.