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Browse by Author: Mark Hoffmann
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Muscadine Grapes in the Home Garden

By: Barclay Poling, Connie Fisk, Mark Hoffmann Horticulture Information Leaflets

Muscadine grapes are well adapted to the Coastal Plain of North Carolina, where temperatures seldom fall below 10°F. Considerable injury generally occurs where winter temperatures drop below 0°F. Muscadines have a high degree of tolerance to pests and diseases that makes the production of bunch grapes nearly impossible in eastern North Carolina. There is no other fruit with such strong personal associations for so many native North Carolinians.

Southern Regional Strawberry Plasticulture Production Guide

By: Mark Hoffmann, Amanda McWhirt, Jayesh Samtani, Guido Schnabel, Daniel Tregeagle, Hannah Dankbar, Gina Fernandez, Chip Simmons, Penelope Perkins-Veazie, Barclay Poling, David Lockwood, Roy Flanagan, Erin Eure, Kathryn Holmes, Rebecca Melanson, Kristin Hicks, Aaron Cato, Sanjun Gu

This guide provides a comprehensive overview of strawberry production in the Southeastern United States. It covers topics like cultivars, marketing, economics, production techniques, and additional considerations such as cropping and food safety. The guide is structured into four chapters, each addressing different aspects of strawberry farming, with useful resources in the appendix.

Sustainable Practices for Plasticulture Strawberry Production in the South

By: Amanda McWhirt, Gina Fernandez, Michelle Schroeder-Moreno, Mark Hoffmann

This publication will outline sustainable management practices that are appropriate for strawberry growers in the Southeast, the benefits of these practices, and how they may be incorporated into plasticulture production systems.

Prevention and Management of Frost Injury in Wine Grapes

By: Mark Hoffmann, David Lockwood, Barclay Poling

This factsheet provides recommended practices and management strategies for protecting wine grapes from spring frost damage.

Uvas de racimo en el huerto de la casa

By: Mark Hoffmann, Barclay Poling Folletos de información sobre horticultura

Las uvas son agradables golosinas de verano que se pueden consumir frescas o en forma de jalea, mermelada, jugo o vino.

Bunch Grapes in the Home Garden

By: Barclay Poling, Mark Hoffmann Horticulture Information Leaflets

Grapes are welcome summer treats that can be eaten fresh, processed into jellies, jams, juice or even fermented into wine. Grapes are adapted to many soil types, and can be quite long-lived. There are basically two kinds of grapes grown in North Carolina, bunch grapes and muscadine. Bunch grapes produce berries in large clusters, and grow best in the mountains and piedmont areas. In coastal plain areas, Pierce's disease kills or shortens the life expectancy of many popular bunch grapes. Muscadine grapes, exemplified by the Scuppernong variety and noted for having smaller clusters, are not affected by this disease.

Greenhouse Strawberry Production: Report of Cultivar Performance 2022-2023

By: Joy Johnson, Austin Wrenn, Mark Hoffmann

The predominant method for strawberry production in North Carolina and throughout the United States is annual hill plasticulture. However, growers continuously face challenges such as escalating labor and production costs, heavy pest and disease pressure, and recurrent yield losses due to extreme weather events and climate change. Transitioning to a soilless greenhouse production system (e.g. table-tops) could be an avenue to alleviate some of these challenges. However, greenhouse strawberry production in North Carolina faces a host of other challenges, one of which is the lack of knowledge on cultivar performance. To help growers better understand cultivar behavior in greenhouse conditions in NC, this study aimed to evaluate the performance of seven commonly grown cultivars (‘Albion’, ‘Brilliance’, ‘Camino Real’, ‘Fronteras’, ‘Monterey’, ‘Sensation’, ‘Sweet Charlie’) in a commercial strawberry greenhouse setting in Eastern North Carolina. The greenhouse was a multi-bay, mid tech, double poly plastic covered facility. The trial, which was planted in September 2022 and concluded in May 2023, was conducted on-farm using a randomized complete block design with four replicates per treatment. Although overall yield comparisons did not reveal any significant differences among cultivars for the season as a whole, there were notable differences during specific months of the harvest period which lasted from December through May. The two everbearing varieties in the trial, Albion and Monterey, were the earliest producers of fruit, while the standard short day varieties, Camino Real and Fronteras, had almost no early yields, but demonstrated substantial peak season production in April. Postharvest quality evaluation included pH, TA (total acidity) and Brix (soluble solids content). Although pH and TA were fairly similar over all cultivars, brix was more variable, with Sweet Charlie having the highest average brix and Brilliance having the lowest average brix.

Muscadine Grape Production Guide for the Southeast

By: Mark Hoffmann, Patrick Conner, Phillip Brannen, Hannah Burrack, Wayne Mitchem, Bill Cline, Penelope Perkins-Veazie, Barclay Poling

This muscadine grape production guide will help the increasing number of North Carolina farmers who are considering growing and marketing this fruit as a farm diversification option.

Grapevine Virus Distribution, Identification, and Management in North Carolina

By: Mark Hoffmann, Emma Volk, Win Talton, Maher Al Rwahnih, Christie Almeyda, Hannah Burrack, Brett Blaauw, Matt Bertone

This publication reviews the results of a survey conducted to assess the distribution of grapevine leafroll-associated viruses (GLRaV) and grapevine red blotch virus (GRBV) in North Carolina. It provides information on identifying disease symptoms, collecting samples, submitting samples for virus testing, and best grapevine virus management practices for new vineyards and established mature vineyards.

Soil-Less Substrates for Greenhouse Strawberry Production in the Southeastern US

By: Austin Wrenn, Brian Jackson, Mark Hoffmann

Soil-less growing practices have opened up new possibilities for many specialty crops, including strawberries. US strawberry growers are facing a number of challenges that threaten the future of the industry. These include increasing labor and production costs, increased competition from imports, short production seasons, new emerging pests and diseases, extreme weather patterns and new government regulations. Soil-less production of greenhouse-grown strawberries has the potential to address some of those issues. While soil-less greenhouse strawberry production has been common for many years in a number of European and Asian countries, it has yet to become commonplace in the US. Reasons are high upfront cost as well as a general lack of technical knowledge, resulting in grower reluctance to make a transition into greenhouse strawberry production. One horticultural key for a successful soil-less strawberry production system is the choice of optimal substrate options. Therefore, the presented study evaluated the impact of six substrate blends on the growth and yield of strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa cv. Albion) in a commercial greenhouse in Eastern North Carolina. Following substrate blends were used: (1) 100% Coco Fiber; (2) 50% Canadian Peat / 50% Perlite; (3) 50% Canadian Peat / 50% Coco coir; (4) 50% Canadian Peat / 50% Wood Fiber; (5) 50% Canadian Peat / 50% Bark; (6) European Peat. Tray plants (250 cc) were grown in a modified tabletop system inside a poly-covered greenhouse with basic climate control infrastructure. The study was conducted in a randomized complete block design during the growing season 2020-2021 and repeated in 2021-2022. Our results show that strawberries grown in 50% Canadian Peat / 50 % Wood Fiber yielded similar high to 100% Coco Fiber and 100% European Peat, both grower standards. Based on the research, strawberry greenhouse production could use more cost effective, local available woodfiber and Canadian peat substrates instead of coconut coir or European peat that are sourced and shipped overseas. This option can be a more cost effective option for growers in the Southeast, considering making a shift to greenhouse strawberry production.

Strawberries: Late Planting and the Use of Floating Row Covers

By: Mark Hoffmann, Amanda McWhirt, Jayesh Samtani

Planting date, pre-plant soil and bed preparation and plant quality are the three important pillars that make the foundations for a successful crop. In this guide we will describe what to do before and after a late planting, as well as how to use floating row covers to improve growing degree days and plant growth.


By: Mark Hoffmann, Rocco Schiavone Strawberry Abiotic Disorders

This factsheet discusses the symptoms and treatment of catfacing, an abiotic disorder in strawberries that causes misshaped fruit.

Management Guide for Sour Rot in North Carolina

By: Karen Blaedow, Hannah Burrack, Mark Hoffmann, Sara Villani

This publication gives an overview of sour-rot management in European-style grapevines in North Carolina. We explain what the causes of sour rot, show pictures, discuss susceptible cultivars and give management recommendations.

Water Damage

By: Mark Hoffmann, Rocco Schiavone Strawberry Abiotic Disorders

This factsheet discusses the symptoms and management of water damage in strawberry production.

Under Trellis Cover Crops for North Carolina Vineyards

By: William Gill Giese, Mark Hoffmann

This publication discusses research on under trellis cover crops at a North Carolina commercial vineyard and the impact of the practice on grapevine vigor, yield, vine balance, and fruit chemistry. It also covers under trellis cover crop management, common pitfalls, and mistakes to avoid.

Growing Muscadines in Childcare Center Gardens

By: Liz Driscoll, Mark Hoffmann, Lucy Bradley Local Foods: Childcare Center Production Gardens

While children are having fun growing, harvesting, and eating delicious, nutritious, fresh fruits and vegetables they also become stewards of the environment and develop healthy life skills. Muscadine grapes, a native North Carolina treasure, are easy to grow and bursting with flavor and nutrients. This publication provides information on how to grow muscadines in childcare center production gardens.

Fresh-Market Muscadines: A 2019 survey to gather insights into important issues for growers

By: Rania Hassan, Mark Hoffmann

This survey was conducted online from June 30, 2019 to July 15, 2019 to ask muscadine fresh-market growers about heir largest issues of concern. Marketing and consumer education as well as the development of extended seasons through new breeding material were among the highest ranked priorities for muscadine growers in NC.

Drought Injury

By: Mark Hoffmann, Rocco Schiavone Strawberry Abiotic Disorders

This factsheet discusses the symptoms and treatment of drought injury in strawberries.

Market Challenges for Specialty Crop Producers in North Carolina During the Summer, Fall, and Winter of COVID-19

By: Hannah Dankbar, Angel Cruz, Mark Hoffmann, Emma Volk, Sienna Zuco Local Foods

Throughout 2020, food supply chains and market channels across the state and nation continued to be disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This factsheet highlights the impact the pandemic had on specialty crop producers in North Carolina from May through July 2020 and from October through December 2020. These surveys were part of a series of surveys conducted by the Center for Environmental Farming Systems, the NC State Local Foods Program, and the NC State Department of Horticultural Science throughout 2020 to capture the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on specialty crop producers within North Carolina.