East Michigan vegetable update – May 10, 2017

Rainfall was lighter than expected last week, but low, overnight temperatures prevented transplanting of warmer-season vegetables.

These old cole crop root crowns were root bound when they were transplanted last year. You can see how this condition can originate in the fresh cole crop plug if they are held too long in the cramped cells. Photo by Mike Yancho, Jr.

These old cole crop root crowns were root bound when they were transplanted last year. You can see how this condition can originate in the fresh cole crop plug if they are held too long in the cramped cells. Photo by Mike Yancho, Jr.

Weather

The big weather system expected last Friday and Saturday, May 5-6, fizzled out before it reached most of Michigan’s Bay and Thumb region, with most precipitation occurring south of I-69. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday mornings, May 7-9, were frosty in parts of our region. Strawberry growers applied irrigation on some of those nights, and even Wednesday morning, May 10, on rolling ground.

It feels like a race out there while I checked on fields in Macomb, St. Clair and Lapeer counties yesterday. There is a lot of activity now that soils are drying enough to work and temperatures are favorable for early-protected, warm-season transplants.

We gained so little heat units over the last seven days that most crops did not progress, and there’s not much to say.

The table below shows degree-day (DD) base 50 F since March 1, and rainfall (inches since April 1) accumulations to date from Michigan State University Enviro-weather stations in the region.

Rainfall and DD totals as of May 10, 2017

Location

DD (+ added from last week)

DD 5-year average

Rainfall (+ added from last week)

Rainfall 5-year average

Emmett

149 (+4)

176.7

4.77 (+3.86)

2.87

Fairgrove

164 (+10)

192.0

5.06 (+0.00)

3.40

Flint

209 (+13)

203.9

6.42 (+0.50)

4.31

Frankenmuth

177 (+12)

196.8

6.44 (+0.22)

3.87

Freeland

167 (+15)

183.6

6.70 (+0.05)

3.89

Lapeer

197 (+13)

213.1

3.81 (+0.33)

4.11

Linwood

141 (+12)

154.0

7.12 (+0.00)

4.31

Munger

161 (+13)

180.8

6.02 (+0.12)

3.42

Romeo

171 (+7)

190.9

4.18 (+1.04)

3.87

Sandusky

137 (+4)

160.7

5.00 (+0.47)

3.45

Crops

Seeded carrots are between seeding and 1 inch tall in Imlay City, Michigan.

Sweet corn were nipped by frost in some regions, but the growing points are still below the ground and were not damaged.

Transplanted cole crops can become root-bound in transplant trays if they are held too long before going in the ground. This can sometimes cause buttoning or early head-set before the plant is large enough to produce a marketable head. Sometimes you can find old root-bound stalks during spring tilling (see photo).

Strawberry plantings were irrigated for frost protection over Sunday-Wednesday.

Field tomatoes are being raced out to the fields under covers. Frost conditions did not seem to affect protected plants.

Tablestock potatoes that had emerged were nipped by the frost. They will send up new shoots.

Rhubarb harvest is underway.

Please contact me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 616-901-7513 to pick up any suspected disease samples from your farm, or send the diseased plant parts to MSU Diagnostic Services.

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