Flint, Mich., area urban agriculture report – July 3, 2013

Crop harvest from urban hoop-houses continues, abundant rainfall and cooler temperatures in the field can be challenging.


According to the Michigan State University Enviro-weather station in Flint, Mich., temperatures for the past week ranged from a 53.5 degree Fahrenheit low to a 86 F degree high with an average of 69.2 F. We are at 1,052 GDD base 50, which is just about normal (1,040), but behind last year’s reading of 1,285 at this time. The area received around 1.48 inches of rainfall in this period, primarily on last Thursday, June 27, and Friday June 28. Our rainfall total for the year is 20.55 inches – we are well on our way to the average annual rainfall of 30.3 inches.

Crop reports

Several pest problems noted this week. Some mildew noted in basil in hoop-houses, possible sunscald with secondary fungus in peppers, both in hoop-houses and in the field.

Aphid numbers are down, several growers have noticed beneficial ladybug and lacewing larvae. Slugs are abundant and damaging with all of the rainfall. Squash bugs, cabbage loopers and bean beetles were noted.

Herbs such as oregano, sweet and Thai basil, dill, mint, cilantro, parsley and lemon balm; salad greens; young collards; cherry and French breakfast radishes; strawberries and saskatoon berries (serviceberry) from the field were brought to the urban growers’ co-operative stall at the Flint Farmer’s Market on Saturday, June 29.

Urban grower’s co-op stall at the Flint Farmer’s Market.

Out of area hoop-houses, the crops brought to the market included green beans, early cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, squashes and micro greens. According to a Michigan State University Extension educator, two area restaurants purchased all of the mint and berries for their retail businesses last Saturday, June 29.

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