Flint, Michigan area urban agriculture report – May 28, 2014

Warmer and drier weather in the past week has allowed more planting in well drained urban and semi-rural small scale diversified farm fields. Summer crops are growing well in urban and rural hoop-houses.

Flint, Michigan area urban agriculture report – May 28, 2014

Warmer and drier weather in the past week has allowed more planting in well drained urban and semi-rural small scale diversified farm fields. Summer crops are growing well in urban and rural hoop-houses.

Weather

According to the Michigan State University Enviro-weather station in Flint, Michigan, temperatures for the past week ranged from a 46.4 degrees Fahrenheit low to a 83.1 F high (on Memorial Day). We are at 374 GDD base 50 (Growing Degree Days), which is only 35 GDD behind last year’s reading. Our season in this region has gained considerable ground and is now only 1 to 2 days behind normal, as compared to many other areas of the state which are much further behind. The rainfall total for the year is 10.6 inches, and we received 1.5 inches of that rainfall in this past week. Five dry days in a row in the past week allowed for field work in well-drained fields.

Crop Reports

According to research done at the MSU Hoop-houses at the Student Organic Farm and educator observations from the field, summer crops (and some remaining transplants for field planting) are growing well in area hoop-houses, including carrots, kale, beets and peas, cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes. Tomatoes and peppers have their first few flowers, as do cucumbers in the hoop-house. One grower already has baby summer squash, cucumbers and tomatoes on the vine, too young for harvest. Another grower is planting carrots, radish, lettuce, green beans, summer squash and beet greens in the hoop-house.

Hoop House Pepper transplant

In the field, kale, summer onions, peppers, parsley have been planted. Growers in some areas are still waiting for fields to dry out this week to get crops planted.

Pests appearing in area hoop-houses include red aphids on tomatoes, leaf miners on Swiss chard, and squash bugs and cucumber beetles on cucumber and summer squash. In one hoop-house, flea beetles are still a problem on the kale. In one field, the first adult Colorado potato beetles were spotted wandering on mulch where last year’s potato crop was, and the first early instar cabbage loopers were seen this week.

Going to market now

Cilantro

According to a Michigan State University Extension food systems educator, growers are harvesting salad mix, dandelion greens, cilantro, parsley, Swiss chard, beet greens, radish and turnips this week out of area urban hoop-houses and low tunnels. From the field: radish, sorrel, lemon balm and catmint are being harvested.

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