Grand Rapids area vegetable report

Weather conditions are making farmers slowly start fieldwork.

West Central Michigan has been, as with the rest of the state, cold and wet.  Base-50 degree day accumulations as of yesterday, May 3, were only 72 at Fremont (Newaygo County) and 116 at Lawton (Van Buren County). 

Field preparation, planting and transplanting activities are typically one to two weeks behind normal.  Some growers are challenged with the need to empty greenhouses of field-ready transplants.  A bit of a break in rainfall since late last week has helped some growers to till and plant the sandier upland fields and better-drained muck areas. 

Lettuce and radishes are about a week behind normal with young seedlings emerging. Onion planting progress varies, but overall is two-thirds or more complete. The earlier planted fields have emerged seedlings. Some celery growers are a week behind normal, others near normal.  Plants in the ground, even those grown under cover (see photo) are not growing significantly due to the cold weather. Cabbage transplanting is underway with perhaps five percent of the crop now in the field. The seedlings have greened up a bit in the past few days. Sweet corn  planting has begun.

Celery transplants under mini-tunnels.
Celery transplants under mini-tunnels.

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