Southeast Michigan vegetable regional report – May 1, 2013

Planting has been slow and steady for the southeast region, with cabbage and cole crop plantings still ongoing.

Weather

In the past week, rainfall was close to 0.875 inches to add to the 1.75 inches in the previous week. Rainy weather delayed vegetable planting about a week. Since Jan. 1, we had a total of 10 inches of rain in the area to replenish the River Rasin bank.

Even though some minor and moderate flooding has been reported in the southwest part of the state, the River Raisin has stayed within its normal levels – 678 and 650 feet in Blissfield, Mich., and Dundee, Mich., respectively.

Temperatures in the southeast have ranged from 51 to 69 degrees Fahrenheit with an average soil temperature of 44.5 to 51.7 F (2 to 4 inches deep, respectively), allowing cool crop planting operations to begin.

Based on the Petersburg Enviro-weather station, we currently have reached 97 degree days (base 50 F). See the current and forecasted growing degree days for the southeast zone.

Vegetable crops

The season is starting slow but steady. Cabbage and other cole crop planting have been ongoing and will continue. Michigan State University Extension reports about one-fourth of the cabbage acreage remains to be planted. According to the Enviro-weather cabbage maggot model prediction, the overwintering maggots have not emerged.

Tomato and pepper transplants in the greenhouse are coming along and no important disease or insect outbreaks have occurred. Thrips and aphids were observed on pepper seedlings in the greenhouse. Field preparation is ongoing; tomato and pepper transplanting is anticipated to begin in the next week or two.

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