Southwest Michigan vegetable regional report – April 30, 2014
Temperatures continue to be below the 10-year average, but as odd as it sounds we are warmer than 2013.
This is the third coolest start for the growing season over the last 10 years. The return to a more normal winter this past year makes it feel like summer is taking its time getting here. Of the past 10 years, the more recent years of 2013 and 2011 actually experienced a slower start. The highest temperature we have had so far this growing season since April 1, 2014, is 79 degrees Fahrenheit on April 21 and the coldest temperature was 24 F on April 16.
The bigger story is the lack of moisture. So far we have had only 2.24 inches of moisture in April and are over 3 inches behind normal for the year.
Dry weather has allowed growers to work fields so they are on schedule from that standpoint. Few crops have been planted without some sort of protection in the way of low tunnels and row covers. We have yet to experience significant delays in crop development.
Asparagus harvest has begun at a slow pace. Warm weather on Tuesday, April 29, will help, but a return to cool conditions will again slow development.
Peas have been planted and are 1-2 inches tall.
Early sweet corn, celery, onions and potatoes have been planted.
Cucumbers, summer squash, zucchini and tomatoes are being planted through plastic and covered with low tunnels.
So far no significant disease or insect problems have been reported.