Southwest Michigan vegetable regional report – July 1, 2015

Sunshine would be welcomed in southwest Michigan.

Weather

Temperatures this week have been slightly below normal with highs from 72 to 81 degrees Fahrenheit and lows from 51 to 64 F. We only had 0.16 inches of rain over the past two weeks, so soil moisture is getting low for many sites and irrigation will have to begin soon. We are near 1,040 growing degree days (GDD) base 50 compared to 1,010 GDD for 2014.

Growth on the truly warm season crops, including watermelon, eggplant and peppers, appears to be delayed. Temperatures have not been too far from normal, but it seems to have been abnormally cloudy. Lack of sunshine leading to cooler soil temperatures and reduced photosynthetic activity both inhibit growth. We have also seen some herbicide damage that can be attributed to the slow growth of certain economic plant/herbicide combinations.

Crops

No significant issues were reported or observed by Michigan State University Extension during the last week.

Harvest and planting continues for zucchini, yellow squash and cucumbers.

Snap bean harvest will begin toward the end of this week.

Early blight has been observed on potatoes and tomatoes. This is not surprising given recent weather conditions. The disease is favored by alternating wet, dry conditions and temperatures between 66 and 82 F, which describes our season so far. This disease is relatively easy to control for commercial and home growers. For recommended control products, refer to “2015 Insect, Disease and Nematode Control for Commercial Vegetables,” Extension Bulletin 0312.

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