Southwest Michigan vegetable regional report – July 8, 2015
It’s time for melon wilts to show up.
Temperatures this week have again been up and down with highs from 65 to 87 degrees Fahrenheit and lows from 50 to 65 F. The area received 0.5 to 1 inch of rain, which greatly helped the non-irrigated crops. We are near 1,160 growing degree days (GDD) base 50 compared to 1,135 GDD for 2014.
Warm temperatures over the weekend advanced plant growth, but also brought on wilt symptoms in melon crops. The three most likely diseases are Fusarium, Verticillium and bacterial wilt. Fusarium and Verticillium are soil borne diseases and best controlled by long-term rotations with non-susceptible crops and tolerant varieties – if they exist. Bacterial wilt control is highly dependent on controlling cucumber beetle vectors.
Michigan State University Extension has reported that downy mildew is getting closer to the area, so cucurbit growers are encouraged to decrease spray intervals to four to seven days, especially during periods of cloudy, cool, windy, wet weather – which basically describes our season so far.
Snap bean, cabbage and potato harvest has begun.
Harvest from early planted sweet corn will begin next week.
We have not seen much activity to date for European corn borers, corn earworms, squash vine borers or squash bugs.