Southwest Michigan vegetable regional report – June 17, 2015
When it comes to rain, be careful what you ask for, you might get it – lots of it.
This past week has made up for a somewhat dry April and May. Benton Harbor, Michigan, and surrounding areas generally report between 1.75 and 3.5 inches of rain with some isolated pockets of over 4 inches. Heaviest rains occurred June 15, stopping field activities for that day and longer since many fields continue to have sections under water. Weather has been conducive for diseases and disease pressure should increase given the conditions, so growers are urged to increase protection on their fields. Temperatures for the period ranged from 69 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit for highs and 58 to 68 F for lows. We are near 780 base 50 growing degree days compared to 690 for 2014.
Tomato, pepper and eggplant transplanting is coming to an end; staking, tying and pruning continues. Peppers and tomatoes are in early bloom and tunnel-grown tomatoes have developing fruit. Herbicide drift damage continues to show up on tomatoes.
Potatoes are in bloom and all stages of Colorado potato beetle are present.
Tassels are emerging from early sweet corn.
All types of peas are now being harvested.
Mites on cucumbers have been reported to Michigan State University Extension. This is surprising given the rainy weather. Heavy rains should reduce mite populations by washing them off, and they generally will not find their way back to the plant. However, growers still need to be diligent in scouting for infestations, especially when weather turns warmer and drier.
Watermelon plants are beginning to runner off the plastic. Harvest volume of yellow squash and zucchini has increased.