Southwest Michigan vegetable regional report – June 18, 2014
With asparagus harvest ending, summer squash, zucchini and pea harvests have picked up. Cucumber harvest will start soon.
According to the Michigan State University Benton Harbor Enviro-weather station, the area received around 1.25 inches of rain for the week. Temperatures were near normal with highs from 66 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit and lows from 46 to 72 F. We are at 714 base 50 growing degree days (GDD), putting us 29 units behind 2013.
Some windy conditions, especially on June 17, have caused concern for transplants as the soil surface was dry enough even in plastic mulched fields to move soil. Planting of transplants will be complete this week with many growers using white plastic to reduce heat stress on later plantings.
Asparagus is complete.
Pea harvest has begun.
Harvest volume continues to increase from summer squash and zucchini. Cucumber harvest from tunnel-grown transplants will begin by the weekend or early next week. Watermelon and cantaloupe transplants are close to tip over and pumpkins are growing well.
Stakes and ties are being put in peppers and eggplants.
Early planted, tunnel-grown tomatoes have 1.2 to 2.0-inch fruit. Staking and tying continues with some fields on their second string.
Sweet corn grown under row covers is at tassel emergence. Those not grown under cover are 24 inches tall and responding well to the warm temperatures.
Early planted potatoes are in bloom and tubers are sizing. All stages of Colorado potato beetle can be found.