Southwest Michigan vegetable regional report – May 11, 2016
Cool and wet weather conditions in southwest Michigan.
Growers continue preparing fields when and where possible. Recent rains have made field activity difficult since soils in many areas were already saturated. Unprotected transplants are being set out and direct seeding is ongoing, but cool, cloudy conditions have kept plant growth and emergence to a minimum even under low tunnels. Soil temperatures are averaging in the mid- to upper 50s. Low temperatures last Friday, May 6, were in the low to mid-30s, so some sites probably experienced freezing temperatures.
Asparagus harvest continues at a slow pace. Spears are more purple than normal due to cool temperatures, and they seem to be more brittle than usual with many spears snapping at two places when harvested. This is probably again due to the slow growth caused by the cool, cloudy weather. Some herbicide damage has been reported to Michigan State University Extension, resulting from reactivation of the product during wet periods.
Tomato, cucumber and squash transplants are being set out. Direct seeding of sweet corn, cucumbers and yellow squash/zucchini is also being completed when conditions allow.