Southwest Michigan vegetable regional report – May 14, 2014
Much needed rainfall occurred during the past week. Unfortunately, so did the appearance of asparagus beetles and brown marmorated stink bugs.
According to Michigan State University Enviro-weather, the area received an inch or more of rain for the week. Most of that came on May 13. Temperatures were generally above normal with highs from 73 to 93 degrees Fahrenheit and lows from 43 to 61 F. We are at 232 growing degree days (GDD) base 50, putting us slightly ahead of 2013’s 221 GDD and 2011’s 225 GDD.
In general, the rain did not delay field activity until May 13 when we received 0.6 inches of more rain. Growers continued to prepare fields and lay plastic, but delayed transplanting due to predicted cool temperatures late this week.
Asparagus harvest continues. Some fields have been mowed due to rapid growth and lack of sufficient harvest labor. Most fields are on harvest eight to 10. Cooler weather is welcomed since it will slow growth. Asparagus beetles have been reported.
Pea planting is complete while sweet corn and potato planting continues. No blossoms are evident on the peas.
Direct seeded cucumbers, summer squash and zucchinis in low tunnels are on their second or third leaf. Direct seeding without protection has started.
Planting of early, unprotected tomatoes will begin after the current cool weather has passed. Buds are evident in tunnel-grown tomatoes. Some tunnels were vented over the past week to keep temperatures lower.
Watermelon, pepper and eggplant transplanting will generally start next week, depending on weather.
Brown marmorated stink bugs have been found in the area.