Southwest Michigan vegetable regional report – May 21, 2014

Freezing temperatures occurred this past week, but no significant damage was reported. Warmer conditions predicted for later this week will help plants take up nutrients and improve growth and appearance.

According to the Michigan State University Enviro-weather stations, the area received 0.5 inches or more of rain for the week. Some areas reported as much as 2 inches. Temperatures were generally below normal with highs from 44 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit and lows from 31 to 59 F. Freezing temperatures were reported on May 16-17 with some areas reporting as low as 28 F. We are at 258 growing degree days (GDD) base 50, putting us 100 units behind 2013 and about even with 2011.

Crop reports

Asparagus harvest is 50 to 60 percent complete. No damage was reported from the cold temperatures. Asparagus beetle numbers are down. No significant purple spot, although that may change with the recent rains.

Peas are 4 to 6 inches with no blossoms evident. Early snap beans are up.

Direct-seeded cucumbers, summer squash and zucchini in low tunnels are on their fourth and fifth leaf. Some of the earliest transplants under tunnels are close to flower. Direct seeding without protection continues. Watermelon and cantaloupe transplanting has begun.

General transplanting of tomatoes, peppers and eggplant has begun. Tomatoes under tunnels are approaching first flower.

Sweet corn is at the four leaf stage and a bit yellow due to cold temperatures. Planting continues.

Early planted potatoes have emerged.

Rhubarb is being harvested for local sales.

No significant disease or insect issues to report at this time.

For more information on commercial vegetable production, contact Michigan State University Extension’s Ron Goldy at 269-944-1477 ext. 207 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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