Southwest Michigan vegetable regional report – May 22, 2013
Southwest Michigan received much needed rainfall, but we could use more.
Temperatures for the week averaged above normal with highs from 77 to 89 degrees Fahrenheit (normal high is 68 F) and lows from 49 to 69 F (normal low is 47 F). At the Southwest Michigan Research and Extension Center as of May 20, there have been 341 base 50 growing degree days GDD). According to Michigan State University Extension, the average for this time period is 304 GDD. The area received 0.50 to 1 inch of rainfall during the period.
Rain on May 21 has allowed plastic laying to resume. More moisture is needed since the soil is dry below 10 inches. Planting of all crops is underway.
Asparagus harvest continues with few problems. Those fields that did get hurt by the May 13 freeze have recovered. Warm and mostly dry conditions have contributed to high spear quality.
Pepper and eggplant transplanting began late last week and continues this week. Tomato transplanting also continues. Tomatoes in low tunnels are beginning to bloom and pruning will begin soon.
Yellow squash and zucchini transplants under low tunnels will start blooming next week. Direct seeded in tunnels are just showing flower buds. Watermelon and cantaloupe planting has begun.
Early planted sweet corn is 4 to 6 inches tall.
Peas will begin flowering next week.
Early planted potatoes are emerging.