Southwest Michigan vegetable regional report – May 7, 2014
Growing degree days for 2014 are now behind 2013, but still slightly ahead of 2011. Dry conditions allowed continued field activity, but dry soil is not what is desired when shaping beds and laying plastic.
According to the Michigan State University Enviro-weather stations, the area is now cooler than 2013, but still ahead of 2011 in growing degree days (GDD). Over the past week we have had only 0.2 inches of rain. Warmer conditions over the next couple days should encourage asparagus growth and seedling germination.
Dry weather has allowed growers to stay ahead on field work. Plastic continues to be laid for planting later in the month. Michigan State University Extension warns that dry soil can hamper bed shaping and the laying of plastic mulch since the soil does not keep its shape well and is hard to rewet using drip irrigation. Unprotected transplants and direct seeding will start next week if the weather is conducive.
Asparagus plantings are on their third or fourth harvest. Harvest pace will increase due to warmer weather over the next three days.
Peas have grown well in the cool weather and are 4 inches tall.
Emergence has begun on early sweet corn. Planting of later fields continues.
Direct seeded cucumbers, summer squash and zucchinis in low tunnels have germinated. Direct seeding without protection will start next week.
No potato emergence has been noted.
Planting of early, unprotected tomatoes is scheduled to begin next week, weather permitting. Pepper and eggplant transplanting is still two to three weeks away.
So far, no significant field disease or insect problems have been reported.