Southwest Michigan vegetable regional report – May 8, 2013
Warmer temperatures have put the vegetable season back on schedule for the southwest region.
Temperatures for the week have been above normal with highs from 67 to 83 degrees Fahrenheit (normal high is 64 F) and lows from 40 to 60 F (normal low is 43 F). At the Southwest Michigan Research and Extension Center as of May 6, there has been 172 base 50 growing degree days (GDD); average GDD is 177 according to Michigan State University Extension. The area received no rainfall during the period.
Fields are actively being prepared and plastic is being applied. We could use some rain to rewet the surface so fumigation and bed shaping are more effective. Early planting has begun and some low tunnels have been installed.
Asparagus harvest began late last week, seven to 10 days behind recent averages. Warm temperatures and no rainfall have contributed to excellent quality. No problems have been reported.
Early transplanting of cucumbers, squash and tomatoes have been made with some being placed under tunnels. Direct seeding of squash and cucumbers will begin soon.
Sweet corn, peas and potatoes are being planted, but no reports of emergence so far.