Southwest Michigan vegetable update – May 24, 2017

Planting continues at a rapid pace.

Weather

Degree-day wise we are still a bit ahead of last year and the five-year average, but in actual planting we continue to be slightly behind on some crops, first due to the cool/cold temperatures of May 7-9 and then the hot, windy conditions of May 17-18. Current cooler, cloudy conditions are conducive for transplanting activity.

Field activity

Growers are taking full advantage of current weather conditions and transplants are being set out as quickly as possible. Field preparation and direct seeding of other vegetable crops continues.

Crop reports

Sweet corn plantings under low tunnels are approaching 16 inches tall and are beginning to grow above the tunnel. Earliest direct seeded are 4 inches tall and are yellow due to the cool temperatures. They will green up as soon as the temperatures warm. Planting continues.

Asparagus harvest continues with some fields on their 18th to 20th harvest. I suspect growers will begin to shut down fields starting next week.

Earliest planted peas are now in early bloom.

Direct seeded cucumber, yellow squash and zucchini under tunnels are on their second and third leaf and not too far behind transplants under tunnels. Direct seeding outside of tunnels of all three crops continues.

Tomatoes, peppers and eggplant are being set out at a rapid pace. Some of the earliest plantings are beginning to green up as roots grow and begin to pick up nutrients. Early peppers are showing their first flower buds.

Early potatoes are 6 inches tall. There are no signs of Colorado potato beetles.

Hops are climbing 3 to 4 feet up the strings.

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