Southwest Michigan vegetable update – May 31, 2017

Conditions over the past week have been ideal for transplanting.


Degree-day wise we are now behind 2016 and the five-year average. High temperatures for the week ranged from 59 degrees Fahrenheit to 76 F. The normal high is 74 F. The area had 0.85 to 1.0 inch of rain, which came at a good time for settling in transplants.

Field activity

Growers took full advantage of the cloudy, cool weather during the past week and pretty much finished their first round of transplanting. Field preparation continues for later plantings.

Crop reports

Plastic tunnels have been removed from tunnel-grown sweet corn as they have grown above the tunnel. Early, direct seeded plantings are 10 to 12 inches tall and planting continues.

Asparagus harvest is coming to an end with many fields being harvested for the last time this week. Some fields for direct market sales will continue through the weekend. Growers will be applying weed control this week. Growers also report low populations of asparagus beetles this season.

The earliest planted peas have 2-inch pods.

Early cucumber, yellow squash and zucchini are at the fifth to seventh leaf stage and direct seeding of all three crops continues.

Stakes are being set out in early-planted tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. Early tomatoes and peppers are at first flower. Pruning on tomatoes will start soon. Bacterial issues were confirmed on some pepper transplants.

Early potatoes are 8 inches tall. Colorado potato beetle adults and eggs can be found, primarily on horse nettle at this time.

Hops are climbing 5 to 6 feet up the strings.

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