Southwest Michigan vegetable update – May 9, 2018

Field activity and crop development has rapidly increased.

Weather

The area continues to be two weeks behind on crop development. We are at 170 growing degree-days (GDD) base 50 degrees Fahrenheit compared to 266 GDD in 2017 and 213 GDD for the five-year average. The area received 1.25 to 4 inches of rain on May 2 and 3. Soil temperatures currently average in the low 60 F range.

Field activity

Suitable weather has allowed for plastic laying in those fields with good drainage. Some fields remain too wet for any activity. Even though heavy in some locations, the rain was needed for effective bed shaping and plastic laying.

Crop reports

Asparagus harvest began last week and growers are currently on their fifth to sixth harvest. Some fields have experienced significant asparagus beetle infestations that need to be controlled. Pay attention to product labels and select those with the proper pre-harvest interval for your harvest period.

Early sweet corn has emerged and planting continues for later harvests.

Earliest peas are 3-4 inches.

Early transplants of cucumber, summer squash, zucchini and tomatoes have been set out. Direct seeding of cucumber, summer squash and zucchini has also begun. Pepper, eggplant and watermelon are 10 to 14 days away.

Hops are 2 feet.

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