Southwest Michigan vegetables regional report – July 17, 2013
With recent heavy dews, vine crop growers need to be concerned about powdery mildew.
According to Enviro-weather, temperatures for the week at the Southwest Michigan Research and Extension Center averaged above normal with highs from 77 to 91 degrees Fahrenheit (average is 82 F) and lows from 52 to 71 F (average is 58). We are at 1375 base 50 GDD which is ahead of normal but behind the 1777 of 2012. The area received 0.5 to 2 inches of rainfall during the period.
Harvest has begun on a limited basis for sweet corn. General harvest will start the end of next week.
Phytophthora symptoms are showing up on vine crops. Squash bug activity has been noted on squash and pumpkins. Recent weather has brought heavy morning dew, so Michigan State University Extension advises growers to be concerned about powdery mildew. Pumpkins are coming into flower and need cooler temperatures to be able to produce female flowers and set fruit. Virus symptoms have been noted in vine crops. I have not been catching squash vine borer in my traps, but this is the time of year they are out so growers need to be protecting their plants from them.
Watermelon has softball-size fruit.
Some early specialty peppers are being harvested. Harvest for green bell peppers is still two to three weeks away.
No significant problems have been observed or brought to my attention over the past week.