Southwest Michigan vegetables regional report – July 24, 2013

Expect blossom end rot to show up on peppers and tomatoes.

Weather

According to Enviro-weather, temperatures for the week at the Southwest Michigan Research and Extension Center averaged above normal with highs from 78 to 94 degrees Fahrenheit (average is 82) and lows from 58 to 74 F (average is 58). We are at 1,521 base 50 GDD which is ahead of normal, but behind the 1,723 of 2012. The area received 0.5 to 3 inches of rainfall during the period.

Crop reports

General harvest has begun from early planted sweet corn. Corn earworm damage can be found.

Cantaloupe harvest has begun. Watermelon harvest is expected the first week in August.  Harvest continues on other vine crops with no significant problems.  Cooler temperatures will be helpful for flower set in pumpkins.

Bell pepper harvest is expected to begin next week along with tomato harvest from non-tunneled plants. An increase in bacterial diseases has been noted in tomatoes, so Michigan State University Extension advises growers to pay special attention to keep them under control. Last week’s high temperatures are sure to increase blossom end rot in peppers and tomatoes.

High temperatures were also hard on potatoes with plants opening up in some plantings. Regrowth should occur from the base of the stems – cool temperatures should help plants recover.

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