Southwest Michigan vegetables regional report – September 4, 2013
Dry conditions continue in southwest Michigan.
According to the Southwest Michigan Research and Extension Center Enviro-weather station, the area received not quite 2 inches of rain during August and none over the past two weeks. Dry conditions have led to an increase in mites and aphids on many crops, especially tomatoes and vine crops. Michigan State University Extension advises control measures be taken if the crop is to be continued through September.
Pumpkins and fall squash plants are beginning to die down and some growers have started harvesting. Leaf collapse may be a concern if the crop is not fully mature since exposed fruit can be sunburned. If the plants have a good leaf canopy, it would be worthwhile to protect those leaves from mildews; otherwise, the fruit should be harvested and placed under protection.
Powdery mildew can be found in many vine crop fields and downy mildew is widespread in the area.
Many fields are finished and growers are beginning to remove plastic and get them ready for cover crops.