Bay area vegetable regional report – May 13, 2015

Most plantings are on schedule in Michigan’s Bay area.


Rainfall is currently below the five-year average across the region, but moisture has been relatively consistent this last week. Growing degree day (GDD) accumulations are below average in the Bay area, and right on schedule in Romeo and Lapeer, Michigan. We should catch up over the weekend on heat units and moisture with some southwesterly weather patterns bringing up warm air and rain. However, our coldest low-lying areas may see some light frost tomorrow. We’re not totally out of the gate yet.

Rainfall and GDD (base 50 F) accumulations to date from Michigan State University Enviro-weather stations.


GDD (50F, March 1)

Rainfall (inches, April 1)














Tomato growers using commercial bumble bees to pollinate greenhouse or hoophouse plants may occasionally find dead bees. Unless it is a kill of 50 or more bees all at once, it is probably nothing to worry about. The queen is always laying new eggs all day every day, and the average lifespan of a worker bumble bee is only two to four weeks. It is common for bees to die of natural causes outside the hive and for their bodies to be dropped outside of the colony if they die inside.

If you need to spray for an insect pest, Michigan State University Extension would like to remind growers that the commercial bumble bee boxes have a nice door that you can shut the evening before you spray to keep them all inside. There is also a big bag of sugar water installed in the bottom to keep them fed.

Sweet corn planting is right on schedule. Southwesterly weather systems may bring in true armyworms and black cutworms over the weekend. Trap armyworm and black cutworm moths from April to June to guide scouting.

Onions are being transplanted. Smartweed has been a problem on the west side. A higher rate of Goal followed by Chateau will take out a high percentage of the seedlings.

Cucumbers for greenhouse multi-picks are in. Bay area field cucumber growers are slating plantings for next week.

Carrots are coming up.

Lettuce and spinach are being continually transplanted.

Please contact me at or 989-758-2502 to pick up any suspected disease samples, or send the diseased plant parts to MSU Diagnostic Services.

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