Southwest Michigan vegetable update – April 24, 2019

Southwest Michigan is off to a “normal” start.


We are at 90 growing degree-days (GDD) base 50 degrees Fahrenheit for 2019 compared to 31 GDDs for 2018 and 122 GDDs for the five-year average. We have had 2.31 inches of rain for the month. We were fortunate last night in that most production areas stayed above freezing. All this is pretty much normal for this time of year.

Field activity

Plastic has been laid on early sites. However, most sites are still being worked and made ready for plastic.

Crop reports

Asparagus harvest will begin this week. Growers are moving picking sleds into fields and first harvest will probably be Thursday or Friday, April 25 or 26.

Hops have 12- to 14-inch shoots.

Onion transplants have been set out but have not shown signs of new growth.

Garlic is 14 inches tall.

Early potatoes have been planted, but no signs of emergence at this time.

Rhubarb is 6 inchestall.

Cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower are being transplanted.


We are too early in the season for any significant problems to show up. Greenhouse producers of vegetable transplants have not reported any issues, even though the weather has been somewhat cool and cloudy. 

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