Southwest Michigan vegetable update – April 25, 2018

Field activity and crop development are delayed due to cool weather.


The area is one to two weeks behind on crop development. We are currently at 31 degree-days base 50 degrees Fahrenheit compared to 216 degree-days in 2017 and 132 degree-days for the five-year average. There was a significant rainy period from April 12–19 where we received 2.25 inches of precipitation. Soil temperatures currently average in the low 50 F range.

Field activity

The rainy period in mid-April put us two to three weeks behind on field activity. Growers have begun preparing the drier, warmer sites, but many lower sites remain too wet to work. I have not yet seen any plastic mulch being applied.

Crop reports

Asparagus has yet to emerge. First harvest in the area is generally between April 16 and April 20 in normal weather years.

Sweet onion transplanting is scheduled for this week, about two weeks behind normal. Final bulb size may be affected due to later planting time. Long-day onions receive the signal to bulb in late May and once they receive that signal, the plant grows very little and bulb size is influenced by plant size.

Garlic is at the 5–7 leaf stage.

Some sweet corn, potatoes and snap beans have been planted.

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