Wet April Delays Planting 5-01-2011 - WNEM TV 5

Wet April Delays Planting 5-01-2011

April was a wet month. Rainfall totals for the month from the National Weather Service recorded 5.97" in Saginaw, 5.47" in Flint..and I recorded 5>57" at my house in Bay City.
There was even snow for the month, 2.9" in Saginaw (bringing the season total to 76.2") and 2.2" in Flint (seasonal total 72.1")
All that water, especially last week, has planting running behind schedule. The last two years had an early spring, and last year, beets were in the ground by the end of March..setting a record for early planting.
This spring, only 20% of sugar beets have been planted at the end of April according to Steve Poindexter of MSU's Extension office in Saginaw.
Poindexter points out that in a normal year, farmers plant beets, beans and corn with a week or two between each crop. This year..all the planting will almost have to take place at the same time, so it will be busy once we dry out and farmers can get back on their land.
Meanwhile, home gardeners are in the same position with wet soil and lawns. Chuck Martin from Dow Gardens says you should wait a bit longer. If you walk on your lawn now you compact the soil and that squeezes the air out of the ground causing problems later. Martin advises to grab a handfull of soil from your garden and squeeze it. If it sticks together in a ball its to early to work the garden. Martin told us the hardest task for gardeners right now....patience.
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