Patient planting for specialty crops at Magnolia Crest Farms

The greenhouse is a busy place at Magnolia Crest Farms in Davenport.

“I’ve done a lot of transplanting,” said Production Manager Tracey Kuehl.

That’s where Tracey is preparing hundreds of pepper plants.

“Just tuck is down real nicely,” she continued. “Shake it down a little bit.”

During a normal season, these plants would already be in the ground. But extreme weather is causing about a 10-day delay.

“What’s slowing us down the most is colder temperatures and a little bit of rain, too,” said longtime farmer Norm Lau.

Sweet corn season was delayed even longer in 2013. Rough weather made the season start nearly three weeks late.

“Right now, there’s just the beginning of a little, tiny kernel starting to form,” Lau said on July 5, 2013.

On Monday, Keith Youngs was a lonely man at Magnolia Crest. Recent rainfall and chilly soil temperatures delayed tomato planting for at least another day.

Despite the late planting and challenging weather, Magnolia Crest is on the way to another great growing season.

The stand, which is located on Jersey Ridge Road in Davenport about a mile north of Interstate 80, hopes to open by late June.

Plants could actually be stronger thanks to extra time in the greenhouse.

“They’re all pretty robust and pretty healthy,” Tracey said.

The 2013 sweet corn wasn’t ready until July 19th. This year’s sweet corn should be available near July 4th.

“Everything got off to a very good start,” Lau concluded.

They’re aiming now to get back outside and finish planting.