March and April are frustrating months for gardeners in west Michigan. If you’ve been dreaming of getting your garden in the ground, but you look out the window and see snow in your yard, then now is the perfect time to put your dreams on paper. Every successful gardener has a list of what they want to grow that year so that they know they'll have the space for every plant. Are you new to gardening and wonder what grows well here in Michigan? Well wonder no more; here are the basics:
Most summer gardens here in Michigan have the staples of cucumbers, tomatoes, and zucchini. Sweet and hot peppers, eggplant, and green beans also grow well here. If you are looking to plant earlier than mid-May think lettuce, snap peas, kale, and carrots. Your options for vegetables are really endless, which makes gardening in Michigan very exciting!
Do you have fruits on your list this year? Strawberries and blueberries do well in Michigan. Cherry and apple trees are also Michigan staples. Watermelons and muskmelons also do well if you have a large enough area or grow smaller varieties up a trellis.
If flowers are more your passion, then you are in luck too. Zinnia, marigolds, cosmos, salvia, sunflowers, and petunia are all beautiful annuals (they come up once, then die). If perennials (they come up year after year) are what you are after try coneflowers, Lenten roses, black-eyed susans, allium, sedum, Russian sage, or asters.
Once you know what you want to grow, map it out, put it on paper. Then when the weather starts to improve, its time to get dirty. Happy gardening.
West Michigan yard farmers: For questions on gardening, or if you'd like to go organic in your garden this year, drop Master Gardener Corey Veldheer a line at Corey@GoodSweetEarth.com. We also offer a Garden Consultation Service to help you navigate through an entire growing season; for more info click here.
Steve & Corey Veldheer are organic yard & garden specialists in west Michigan.