Is your green thumb itching to get back to work in the garden? Then we have some interesting tips for you to have a great gardening season in Michigan. Vegetables prefer a full day of sun, but if you live in a shady suburb you don't have to give up the idea of growing vegetables. Here are some minimum sunlight requirements:
- Fruiting Vegetables - 8 hours of sun. This includes tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and vine crops such as cucumbers, melons, and squash
- Root Vegetables - 6 hours of sun Carrots, beets, etc.
- Leafy Vegetables - 4 hours of sun. These are your "greens" such as lettuce, spinach and collards
*Keep in mind that these are minimums. Increasing the amount of sunlight your vegetables receive will increase the yield and quality of your crop.
The benefits of manure await your garden. Behold the mysterious powers and follow the suggestions below:
- Don't use dog or cat manure. These manures often carry diseases that can be spread to children
- Never use fresh manure, since it contains soluble nitrogen compounds and ammonia that can burn plants and interfere with seed germination. Manure that is well composted or has aged for about six months is best. When added to the compost pile, manure will speed the composting process.
- Manure tea can be used for periodic feedings or diluted and used every time you water. Do not allow undiluted manure tea to come into direct contact with foliage. To make manure tea, simply place a shovel or two of manure in a large container filled with water, and after a week or so, strain out the manure. To make the straining process a little easier, you can tie the manure in a burlap bag before placing it in the water.
- Horse manure may contain a good many weed seeds, so compost it in a hot compost pile before adding it to your garden.