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All Things Michigan

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Filtering by Tag: gardening-in-michigan

Chance of frost tonight across Michigan

Andrew Norton

The chance of frost across Michigan tonight means that you better cover up any flowers or plants in your garden that you don't want to see turn brown just yet. I'll be covering up our tomatoes as we finally have a decent crop producing. Ironic now that summer is over and the days are much shorter. Oh well, I'll take what I can get out of my garden in Michigan during October. I'll be putting up the onions and potatoes this weekend. I meant to have an onion and potato bin built by now, but that hasn't happened. Just too busy.

So, save your gardens tonight with a sheet or something in case we get the predicted frost.

Have a Great Weekend!

Notes from the garden as the season winds down

Andrew Norton

August is 2/3s gone and school starts in less than two weeks. Where has the summer gone? Normally at this stage of summer we are enjoying a bumper crop of tomatoes. Not this year. Yeah, my favorite summer staple did not do so hot this year. There could be any of or a combination of three different reasons; the soil - too much composted cow manure, the heat - blossoms won't be pollinated when it is too hot, poor seedlings.

I redid the makeup of the soil in our raised beds this spring. I sifted out the larger rocks and added peat and composted cow manure to each bed. Perhaps I overdid it on the composted cow manure. If there is too much nitrogen in the soil tomato plants will not set fruit.

When nighttime temperatures hover around the 70s and daytime temps hit the 90s - tomato plants won't set fruit. The heat makes the pollen sterile. We had a ton of blossoms on our tomato plants when we had the one to two week stretch of daytime temps in or near 90 and nighttime temps in the 70s.

Our favorite greenhouse did not open this year due to the increased costs of propane which they use to heat the greenhouse. So we went with an untested supplier and I was not really happy with any of the plants we purchased in addition to the tomatoes. We were going to grow our own seedlings like the previous year, but time got away from us and we were too late. I won't make that mistake again.

We'll be purchasing our seeds from Park Seed once again. They have a great selection and I've been extremely pleased with the results in previous growing seasons.

Update on my garden

Andrew Norton

When I planted pole beans this year I staggered the planting so we would have a steady flow of green beans during the summer. Our first planting began producing beans at the end of last week and we have already enjoyed two quarts of delicious and tender beans. The other plantings are catching up and should keep us in the beans through most of August.

We'll be digging up some of our red potatoes this week and I'm interested to see how those did. Our onions are ready for picking any time we need one. We've also been getting a couple of cucumbers every other day or so to add to our homemade sweet pickle brine.

Not much rain has fallen here lately (per usual during this part of the summer) so the sprinkler has been running every day. Earlier in the spring our tomatoes were looking a bit yellow and sickly so I gave them a few doses of compost tea and they not only bounced back, but they look bigger and better too.

Use these books to plan and take care of your garden this year

Andrew Norton

Even though winter has returned for a few days and you can't work in your garden due to the snow and the cold you can still research and plan your 2007 garden. I've come across some great gardening books and all of these are meant just for gardening in Michigan. Consider adding these gardening books to your library:

Perennials for Michigan Gardening Month by Month in Michigan Michigan Gardener's Guide Annuals for Michigan Best Garden Plants for Michigan Landscaping With Native Plants in Michigan Tree and Shrub Gardening for Michigan

It won't be long and the cold will all be behind us and the warm sunny days of spring will be back. Meanwhile, there is a lot of garden work to do with seeds to start, perennials to thin, shrubs to prune, and much more.