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Too late to grow stuff from seed?

Posted by kawaiineko_gardener 4, Michigan (My Page) on
Sat, May 30, 09 at 6:39

Hello, I currently live in Florida. Very soon (in about a week) I'll be relocating to Michigan. Where I'll be living is in the northern part of the lower peninsula.

I'll be living in Charlevoix county in a city called Boyne City.

I plan to make a 10 x 16 plot. The plot will consist of eleven rows, each row being about 10 ft. in length; these rows will each be spaced 6" (1/2 a foot) apart. This plot will consist of 11 rows and I plan to grow these veggies in it:

*Bush green beans
*tomatoes
*cucumbers
*lettuce
*sweet bell peppers
*Beets
*zucchini and/or summer squash
*cabbage
*carrots
*Radish

I would like to grow the stuff from the above list from seed. My questions are these; is it too late to grow stuff from seed? I realize Michigan has a very short growing season. Is soil in Michigan suitable for gardening as is? The reason I'm asking this is because soil in Florida is horrible for gardening, and you have to add soil and fertilizer for anything to grow here because the native soil is horrible. By this I mean, do you have to add anything to the soil to
assist what will be growing in the soil (fertilizer, lime, mulch, etc.) If so, in what quantities?

Also my other questions are is it too soon to start planting stuff or can I plant stuff now? Is now the time to plant cool weather veggies (lettuce, radishes, cabbage, onion, broccoli, sugar snap peas) or warm weather veggies (tomatoes, cucumbers, any kind of melon, summer squash, pumpkins, zucchini, cucumbers, bell peppers, green beans, okra, eggplant). The reason I ask is because the growing season in Michigan is completely opposite of Florida's growing season.

The best time to start planting stuff in Florida is about September or October. If you try to plant stuff in the summer months here, it's too hot and anything you try to grow in May thorough about August or July is liable to up and die on you cause it's too hot.

Are there any people on this forum who live in this area of Michigan? I could really use help with gardening, as I'm new with it, and don't have any experience in growing stuff. Basically what I would need help with is creating the plot itself and measuring the dimensions for it.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Too late to grow stuff from seed?

Zucchini and summer squash will depend upon the variety. Most need a longer period than may be available this year. For tomatoes and peppers find nice sized plants. Same for eggplant. We are expecting another freeze tonight (about 50 miles from your MI location) so all hot weather plants had to be put under cover in the storage shed. I usually have my tomatoes and peppers in the ground or close to being planted by now but the weather is not cooperating. Hot weather crops suffer from blossom drop if the temps don't hold above 50 degrees at night even though the day time temps are okay. The predictions are for a cooler than normal summer and earlier than normal frost so that may help you decide what to grow. Good Luck


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RE: Too late to grow stuff from seed?

Well, based upon what you've told me it seems like
planting warm weather crops from seed at the moment is out.

I don't mind doing a cool weather vegetable garden. Is this in the cards? It seems like this would be ideal weather for
cool weather crops.

Cool weather crops I would do would be:

*carrots
*turnips
*sugar snap peas
*broccoli
*spinach
*cabbage
*lettuce
*beets
*radish

Oh I do have a question, is an icicle radish considered a daikon? I don't like red radishes, but daikons I have
no issue with.

As far as the vining crops, I would be doing intedeterminate
varieties of tomatoes, bush type cucumbers, and bush type
green beans.


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RE: Too late to grow stuff from seed?

Hi there
It is not too late to direct seed most of the things on your list, except for peppers or tomatoes. There, it will be more economical at this point to buy started plants to ensure harvest before frost.


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RE: Too late to grow stuff from seed?

Okay, that is all I really wanted to know. Thank you for clarifying regarding this, I appreciate it.

I would also like to grow bush type cucumbers, and
bush type green beans. Will it be feasible to grow these from seed before the frost sets in?

I realize that based upon what others have told me, it won't be feasible to plant them now, because it's too cool.
Can you give a recommendation of when to plant them?
(July, August, etc.)


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RE: Too late to grow stuff from seed?

Welcome to Michigan. I've attached a link to the MSU extension that might be helpful.

Find out when your area usually has the first frost then count backward from there the days to maturity to find out the LAST planting date for various veggies.

Have fun with your garden and if I may be so bold, start conservatively and increase the size once you get a handle on what it'll take for you to succeed. Check with your county or township to see if there is a public source for compost. It's usually pretty reasonable. Just make sure it's properly cooked so you don't get any unhappy surprises.

Wish I was close enough to be of more help.

Good gardening to you!

Here is a link that might be useful: Michigan State Univ planting chart


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