I don't start seeds until the first of April. This year I may wait another week or two because of the super cold weather we're having and snow still in the forecast. I have a feeling it will be June before we can plant our gardens. I hope I'm worng but time will tell. I don't want the seedlings to get stretched or too big. I like to plant them when they're no bigger than 6 to 8 weeks old.
Really, that weather will have to break soon. Last year, I think I could have planted outside by May 1st. Last year was wretched down in Florida and pretty darn pleasant when we returned in early March. This year, it was so very nice in Florida and so miserable up here. What gives. I've got my seedlings going and hoping for the best. Can't take a chance on delaying the ripening of the first tomato by being chicken. Last year, I got my first ripe one on June 30th.
I traditionally plant on Memorial weekend but have got hit with late frosts after that. I now keep a supply of old milk jugs with the bottoms cut out just for that purpose. You can plant things early like onions and peas and broccoli or spinach etc. but tomatoes and peppers need the soil to be at least 55 degrees or they just sit there and shiver in shock. Now I just buy early varities of everything and don't rush planting them out.
On April 1st. I planted 12 types of flowers - mostly poppies. Now I'm thinking that maybe I should have just sowed them outside later. I have them under grow lights and on a heat mat but I'm very new at this and feel that I should have chosen something else to start from seeds. I have 2 - 40 cell Park's Bio Domes and 1 - 50 cell Jiffy greenhouse tray. I'll sow lettuce, spinach and peas directly into the raised beds we are constructing today. They are 4 ' x 8'x 9 1/4" tall. We made 6 of them and will fence them in away from our 3 dogs, 2 cats and assorted wildlife.
What kinds of poppies are you growing. I love poppies and I also started some from seed this year. I don't remember the name of the mix, but it was multicolored oriental mix. They are on a lighted grow cart and seem to be doing very well, there. I'm also trying my luck with some other perennials using the "winter sowing " technique outdoors, but so far, no sproutage.
Poppy seeds need cold weather to germinate. The seeds don't need to be covered with dirt, uncovered seeds sprout best. Also, poppies are happiest if they are grown where they are planted. They don't like to be transplanted. You can actually broadcast poppy seeds over the snow and they'll come up.
I know Paul. We are way behind this year. I have an awful feeling I won't get my plants in the ground till June. I hope I'm wrong. I'd love for things to warm up nicely and stay that way.
We're pruning our fruit trees today. They aren't budding out yet. Need to spray with some dormant oil too. It acts more like early March than
April. Easter is even late this year at the end of this month.
I'm glad I bought all early varieties of tomato seeds. I hate not getting ripe tomatoes till September.
After I posted today it started snowing to beat the band. I mean it was coming down. The ground is all white again. I am guessing maybe two inches ??Some was rain and sleep and yuck. I didn't get my fruit trees done either.
Maybe we'll be able to plant our gardens in July ??? LOL
Guess I'll never figure the weather out. Last year we had miserably cold weather the whole time we were in Florida (January and February) any wonderful weather in Michigan when we returned. This year was the nicest ever in Florida and miserable here since the first of the year. My tomato seedlings are large enough to move to my greenhouse tent in the back yard for some real sun, but I fear for their lives. How much longer is this going to continue?
I always try to remember how miserable the cold dark weather is when I'm baking in the summer.
I now have a lake in my fields. Snow is mostly gone but replaced with lots of standing water. Hopefully the ground will thaw out and it will go down slowly and we don't get more rain. It was weird having the thunder and lighting and snow thunder. One thing is for sure. You are never bored with Michigan weather. )
Will get the rest of the fruit trees pruned and hopefully sprayed.
We have about 30 apple trees, two pear, two peach, two plum, one cherry, 4 hazlenuts and I'm getting ready to order a couple apricots. We spray just before the buds swell then again after the blooms fall off. After that we spray about every 3 weeks or so until six weeks before the fruit is to be harvested. I've found if we don't spray we not only get insect and wormy fruit, the trees will succomb to various fungal diseases. Fruit trees are very labor intenstive if you want a good harvest and you don't want to be replacing your trees every decade or so. Some of the really old varieties are more hardy. We have one old apple tree behind our house that is over 100 years old according to the previous owner. The apples are small but tasty. I have no idea what kind it is. It only produces fruit every other year. All fruit trees have different requirements and pruning techniques. For example, peach trees produce on year old wood so if you prune too much you won't get any peaches. I'm still learning. We've invested a lot of money in the trees and in a commercial sprayer along with various chemicals. I do have a organice chemical called Conserve I started using last year. All the various fertilizers and chemicals are expensive. I think I paid over $200 for the Conserve but it is concentrated. In the early spring we put around the drip lines a fertilizer we get at the grainery that is 15-15-15-10. The ten is sulphur because my soil is low on that after testing. We had to invest in a lot of steel fencing to go around the trees to keep the dang deer off them and the rabbits. They like to chew on the trees too.
At my husbands old family farm in Bad Axe, there are 8 apple trees that are very old, but still produce well. Fruit are very small, because no one pruned the trees for many years. Of course, we have lots of bug and scale issues. We got sprayer last year and have started pruning, so I hope we can get them in shape. We have added 3 dwarf peaches and 2 black cherries. There is also a very old pear that still produces. We would like to replace it with a dwarf one. since they are easier to maintain. But as you point out, it is always a struggle. We also have some old grape vines that I make some wonderful grape jam from. I never even like grape jam until I made it from those grapes.
Thanks for the info on the peaches. I didn't know that.
Don't be afraid to hack that old apple tree. They actually like a severe pruning. That one old apple tree was so loaded with apples that one of the big branches just broke off from the weight of the apples. I learned it's better to hack them back and not let the branches get so long and loaded down they break.
We aren't having luck with cherry trees. I bought two and one is still alive and doing well but so far hasn't started producing. The other one has been replaced twice and both times died after a couple years. I bet it's something in the soil so if I ever buy another I'll plant in a different spot. I'd like to find an apircot and try to grow that here.
We have a dwarf apricot tree here in Dearborn that I planted as a decoration by the pond. It's the nicest tree, and it blooms before all the other fruit trees, which is so much appreciated in the early spring. I need to treat it so we can enjoy the fruit. Must be you don't need 2, because I always get fruitset.
That's good to know. I'll have to look around. Maybe mail order one. I got a white dogwood tree at Aldi's yesterday. Haven't planted it yet. They had some nice trees along with rose bushes and flowering bushes. Got a mock orange bush too. I thought I'd try it again. I had one at my downstate house but the darn thing hardly ever bloomed. I never did figure out why. It got plenty of sun and I'd fertilize it and practically beg it to bloom. It only bloomed a little bit and on my neighbor's side of the bush. :)
I grew up in east Dearborn. Graduated from Fordson...bout a million years ago. :)
I grew up on Horger north of Warren and East of Schaffer. Graduated in 1967. Mom was living there till I sold her house in 2005. Had no trouble selling her house. The neighbors were fighting over it. :) There is a beautiful new school at the end of her street now and many new shopping centers and state of the art buildings. All along Warren was getting so old looking and now much has improved. My old school, Fordson, looks beautiful still. They don't build schools like that any more. I have to say I love it up here and don't miss living downstate. It was good while we were working and not far to drive etc. but I love the small town we're in now and the quiet. Nice not having the house next door in stone's throw. :) Got room to breathe here.
Glad we're getting a little rain this morning. I bought some plants at Aldi's in Bay City the other day and got them in the ground yesterday. Bought a Kousa dogwood which is white. Not sure if it will survive up here or not. Also bought a Blizzard Mockorange bush and Tickled Pink hydrangea along with a climbing rose bush. I just couldn't pass up the cheap deals. They all looked healthy too. Years ago I bought some $10 trees at Aldis and while small they all lived and are doing well up here.
Yes, in Bay City, but I'm pretty sure the Aldi's in Garden City is selling the same thing. We used to live in Garden City about 6 blocks from Aldis. I bought some really nice trees there for $10 that are doing great up here now years later. If you haven't shopped there you should check it out. You can save a lot of money on your food by shopping there.
Can you believe the snow this morning? Enough already!! It's cold and the wind is blowing but the sun is trying to peek out. Got my seeds under lights out in the bunkhouse. Need to check on them. I wish spring would hurry up and get here and stay.
Jim graduated from Fordson in 51...way before your time. Your a spring chicken...
We had some of that snow yesterday and awful winds...knocked down trees across the road along with the power...No problem, our generator kicked in and life went on as normal. Love my generator...Power went out around 10"30am and restored by 5:30 pm
What a breath of fresh air today was. I've been schlepping my tomato seedlings in and out of the basement because of the interminable cold rainy weather. I did the happy dance when I saw the sun today.
I still have my tomatoes and pepper plants under lights in the bunkhouse. I have already potted them up into larger pots. Yesterday I started the zucchini and yellow squash and a miniture cabbage plant with some morning glory seeds. We have put in the ground in the garden some early, mid and late cabbage plants. So far so good.
It's supposed to turn cold again I hear the beginning of the week. I must bring in my geraniums till nighttime temps are past freezing.
the only seeds I planted this year are moon flowers - black eyed susan vine and tomatos I have some sun flowers to plant for my grand son s wedding but if it dosent stay warm soon I dont think they will be ready befor September ;0(
Hi Gloria, you just reminded me I got a pack of free sunflower seeds around here somewhere. I think I'll go ahead and start them and put them under the lights with the rest of the plants. I'm beginning to think we won't be able to plant our gardens till June except for things that can take a light frost. I'm glad I picked early varieties of tomato seeds to plant.
I guess it is what it is and I won't complain expecially when I see all the flooding and devestation down south.
On April 1st I planted some different types of poppy seeds. some baby's breath,California bluebells, Calendula, delphiniums and Chinese Lanterns. The California Bluebells are just about finished blooming - under the lights! They are little beauties though. The Calendula got repotted 2 days ago. I see a bud. They are outside on the front deck with re-potted Chinese Lanterns (only a couple made it). The poppies got repotted up and are sitting under the lights in cut off milk bottles. The poor Baby's breath is just a tangled mess. Live and learn. I'll sow the poppy seeds directly next time. I love poppies.
Wow, what gorgeous pictures. The color of the bluebells is awesome.
I put in my tomato plants at the cottage today, even though it was miserably cold, wet and windy. I felt so bad for them that I propped a picnic table up to block some of the wind. Since I won't get up there for 3 more weeks, I thought it necessary to get them in their earthboxes. I also have planted some here in Dearborn where I can keep a closer eye on them. Don't think I'll get ripe tomates by the end of June like last year.
Also have some nicotiana, marigolds, and zinnias going from seed. I cheated and started some poppies and achillea while in Florida in January and February and they are ready to be planted.
Looked at the 10 day forecast and it didn't look promising.
I moved my tomato plants to the coldframe last weekend. It has been horrible with rain and wind the last several days. Sometime during the night the wind finally managed to tear the lid off my coldframe slightly bending the hinges...I had already tried to weigh it down because of the winds. I just came in from putting it back in place and weighing it down even more.
Thankfully it is deep enough the damage so far to my plants seems minimal.
Nancy, thanks for the compliment on the pics. This weather is so strange - seems to becoming the norm ... 84 and blazing hot for a few days and then 45 and rain and wind for several more. I hope everything that I planted doesn't drown out there. Luckily, most are in raised beds which drain very well. I'll wait for tomato and peppers - haven't bought the plants yet. Didn't start any.
Jab, the wind sounds awful up there. I have friends on their motorcycles up there this weekend that need to get back down here for work tomorrow. Bad driving for sure.
Love the pics Wilkiepup. You are brave to plant Chinese Lanterns. :) My mom planted those years ago and they spread and took over her whole backyard. They are very cool though aren't they? I brought my hanging baskets in for the night. I think we might get frost tonight or tomorrow. I forget which but in the 30's.
Wilkieput, Loon is right...you will have Chinese Lanterns all over the place and you will be cursing the day you planted them. I planted some seed over 6 years ago...and they still come up...or try too, but I nip those babies in the bud before they even have a chance. I can't get rid of them...
I try to start several types of tomatoes, and a few types of peppers, a couple kinds of cucumbers, some celery, some cabbage, and a couple watermelons, as well as petunias, snap dragons, prunella freelander and heather.
I think I killed my tomatoes in the hardening off and planting process, the peppers are trying hard to make it through the freezes we have had the past two nights, the watermelons are still small, but the little troopers look like they may be okay. The cucumbers both varieties, either died or were eaten by something, because there were very few carcasses left over. I haven't been brave enough to try planting the snaps and petunias that are way over growing there plugs. The heather after 10 weeks is still green but under a 1/4 inch high; the cabbage and celery hasn't been plant but it is still green and really small. The prunella are about 2 inches high and full and dark green, not planted yet because they look so healthy I am afraid to kill them like I did my previously healthy tomatoes.
I am hopeless, seed starting kits and grow lights and expensive Park's seeds and I have precious little to show for it. I suck:-(
buck up girl summer WILL be here soon I have a lot of things that need to get potted up will do that after work but to day is weeding day love it when its cool out -not so much when it gets HOT ;0)
Thanks Gloria, Yeah, I got some squash and new cucumber seeds in today. Haven't got all the weeding done, but did get rid of a bunch of left over leaves. I think sometime between yesterday's and this morning's yard work I managed to sunburn my nose, so at least the tomatoes aren't alone.
Some types of plants don't mind being set out in cold soil and can take a "light" freeze. These types of plants are onions, leeks, cabbage, greens, brussel sprouts, etc. Some plants like warm soil. These will be things like tomatoes, peppers, pumpkins etc. The soil must be at least 55 degrees or they will either die or sit and shiver and be in shock.
Does anyone watch Mark Torragrosso on channel 25 here in mid Michigan? He has the weather garden and gives advice. He said yesterday it is now safe to plant out tomatoes etc. He evidently doesn't think we will get a late freeze. I' m not so sure. I don't plan to plant my tomatoes or peppers out till it's good and hot. They suffer less shock and actually do better if you don't freeze them to death before they get a chance to get rooted into the soil.
Too many years I've jumped the gun and planted out too early and then had to do the mad dash to cover everything up with a late freeze and wind up getting frost damage or worse...lose the plant. I put too much time and effort and money into these plants. I can easily keep them under lights or harden them off in the garage till it's more safe temperature wise. During the day I lift the garage door open so they get light and air then close it when we let the chickens out to freen range. They like to eat my plants. :)
Many things I direct sow into the garden. Beans and cucumbers are two that come to mind. They germinate really quickly and don't like to be moved so do better when sown right into the soil. I direct sow the pumpkin seeds and some other squash seeds as well.
Well, I did jump the gun this year, partly because we had such a long warm spell in April that I just got excited. I have a small area for planting and for seed starting, mobile home no garage. Anyway I planted in straw bales and they were about 65' by the thermometer that I poked in before planting. There is always next year if this one flops:-)
Today I received the 12 thornless raspberry plants I had ordered. We went ahead and planted them. I made sure I put them where they can spread and not be in the way of anything. We also planted the flat of broccoli and some self blanching cauliflower along with some swiss chard. I'm still holding off on planting the tomatoes till Memorial weekend. I looked ahead on Accuview weather and according to them we won't have any more nighttime temperatures in the 30's which is good. I hope they didn't make a mistake. :) We're supposed to warm up. Many places have to dry out some. I have old antique laundry tubs I fill with potting soil and plant up with different lettuces and greens for salads and scallions. I might plant up some radish in there too .
I'm glad we're planting a little at a time since it's hard on my husband's back. :) When it warms up and is dry I'll plant up my containers with flowers.
Down here in the "south", I planted my tomatoes a couple of weeks ago with the intent of covering if I needed to. Hasn't been necessary, but with all the moisture and humidity, I have already had to spray with antifungal stuff. Such a weird year. Right now, the fog is so thick, I can barely see the neighbors.
We had that fog this morning too, it is funny sometimes how different and how similar the weather can be across Michigan at any given time. The tree trunks are green, the moss is steadily creeping its way across what is supposed to be my yard, and I am feeling like a nap already from the necessary Zyrtec:-)