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Michigan Gardening: Ideas for Spring

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NjMcMullen
Mount Pleasant, MI
(Zone 5b)

December 30, 2005
4:51 PM

Post #1946126

Hey all,

How many of you have been anxious to get out and get busy now that all the catalogs are getting delivered?

Well, what plans are you all working on?

Here is a short list of my lofty goals:

1. New Deck. 500 square feet, and big enough to be an affront to God himself. ;)

2. New planting near the road. some kind of rock and evergreen thing with lots of ornamental grasses.

3. Finish the shade garden (i stopped calling it the secret garden because my friends said it sounded kinda feminine). Finish the path through the woods with lots of azaleas or rhods.

4. Buy a new riding mower. Not really garden related, but push mowing 2 acres is getting old.


Now what are you all planning?
Loon
AuGres, MI
(Zone 5b)

December 31, 2005
1:13 PM

Post #1947293

I would like to make a narrow bed along the road by the ditch. I envision some cat mint mixed with Russian Sage and a little big of those crawling pink roses to climb down the bank into the ditch. I want to buy one of those real narrow rototillers to get that tough field grass up and out of there so I can plant. I have plenty of pound in edging already.

I also want to get a fence with gate up around where my vegetable garden will be so the deer won't eat my plants. My son can put that up for me. It will be 8 foot tall. I may even put another fence four foot out from that fence and plant it up with wildflowers just so the deer can't jump in there for sure. :)

I also want to plant more stuff around our new pond. Once it finishes filling up we'll stock it with fish. I did plant some ornamental grasses down there last fall along with some rose of sharon seedlings I had from my other house.

Can't wait for spring. I miss mowing. :)
NjMcMullen
Mount Pleasant, MI
(Zone 5b)

December 31, 2005
10:34 PM

Post #1948150

Loon... you miss mowing!? Stop by every weekend, I will have a special gift for you.

I planted a few Russian Sage last year and I love them! I paired them with Gaura lindheimeri. Even though the Gaura are not too hardy here, I am giving them a shot up against the house in a sheltered nook. They look great with the purple of the sage.
notmartha
Bay City, MI
(Zone 6a)

January 1, 2006
2:00 PM

Post #1948867

I found gaura hardy here as long as you dont till them under-that is what i did

what do i want to do this yr??

1) Get the gardens weedfree(ha ha ha)

2) Redo another part of the big garden-pulling out what i dont want anymore

3) Clean up the strawberry patches again

4) Finish sidewalk in the garden that need finished

i could think of lots more Im sure-I just cant wait for spring to arrive!!!

I moved a bunch of daylilies out to the ditch and darn if the county didnt come by and mow them down!!
GOOD LUCK on everyones projects!
mmgardening
Elwell, MI

January 2, 2006
9:45 PM

Post #1951304

notmartha,
sorry but couldn't help a little chuckle when I read about you & the county. I had the same problem at my other place I finally put out a little sign saying "you have enough to mow,please leave this ditch alone." it worked, they picked up their mower and went right on by. LOL. I'm just getting started around here so I have a very BIG wanta do list for spring. for a starter I have a lot of lillies and sweetwilliams I want to put out by our ditch. It has a very steep sid at one end that is almost impossable to mow, I already have some snow-on-the mountain starters but they seem to be a little slow filling in so the lillies should give them a boost. I also have a section between the house & sidewalk I want to landscape a little. think that will keep me busy for a while. LOL sure enjoy this site!
Margie
notmartha
Bay City, MI
(Zone 6a)

January 2, 2006
10:15 PM

Post #1951370

Margie welcome to the site and our lil michigander corner. I do have some old roses and ditch daylilies surrounded by some rocks-they have quit mowing that spot!
Gods_country
Gladwin, MI
(Zone 4b)

January 3, 2006
1:19 PM

Post #1952302

Last fall, finally pulled up some of my perennials that weren't doing anything and planted more lily bulbs. Now I am trying to figure out what to plant around the bulbs (colorful annuals or more perennials). Anyway, I am having fun looking at the new catalogs and trying to figure it out.

Loon, here is a picture of my garden fence. Hubby put up an 8 foot fence and it didn't work. I couldn't believe deer could jump that high. He had to add another 2 feet around the top. This picture is from November 2004, when we had that big snow storm.

Marilyn

Thumbnail by Gods_country
Click the image for an enlarged view.

notmartha
Bay City, MI
(Zone 6a)

January 3, 2006
3:38 PM

Post #1952507

marylin that is one big fence there~
I planted a rose/lily garden and just luv it!
I have lilies throughout the garden but did make that one spot with just lilies and roses-oh last fall I added some different verbascums and i think there are a few columbines still in there!

I want to change a few more areas in the garden-move some of the rudabeckias(sp)
back further and the yellow yarrow has to go back back back along with some ditch lilies and other things!!! wish i was triplets!!
Loon
AuGres, MI
(Zone 5b)

January 4, 2006
12:00 AM

Post #1953327

Marylin,

That is a huge fence. I wonder if we ran some chain link across the top if that would work. I know if you put a fence inside a fence that would work but I don't really want to go that route.

He he he...my son just said that any deer that can jump an 8 foot fence is called "food". :)
Lily_15350
Eagle, MI
(Zone 5a)

February 5, 2006
4:59 PM

Post #2024393

I've been in a gardening "haze" now for a month, planning and dreaming. And today there's snow on the ground again! Oh, well!
My list goes something like this:

1. Try growing from seed again this year. Had some luck last year and learned a LOT!

2. Don't be such a perennial snob! Put some annuals in! They bloom all season and most of them are pretty un-fussy!

3. Learn more about design. (Working on this now.) Good filler activity for winter months, too.

4. Tend the vegetable garden. Probably get a lot more out of it that way!

5. Continue filling in perennial border. I had no idea what I was getting in to when I decided to build the border around 2 60-foot sections of fence!

Looks like some of you are already starting your seeds. I don't have a greenhouse, so I'm waiting until mid-March to get started with grow lights in the basement. Can't wait to get some dirt under my fingernails!

Lily
WigglyPaw
Hastings, MI
(Zone 5b)

February 14, 2006
11:21 PM

Post #2045277

UM...We keep a dry erase board by the back door, and on it I write chores by the month and cross them off as they get done. What seems so insurmountable in July, by November, 99 99/100ths is DONE!!!! Amazing!!!

Build a deck off back slider off our living/dining room.
Build a greenhouse on top of this deck, that will attach to house.

Dig in pipes to gardens, vegie and cash crop. Use a rented ditchwitch for this.
Dig in water pipes and electricity to back of new barn for water head and electricity for new barn.

Plant about a hundred trees down driveway and along fence lines and for horses.

Build run in shed for horses in west pasture. Fence in some trees for them.

Build a chicken house for chickens. Get chickens.

Propagate about a 1000 stems of evergreens, and roses.

Get a riding mower.
Get a finish mower for the back of the big tractor.
Get a horse drawn manure spreader.
Get the big tractor power steering repaired!!!

Clean and green up front of property by mailbox and road. Make pretty.

Start harvesting our woodlot with the horses.
Cut and trim out by the stream to make park like and walkable.

Order more garlics for next year crops.
Plant from seed vegie gardens for more diversity for winter eating.
Mulch everything. Weed cloth in plastic, everything. Collect rocks
from the back pastures (not that many in the fields...anyone got rocks?)

Paint watercolours, take photos, play with dogs, and horses, go to
farm progress days, driving clinics at Tillers with the horses.
Thats about it.
Oh, I would like to go to Lake Michigan one or two times this year.

One more thing...start planning the pool.

I need more hands! LOL
sheri
jugglerguy
Alpena, MI
(Zone 4b)

February 14, 2006
11:36 PM

Post #2045304

Ok, here's my list:

1.) Finish stone path to back corner of deck. Add a step to that corner of the deck.

2.) Remove remaining lawn next to new path on side of house. Replace with shade plants.

3.) Plant herbs in herb/tomato garden.

4.) Possibly build a trellis for tomatoes to grow on. See this thread: http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/576095/

5.) Redo curves on front lawn gardens so they they're smoother. (Inspired by garden on pages 48-50 of April's Fine Gardening.)

6.) Possibly build a stone retaining wall opposite shade garden in back yard.

Pictures of the current state of the lawn can be found here: http://homepage.mac.com/abramr/gardening/index.html Actually, it's currently under a bunch of snow.

This list should be interesting to look at in the fall.
calypsa
Plymouth, MI
(Zone 5b)

February 15, 2006
12:02 AM

Post #2045339

Hmmm... still haven't finalized a list, but oh boy have I been enjoying the catalogs. Lots of dreaming... We're really wishing that we had a bigger yard! Well, I am anyway. I like to plant grass (I'm just a sucker for growing just about anything), my husband likes to mow (he is so weird) grass, and I admit that we're both kind of tired of these Michigan winters. But then again, we're dreaming of a nice chunk of land in Colorado, and the climate's about the same, so perhaps we're just gluttons for punishment :) But here's what I'm thinking for our yard:

1. Plant more grass! Try to make our backyard/former sandbox actually a green haven. When we moved in there were about 4 sickly little tufts of grass in our whole back yard. Husband would mow and come in looking like Pig Pen. I really got into planting grass last fall... It looks so much better already but still needs work.

2. Plant veggies and try to find a way to keep the weeds from taking over like they did last year,

3. Buy some Russian Sage to add to my herb garden because it seems like everyone here likes it so much!

4. Grow many plants from seed (I've already ordered tons along with some new seed-starting kits),

5. Plant lavender (munstead variety) along the side of the driveway nearest to the house after I grow them from seed,

6. Clean up the North side of our yard and

7. Landscape out our neighbors to the North! (They've got this big fat chocolate labrador that is always doing his business in our yard. And when the neighbors are outside with him and see us trying to shoo Moose out of our front yard, they laugh and wave and say that we'll appreciate the fertilizer... Grrrrrrr...) I'm thinking about big decorative grasses, Sum and Substance hostas, and Stella de Oro daylilies. But I'm still not sure about everything over here, this area will definitely take a lot of thought, and

8. Try to figure out what I can grow under these horrible silver Maple trees that are growing all over the back of our lot. The former owners planted oodles of Maple trees and then put rocks allllll over. I'm not such a fan of rocks, but the Maple roots literally choke out almost everything we have planted within 30 feet of them. (The picture I've attached shows part of the back of our lot, with the garden I planted to try and brighten up that area. There are maple trees all around. I'm hoping that some of those hostas and hellebores come back this spring!)

Phew! Sounds like a lot, and that's not everything I'm sure. All these wonderful catalogs encourage me to add more and more plants to my list and to my to-do list.

Thumbnail by calypsa
Click the image for an enlarged view.

hemlady
Melvindale, MI
(Zone 5a)

February 15, 2006
1:11 PM

Post #2046072

Wow, you guys are making me tired just reading your lists. I have no major agenda but to move some of my daylilies to other locations and get rid of some.

My garage door does need painting so maybe that will get done. LOL I actually have more chores to do inside if I can motivate myself.
AFDolly
Glennie, MI
(Zone 5a)

February 15, 2006
9:35 PM

Post #2047138

We have to finish the small greenhouse so I can use it thru the winter.
I have an old hand pump we have to put a pond by it.
Lots of black dirt and sand to level to get ready for the shed ,and of course LOTS OF NEW BEDS FOR FLOWERS!!.
I think that will be enough for now LOL
Aleta
WigglyPaw
Hastings, MI
(Zone 5b)

February 23, 2006
11:14 PM

Post #2066612

does anyone want to get together to help one another on garden things?
Is this possible?
I find having a packmember by me springboards me into action, vs. non
action which is usually what happens when i am by myself.

I live south east of grand rapids, about 25 minutes, 3 miles outside of
Freeport. I would love to get together with anyone here, within reasonable
driving distance, about a half hour or less and then have them come to
my house to help me with any project.

My aprilsand Mays are getting filled up. We have a team of Percherons and
we are taking them to Tillers in Scotts MI to teach, and be taught draft
driving, and farming.

Other than that, my summer is open. I wish I could say I am traveling to
New Zealand or someplace, but that won't ever happen...: ( oh well.

When I was young, i really thought I was going to go to Africa. I also was
planning on being a stewardess for a major airline. But, my other wishes
did come true, and I had those my whole life. To have a horse, a dog and
a farm. All came true. The best wishes in the whole world! And a beautiful
and loving DH and family and grandchildren. I am blessed! So what if I
don't go more than a half hour away from my home? Its true, this is where
my heart is. : ))))))))

Regards to all
and all yer plants too
sheri

Thumbnail by WigglyPaw
Click the image for an enlarged view.

alatidg
Lambertville, MI
(Zone 5b)

March 6, 2006
1:19 PM

Post #2090520

Sheri your horses are beautiful. They guys in the cart look like they are having a great time. Do you go to the draft horse show in Lansing in October? My daugher married into a draft horse loving family. My grandkids love it. Donna
WigglyPaw
Hastings, MI
(Zone 5b)

March 6, 2006
8:14 PM

Post #2091312

Hi Donna!
Thank you about my slobs. (the horses).
I love the big draft show in October. Wow!
I know a lot of show folks, even though we don't show.
I use the slobs for mostly going up and down our road,
and maybe pulling a manure spreader. If they make it,
they can clean it up! LOL.

thats my loving baby Joy the first horse towards you.
Biting on the evener is the bad boy baby who is 3 years
old, Ollie. He told me his name the first day I got him.
He came from a N.Dakota PMU rescue. He was so
scared and little when we got him, but he has blossomed
(!) and flourished and gotten tons of love. I am so in love with
him. Joy Joy is my big girl. I adore her to beans. The vet was
here today, and did all spring shots and coggins tests, I am
going with the slobs to Tillers, all through the summer, and I
will be taking some courses there and helping teach also.
We will be trying to get JoyJoy pregnant this spring. I am
so anxious for her to have a little baby. She is getting so
old and I would love to have a baby by her. She is big and
easy to keep and sensible and a work-a-holic too. Gosh.
I sure do love those big horses. I used to love the Quarter
Horses, but now I am adoring these Percherons.

Sorry to write so much. I get carried away about the slobs.
Thanks for your kind words. they mean a lot to me.
sheri

notmartha
Bay City, MI
(Zone 6a)

March 6, 2006
9:22 PM

Post #2091454

ok wigglypaw im seeing a name change here!
wow those are some big horses! I havent riden since i was a kid. Had all kinds of horses and ponies back then! :)
You can tell you really love them and all the animals you have :)

I love to see people yakin in our forums-so please keep it up!

alatidg
Lambertville, MI
(Zone 5b)

March 10, 2006
1:34 PM

Post #2101221

Sorry to be gone for a while. My life is a little crazy. My stepfather died last summer and I spent alot of time at my Mom's helping her out. She lives a little more than an hour away and it takes up the whole day. Throw grandkid duties in there and before you know it-the week's flown by. Donna
jugglerguy
Alpena, MI
(Zone 4b)

August 11, 2006
4:23 PM

Post #2611148

I just remembered this thread from this spring and I thought I'd check to see how I was doing. I got 1, 2, 3, and 6 done. My wife didn't think the tomato trellis was a good idea, so I didn't do it. I forgot about redoing the curves in the front bed, so I'll have to look at that magazine again to see if I still think it's a good idea. Overall, I think I was fairly successful at accomplishing my goals.

How did the rest of you do?
mmgardening
Elwell, MI

August 25, 2007
7:58 PM

Post #3899603

Hay folks,

I'm back and maybe this time I can figure things out. My first agenda is to admit its sept. of 2007 which means I can start thinking about spring 2008 LOL
I just picked out a spot under some trees where I hope I can put a shade garden. got some hosta out there now and lots of lilies-of the valley to move out there but first I have to get some top soil down. I'm thinking of covering the area with ol' newspaper first to keep down the weeds than the dirt, plants and mulch. does anyone have ideas or suggestions for me? Also a little note to NjMcMullen, where in Mt Pleasant are you and what is Gaura? very sorry to anyone that might have wrote to me through here I didn't realize there were so many features just thought it was another garden site. but now I will check and hopefully meet some neighbors
Margie
deann
Au Gres, MI
(Zone 5a)

August 27, 2007
12:25 PM

Post #3904858

Margie...I have a suggestion...if I were you, I would not...and I repeat, WOULD NOT plant Lily of the Valley...Much to invasive...there are other shade plants around to choose from that would look wonderful under there...

Deann
glevely
Sanford, MI
(Zone 5a)

August 30, 2007
12:11 AM

Post #3915618

or violets I have them every where and pull them out by the hands full everytime I go near a flower bed WHAT WAS I THINKING I do think they are pretty though in a wide open feild. lol
Gloria
hemlady
Melvindale, MI
(Zone 5a)

August 30, 2007
12:54 PM

Post #3917360

Wild violets have taken over my flower beds. I dig them out every spring and by next spring they are all back again. It is a never ending task trying to get rid of them.
glevely
Sanford, MI
(Zone 5a)

August 30, 2007
8:28 PM

Post #3918882

I don't think you can ever get rid of them !!!lol
Gloria
hemlady
Melvindale, MI
(Zone 5a)

August 31, 2007
12:00 PM

Post #3920957

I don't think so either Gloria, lol.
ElizainHamtown
Hamtramck, MI
(Zone 6a)

March 30, 2008
5:01 PM

Post #4730488

Hello to you all and happy spring! I am starting up a new garden in my house, but the plants I am getting from Michigan Bulbs are arriving tomorrow... too early in my opinion. Any recommendations about how I store them until the ground won't freeze any more? There are a few peonies, a few pachysandra and several hydrangea. I also think there are a few delphiniums but I am not too worried about those.

Thanks !
sarv48
south of Grand Rapid, MI
(Zone 5a)

March 30, 2008
5:08 PM

Post #4730512

Eliz...how about in a cold garage until the warm weather comes...it will be here...sometime!!
notmartha
Bay City, MI
(Zone 6a)

March 30, 2008
7:15 PM

Post #4730998

or in your frig so they dont freeze
got a greenhouse? coldframe?
cellar?
ElizainHamtown
Hamtramck, MI
(Zone 6a)

March 30, 2008
7:49 PM

Post #4731126

Garage is an idea, but, if you look at my name you might figure it out, I live in Hamtramck and we have a problem with rats... I am afraid they would eat the meaty roots... Cold frame is an idea, I may have to build one... shouldn't be that much of a problem!

Thanks!

Elizabeth
detheo
Macomb, MI
(Zone 5b)

April 5, 2008
4:19 PM

Post #4761512

Hi everyone...

I'm new to all of this... and I am also so excited that it's beautiful out today.
I see my stella's popping thru...I bought some new coral bells last spring
and planted them...Can I cut these back this year? as the leaves are "burnt"
and they look sad...they were beautiful last year. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Have a Wonderful Sunshiny Day!!

Delane ;o)
deann
Au Gres, MI
(Zone 5a)

April 5, 2008
9:00 PM

Post #4762365

Hi Delane

First let me welcome you to this great site, you are gonna meet some wonderful people here and great gardeners who will be glad to help you with any questions you may have.

In terms of your Coral Bells, it sounds like dead leaves to me, and its ok to cut away to make room for the new leaves which will be emerging soon. Just be carful you stick to the top and just cut away the dead.

Deann
lilacdreams
National City, MI
(Zone 5a)

April 6, 2008
11:11 PM

Post #4767828

We moved to our area last June, and we are starting from scratch on everything, and are very anixous to get started

1. Pond area

2. Shade garden with an arbor, I have lots of shade (so am working one area at a time)

3. Plant the front with all kinds of deer resistant flowers (at least I hope their resistant)

4. Get my vegetable garden going, and many more things that will come to mind as we walk our property
deann
Au Gres, MI
(Zone 5a)

April 8, 2008
1:45 PM

Post #4775454

lilac...gosh, welcome to Dave's...Your practically a neighbor...we go over to Rainbow Gardens to eat alot...I am in AuGres, so if your wanting some baby's (perennials) let me know...you can drive on over...probably not more then 15 or 20 minutes away...do you know how to check on your email in here??? Let me know, I will send you my telephone number and we can talk...

Deann
lilacdreams
National City, MI
(Zone 5a)

April 8, 2008
6:38 PM

Post #4776836

Hey Deann thank you for the welcome, haven't had a chance to go to the restaurant as of yet just found it last week. What type of baby's are you talking about, mind is in a whirl about where to put everything

Del
deann
Au Gres, MI
(Zone 5a)

April 9, 2008
2:44 AM

Post #4779192

Hi Del

I have so many that pop up in late spring, too many to mention, but all are perennials. How about when the time comes I invite you over and you can see for yourself and decide what you would like and we will just dig as we go...

Deann
lilacdreams
National City, MI
(Zone 5a)

April 9, 2008
1:16 PM

Post #4780745

Sounds like a plan to me Deann, looking forward to it

Del
paulineristeau
Warren, MI

September 24, 2008
4:46 PM

Post #5593575

So what is everyone up to in there gardens now at the end of our michigan season?
glevely
Sanford, MI
(Zone 5a)

September 24, 2008
8:39 PM

Post #5594426

I'm in a mess right know I have a puppie and he is no help when it comes to gardening ( I hate planting twice ) so I plant when I can and I have a bunch to go in right so its slow going hopfully next year when hes older it will be easyer but he sure is cute ;0)
Gloria
notmartha
Bay City, MI
(Zone 6a)

September 24, 2008
8:40 PM

Post #5594429

i just came in for a drink
been outside working all day. Picked up yucky pears 4wheel borrow loads and dumped in the back field
Been redoing my garden in the circle drive
trying to areas ready for bulbs and bushes i have coming...
back out I go-beautiful day!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thumbnail by notmartha
Click the image for an enlarged view.

kays_camelot
Port Sanilac, MI

September 24, 2008
10:48 PM

Post #5594952

The last two weeks, DH and I have been working on a new garden next to the beach. The only full sun garden we have. There were several old clumps of iris and a couple of daylilies there so we thought it would be a good place. When DH started to rototill, he discovered the whole area was blacktop from an old driveway! You'ld think we'd plant someplace else, wouldn't you? NOT. DS was talked into coming over with the skidsteer and we continued.

We have my herloom iris there and I planted one of my grandfather's peonies. Also holihocks, daisys, phlox; hope to have an old cottage type garden when we're done.

Yesterday, we got the grass seed in where the skidsteer tore up so we're done for this year. The weather has been so wonderful!!!!!!!! I'm not thrilled about the growing season ending, but I AM getting tired. Kay

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