Best Vegetables to Grow in Michigan. Even though the winters are long and harsh, Michigan nevertheless gets warm enough to provide optimal growth conditions for a productive vegetable garden. Because time is important, you must carefully plan your crops.
The growing season is short, no matter where you live in the state. There are around 140 days to cultivate, with the last frost coming between mid-April and mid-May and the first fall frost occurring between September and early November. Here are the 12 finest veggies to grow in Michigan if you want to make the greatest use of your time and garden space.
Best Vegetables to Grow in Michigan
Broccoli, a fan of cool weather, is a wonderful Michigan crop. Start them from transplants or seeds outside for a fall harvest, around 90 days before the first frost. Plant them in April for a June harvest, but you risk a poor crop if the weather warms up sooner than expected.
Plant your broccoli in rich composted soil in full sun, making sure to keep it well-watered. Plants should be spaced about 18″ apart, and covered on very cold days when temperatures fall below freezing. Row coverings might offer you a few extra days to grow your broccoli while also protecting it from cold weather weakening.
2. Green Beans Vegetables to Grow in Michigan
Green bean vines can be added to your summer veggie mix after the soil temperature reaches 60°F. Planting beans every two weeks will result in your first harvest from your trellis-grown plant in about 2-3 months.
After planting, green beans require little attention. The pH of the soil should be neutral, but because green beans change soil fertility to some level, you won’t need to fertilise them in most circumstances. Sow them outside once a week, giving them full light and about 2″ of water.
3. Sweet Corn
Summers in Michigan are just long enough to grow almost any type of corn. Warm-season crops can take up to 90 days to mature, so planting in late May after the last frost allows you to harvest by September.
If sweet corn is growing in a garden with other corn varieties, it needs its own place. Because it’s a little harder than other forms of corn, you can start it earlier, planting it as early as mid-April for a July harvest in some southern climates. Once the earth is heated, sow seeds 8-12″ apart directly into the ground in a well-drained, loamy soil.
4. Carrots Vegetables to Grow in Michigan
Carrots, a cool-season vegetable that may be planted as early as April, thrive in well-composted soil. They do not respond well to nitrogen-rich fertilisers, but sandy soil that has been enriched by a prior vegetable harvest produces good results.
Carrots require regular moisture to germinate when seeds are sown straight into the ground. Rake and manipulate the dirt to allow the carrots to break through and develop their roots without being obstructed. Be patient while waiting for germination, as carrots might take up to 21 days to sprout, after which you can decrease watering.
In Michigan’s chilly weather, lettuce is easy to cultivate because it is low-maintenance and generally hardy. It grows quickly in full sun, needing only a few weeks to be ready for harvest. Sow successive rows every 2-3 weeks for a continuous harvest. Plant lettuce as soon as the season begins, in mid-April. Many lettuce species, like broccoli, can withstand cold nips, making them an ideal plant for getting a head start in the garden.
Whether you’re cultivating or consuming peas, they’re a world of convenience. They grow quickly and survive frost, allowing them to be planted as early as March. Give pea plants composted, well-drained soil, but use fertiliser sparingly because they can’t handle too much nitrogen. Otherwise, they’re adaptable to a variety of growth environments, including partial shade and nutrient-deficient soil.
7. Zucchini Vegetables to Grow in Michigan
Because zucchini is a warm-weather crop, its growing season in Michigan is restricted. Nonetheless, it’s so simple to cultivate that it’s definitely worth including with your other summer vegetables.
Before planting seeds or transplants, the soil must be at least 65°F. That means you’ll typically have to wait until mid-May to begin your outside harvest. Fortunately, zucchini grows quickly, requiring about 60 days to mature. Even in a short growing season, you can receive a few harvests.
While we’re on the subject of zucchini, it’s worth noting how simple it is to cultivate squash in Michigan during the summer. Whether you direct sow or transplant, you have enough time to harvest a good crop before the cool weather arrives.
Squash grows best in full sun and well-drained soil. Plant them outside in mid-May once the fear of frost has passed, spreading 4-5 seeds per hill. Summer squash can be harvested when still young for the finest flavour, providing you a few potential harvests per season.
Growing kale in Michigan has several advantages, including being tasty, nutritional, and visually appealing as it grows. Kale can be planted directly in the soil when the temperature rises above 45°F, which could be as early as April or as late as August. Kale thrives in moist, slightly acidic soil and receives a steady supply of nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium from compost. The best time to harvest is just after the first frost, which you can prepare with a thick layer of mulch.
Radishes, like carrots, thrive during the cool season in light, cultivated soil that allows for good, unimpeded growth. Plant them after the last frost in the spring or up to a month before the first frost in the fall. Radishes can mature in as little as 22 days, ensuring a healthy harvest both before and after the summer heat. Radishes don’t require much care to thrive; all they need is continuous water and loose soil. It prefers rich soil, but if it’s too compacted or rocky, it will produce deformed veggies.
11. Cucumber Vegetables to Grow in Michigan
Cucumbers are a fast-growing vine vegetable that can be started from seed a few weeks after the last frost (when the soil temperature is above 60°F) or transplanted after indoor sowing. You can grow them on the ground or even in a compost heap, but these sun-loving plants flourish best when trained on a trellis. Cucumbers can be planted every two weeks during the warm season. Row covers also allow you to extend the early season and collect more.
Nothing says summer like the bright red glow of gleaming tomatoes in a Michigan garden. Start these plants as soon as the last frost has passed and the weather has risen above 70°F, which is normally in mid to late May.
Tomatoes are not cold hardy, but they are not picky about soil conditions. Use loamy soil with a good amount of compost in it for the greatest results. Organic matter is beneficial, but the soil should maintain a neutral pH and be low in nitrogen to enable optimal growth. Keep the soil moist but not wet, and use an all-purpose fertiliser only as needed to maintain good phosphorus and potassium levels.
With Michigan’s growing season, less is more, and if this list is any indicator, you can give your green thumb a fantastic workout in a short amount of time with a blossoming plethora of vegetables. Growing conditions are perfect for a longer period of time than you might imagine, and whether you contemplate transplanting or sowing outside, you can keep your garden active for most of the year.