To promote an outstanding online article from MSU Extension, I encourage you to read “Michigan has muscle when it comes to agriculture” (www.canr.msu.edu/news/michigan-has-muscle-when-it-comes-to-agriculture).
Yes, it touts farming in Michigan. Yes, it reminds us how much of America’s food supply is grown in Michigan. Yes, it provides solid evidence of why we don’t need to worry about the strength and depth of the US food supply during this covid-19 pandemic.
And yes, Ron Goldy (the author) gives us some great ideas for considering what to grow in our at-home fruit and vegetable gardens. Cucumbers, celery, carrots, pumpkins, bell peppers, potatoes, and cabbage are among Michigan’s biggest vegetable crops. What are you planning to grow this year. The best advice I ever got is to grow the food you enjoy eating. I’m planning on cucumbers, carrots, and cabbage from Ron’s list.
It’s always a good idea to get a soil test to see what amendments would benefit your soil. It’s the idea of good input leads to good output.
If you need a soil test, plan to buy an at-home kit online and then to buy the recommended soil amendments online as well. Testing labs are open and working, but their test kits are not available for the time being. (www.canr.msu.edu/news/agriculture-support-labs-still-open-for-business-with-modifications)
There are currently delays in shipping seed from some of the leading online seed sources, but you can still buy seed from online retailers. For my zone 6a area, the last frost date is May 15, so there is plenty of time to get seed and start your growing season.
Whether you are in Michigan’s zones 6, 5, or 4, look at your yard to see what is possible right now. If the ground is dry, you can clear away debris, use a garden rake to break up any soil clumps that developed from ice damage, add up to a 2 inch layer of compost, cover bare soil with leaf mold, start to remove damaged branches from perennials, shrubs, and trees.
And you’re saving the yard debris to cut up and add to your compost pile, right?