Categories
BLOG

when to plant seeds in michigan

Vegetable and Herb Seeds to Sow in Michigan in April

For most of us in Michigan, winter is finally over and we can solidly set our sights on the spring and summer garden. While some of us in the coldest zones may still have a snowbank or two lining the driveway or covering the garden, there are still seeds to be sown.

Here’s your zone-by-zone list of which seeds you can sow in April in Michigan, with a look forward so you’ll know what to have on hand for next month’s sowing.

Note: these are the dates for sowing seeds indoors or in a greenhouse. Plant most seedlings outdoors after your last frost date, but be sure to keep an eye on the weather, because we all know how unpredictable Michigan weather can be! If snow or frost is in the forecast, put your planting off for a day or two. Also be sure to start hardening your seedlings off a couple of weeks before you plant them out in the garden.

Michigan Zone 3 (Average Last Frost Date: June 15th)

This area includes a large swath of the western upper peninsula and a few small inland areas of the northern lower peninsula.

Vegetables/Herbs to Sow in April:

  • Artichokes
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery/Celeriac
  • Collards
  • Eggplant
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce
  • Mustard
  • Peas
  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • Tomatoes

Michigan Zone 4 (Average Last Frost Date: June 1st)

This includes most of the northern lower peninsula and the eastern side of the upper peninsula.

Vegetables/Herbs to Sow in April:

  • Artichokes
  • Basil
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Collards
  • Eggplant
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Lettuce
  • Mustard
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • Tomatoes

Michigan Zone 5 (Average Last Frost Date: May 15th)

This area includes almost all of the southern lower peninsula and the west coast of the lower peninsula.

Vegetables/Herbs to Sow in April:

  • Basil
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Corn
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Okra
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes

Michigan Zone 6 (Average Last Frost Date: May 1st)

A very small area of Michigan is Zone 6. If you live near Detroit or the southern west coast of the lower peninsula, this is your zone.

Vegetables/Herbs to Sow in April:

  • Corn
  • Cucumber
  • Melons
  • Okra
  • Pumpkins
  • Squash
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon

I hope this list is helpful for you, and I hope you’re as excited as I am to get my garden going. If you don’t have space indoors, many of these herbs and veggies can be sown directly into the garden after your soil has warmed and danger of frost has passed. Basil, corn, cucumbers, melons, lettuce, kale, kohlrabi, squash — all of them can be sown right into your garden soil and it works fine, though those of us who have shorter growing seasons may have to get creative with season extenders if we’re direct-sowing. And, often, the seeds that you sow directly into the garden end up being hardier overall, because they don’t have to go through the process of hardening off, transplanting, and acclimating to a new area. So don’t despair if you have to direct sow — other than peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, and some of the more finicky annuals, we can direct sow most annual herbs and veggies just fine here in Michigan.

Happy gardening! If you have any questions, feel free to drop them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer. Thanks for reading!

Originally posted in 2015, updated 2020.

Vegetable and Herb Seeds to Sow in Michigan in April For most of us in Michigan, winter is finally over and we can solidly set our sights on the spring and summer garden. While some of us in the

When to Start Vegetable Plants From Seed in Michigan

I’ve gotten several comments on our vegetable garden site asking when to start vegetable seeds when starting your own garden plants. Obviously it differs from plant to plant and according to your zone as well. The obvious goal is to have a growing healthy plant with decent size when it’s safe to plant outside which for us here in Central-Northern Michigan is Mid to late May. I look to plant much earlier as I try to have some varieties of vegetables ready for harvest in Early June. Saint Patrick’s day is a good mark for starting plants it’s about 8 weeks from the Middle of May and many of your transplant will need that much time. They say 4-6 weeks but it’s more like 8, trust me. The first vegetable plants you’ll be starting are item like peppers and tomatoes, and onions. Onions will need to be started first followed by peppers, they take forever, and they like it hot which can be a challenge for us in March. It’s actually supposed to be over 70 degrees today and it’s March 14th but that certainly isn’t the norm. If you start your plants in your house you don’t have to worry about the temperature as much as you do sunlight. If your new seedlings don’t get enough sunlight they will quickly become leggy (tall and thin) and loose their color, lack of sunlight or enough of it, is a common problem for folks starting plants indoors.

Vegetable Plants to Start In March

Peppers, Tomatoes, Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Cabbage can all be started early and should be because they are long crops or ones that like the early cool growing season. Broccoli for example can take the cool temperature and actually does better. You’ll get tightly formed heads if you can get your broccoli and cauliflower planted in the ground early. Peppers are long crops and so are most tomatoes so they need to be started from seed in March and transplanted in early to mid May depending on the weather. Covering you newly planted transplants with a protective plastic or even a milk jug can work to get them out in the ground a little early. We use plastic and also a mulch that help heat the ground and retains the heat over night.

Start These Vegetable Plants In April

There are many garden vegetables that are fast germinating and fast growing. Pickles, winter squash, summer squash, zucchini, peas, green beans, and cucumbers all start quickly from seed and become ready to transplant fast. They are also a bit more delicate and don’t do well with frost so you’ll want to start these later, I’d say about 4 week before you think you’ll be planting. Once May comes and it warms up you can continue to start these seeds to extend your harvest season. Once it’s warmer you’ll notice it only takes about two weeks and you have a plant ready to transplant. Direct sowing the seed right into your garden works too and if your going to plant your garden in late May like many do, you can plant all of these varieties directly into your garden.

Vegetable Plants That are Planted Directly in The Garden

Along with the plants I just mentioned potatoes, asparagus, pumpkins, onions, and radishes I prefer to direct sew right into the garden. The only plant I plant from transplant usually are tomatoes, peppers, brocolli and cauliflour. I do start all the other vegetables initially but only so I can get an early crop. Later planting all go directly in the ground. Planting late is the 3rd week of May thru June, early for me is April thru the 2nd week of May. Planting seeds directly in the garden isn’t an option in April in Michigan unless you are planting under plastic in a high tunnel or green house. You have to start the seeds in soil that can reach 70 degrees plus in order get germination.

Hey There. We Have a Great Facebook Page! Go and LIKE it Now. Interested in The CSA? Go Here–> CSA Farm Thanks for visiting!

I’ve gotten several comments on our vegetable garden site asking when to start vegetable seeds when starting your own garden plants. Obviously it differs