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Thread: Late start on garden-whats possible in S.E. Michigan?

  1. #1

    Default Late start on garden-whats possible in S.E. Michigan?

    Is it too late to get some grape vines started in S.E. Michigan? What else will do well when planted at the end of July?

  2. #2


    Uncertain on the grape vines but my guess is if they are rooted, you have plenty of time yet. As far as garden, you have plenty of time for spinach, leaf lettuce, kale and radishes. Maybe carrots but they likely will be small. The makings for a hearty salad.
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  3. #3
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    Central Indiana


    That depends on the grape. You will need to look for a "very hardy" grape like Concord. They can stand temperatures down to -30F. It also depends on where you are in Michigan. If you are closer to the lake then you might be able to get away with "hardy" grapes varieties since the lake protects your temps a bit more. It will also depend on your soil Grapes like a well drained soil. That's why you see so many vineyards are hillsides. You want to make certain you soil has the proper amendments and pH. I would take a sample to your county extension agent. They can provide the test bag as well.

    I think MSU sponsors the Master Gardener program for Michigan. Check their web site. I'm sure they have plenty of information on grapes. Michigan grows a lot of grapes.

    As for veggies, any of the surface crops like broccoli, collards, chard, etc will do well. MSU can tell you about fall crop varieties as well.

  4. #4


    You can plant any hardy perennial that comes in a pot as long as you keep it watered.
    Fall is better, when the weather is cooler. You probably wont have any grapes the first 2 years though.
    Concord grapes are not as picky as some of the wine varieties about where you put their feet. Well drained but well watered is the key. The best concord grapes I ever saw were growing up on a wall along a river bank, their crowns about 5 feet above high water level, but I'm sure their feet were pretty constantly wet.

    Anyway, I second the chard, radishes and lettuce. It's probably 2 or 3 weeks too late for carrots unless you can use row covers to extend past your frost date. Carrots will probably overwinter if you are zone 5 and keep growing next spring but you have to harvest them before they decide to send up flower stalks.

    Beware of buying anything at the big box hardware stores this time of year. Don't buy boxed raspberries or asparagus. They'll be all dried out. Potted stuff would be ok though pretty expensive that way. I wouldn't pay $15 for a single potted raspberry.

    Check out some of the better online sources for bare root fall planting.
    You could put in blueberries, raspberries and strawberries this fall and probably have at least strawberries next June. Raspberries and strawberries can share diseases so you may want to watch where you put them. They also share with tomatoes. Choose your location wisely on the Raspberries. They spread by runners and can be extremely invasive.

    I usually get stock from Raintree Nursery. is good too, but seedling does mean seedling and they only ship broadleafs in the spring. Can't beat the prices though.

    I used to buy from Miller Nursery but Stark bought them out and sorta went downhill. I only buy spring stock from them now, and may not even do that any more after this year. Last fall what I got looked like holdovers and none of it survived. The spring shipment was pretty bleak too, but the fruit trees are looking ok.

    Always save your shipping label off the box and the packing slip when you do mail order.

    If you want to try cranberries, buy them here:
    Lot's of good solid information on growing them and their plants are huge.

    If you fall plant, mulch well and check often as the ground starts to freeze to be sure your plants don't frost heave. You don't want the roots to dry out. Keeping a bag of topsoil in the garage can help. Or more mulch.
    Last edited by LowKey; 07-16-2016 at 12:16 PM.
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  5. #5


    We lived in Northern Maine for a long time. Lots of snow and temperature that hit 40 below. Off the top of our head, we grew "Beta" and "Valiant" grapes. Last time we returned to the old homestead, the grapes had literally taken over the side of the house and were up to the roof.
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