Michigan fall garden

Even though my garden is essentially full right now, I’ve been wondering if I can plant yet more this year. I do have some dirt leftover and could always use another bed…but what could I plant now? And the winter wheat and first spring onions and peas will be out of the garden in a few weeks…so what should I plant in the spaces they vacate?

After a bit of searching, I found a nice guide to fall vegetable gardening in Michigan (pdf) from the MSU Extension office. It has planting and harvest dates, as well as some varieties to try.

I’ll be curious to see if this works. These are mostly “cool weather crops,” and it seems odd to plant them in late July, which is anything but cool here. Perhaps some shade netting is in order. I also have a hard time imagining planting kale, as the kale in the garden will keep going strong until December – or until I eat it all, which usually happens first. Hmm, though I suppose I could plant *more* of it and then maybe it would last…

I’m still pondering a greenhouse, but I can’t bring myself to look out into my yard and see a plastic quonset hut, and other options are really too expensive. This year I’m going to see if I can do something smaller and portable, perhaps just put plastic on my screen house to convert it into a mini-greenhouse for winter.



  1. June 25, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    I just planted a final row of carrots and the first row of kale yesterday to start off my fall crops. Will have more kale to plant (as I know what you mean about eating that all up!) and probably some late lettuce, but I think that might be all I have for seeds. Might have to find something else, or even a cover crop for fall/winter. Thanks for sharing the link… I hope to find some ideas there!

  2. jeff-nhn said,

    June 26, 2008 at 7:29 am

    If there is room for more – plant more. That’s my opinion. Every spring and summer I’m putting some in the ground after I say to my wife that I’m finished for the year. She doesn’t believe me any more as she knows I can’t stop planting things.

  3. Her Grace said,

    July 10, 2008 at 11:12 am

    From a fellow MI gardener, THANKS! This is my first year with a largish garden and I’ve been thinking of planting more. This guide is perfect for me.

  4. Mom said,

    July 27, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    I can get to the PDF file. It is asking me to sign in and I don’t have a name or password. Can you help?

    • Emily said,

      July 28, 2011 at 9:29 am

      Hmm. They seem to have taken the file down. I will see if I can find or make a list.

      In the meantime – plant your kale and lettuce now, either in the shade or indoors in flats, and you’ll probably get a bit of a fall harvest. Plant spinach in October and it’ll grow a couple inches, go dormant, and come back for an early spring harvest in April.

  5. September 6, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Here is a good link from MSU http://migarden.msu.edu/uploads/files/8/gardenCalendar.pdf

  6. Mary said,

    July 22, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Thanks, Brigitte! I couldn’t get into the one previously posted because it required a username and password. Now, should I plant lettuce and carrots at the same time (August) as radishes, etc.?

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