Is it Safe To Start Planting in Michigan?
I don't have the greenest of "green thumbs." Actually, I've been told my thumb is practically black with as many plants as I've managed to kill - some of them were even deemed "unkillable." (What can I say, I'm built different.)
But even the greenest of thumbs has to be asking the question this year in Michigan... is it safe to start planting yet?
There's an old saying, "You never plant before Mother's Day." Or, at least, I'm told that's the saying. But I grew up with my mom on the front porch, putting her flowers out in April on a regular basis.
But this year has been odd. We've had several 70-degree days, followed by sudden frost warnings and a day or two of light snow... IN MAY!
NOT ideal conditions when trying to cultivate plants.
So WHEN should people consider planting this year?
Well, according to some, you can start now if you want... but be ready to pull everything inside once in a while.
There's still some days forecast with lows creeping close to freezing, even after Mother's Day this Sunday. So if you take that old adage to heart, there's still a few days you'll need to cover, or move your plants to a warmer space.
Early on, putting out flowers and some more decorative plants is probably safe. But if you're planting vegetables, like tomatoes or peppers, it might still be a good idea to be SURE mother nature is ready.
Location Location Location
Obviously, Michigan is a big state, and has a LOT of swing when it comes to weather patterns. What's crazy is, we are nearly to Mother's day, and there are parts of the UP that still have a considerable amount of snow on the ground. So obviously, planting in the Upper Peninsula is probably gonna have to wait until June at the earliest. People living around Houghton Lake even might have to wait until mid-June since there's still a 25% chance of overnight temperatures dropping down into freezing territory.
But parts of the lower peninsula can at least begin prepping, if not already putting some of the earlier plants out to start seeding and geminating.
So Can I Plant Now or Not?
The short answer is, "Yes." But the more complicated answer comes with a caveat I guess... how much are you wanting to plant, and will you have the motivation to bring them indoors for at least a few more days before we TRULY start spring in Michigan?
Personally, I'll stick with my little cactus in the window of my apartment. Somehow, I've managed to keep it alive for at least one year and counting.