The Success Behind Farmer’s Markets in Grayling, MI – Many of the 2,000 residents of Grayling, MI have gardens or greenhouses to enjoy the fruits of the earth, and they love sharing their bounty with visitors. The growing season, when the ground is thawed, is between June and September, offering a shorter season than most other states. However, this does not stop residents from producing amazing flower beds and food for farmer’s markets almost year round. Whether the seeds go in the ground or in the greenhouse, the best plants come from the best planting strategies. This means that guests get the best possible produce when stopping by any of the numerous farmer’s markets in the area.
Know the Area
It begins by understanding what grows best in the area. Cole crops, such as cabbage or broccoli, are seeded directly into the garden mid-April, as long as the ground is thawed enough. However, many gardeners begin these plants indoors mid-March, transplanting the sprouts mid-May. Lettuce and spinach are planted in a similar manner. Visitors in the spring to early summer are treated to fresh leafy treats. Get outdoors with the onions, potatoes and peas at the beginning of April, as long as the ground allows. If the ground remains frozen due to a harsh winter, wait until it’s ready before planting. These seeds must not be started in the house. Tomatoes or eggplants are started indoors mid-March, then moved outside at the end of May, after the final frost has come and gone. Mid summer is a great time to find fresh tomatoes when visiting the area. Summer vegetables, such as squash, pumpkins, corn and gourds are planted outdoors in the beginning of June. The soil must be 60 degrees F for these plants to do well. The good news is that summer vegetables can be started indoors around mid-May, then moved as soon as the danger of frost has passed.
Environmental Control in a Greenhouse
Plants that cannot be started in the house do well in a greenhouse with proper environmental controls. Greenhouses must have proper heating, ventilation, shading, and pest control. The colder climate of Grayling insists on an insulated greenhouse, complete with an electric heater to maintain the heat from the sun. Radiant heat lamps, as well as space heaters, are favorites. The plants also need ventilation and moisture, which is maintained by vents to ensure proper humidity levels. When visiting these greenhouses, note the excellent climate control enforced to help the plants survive. Air keeps moving with oscillating fans. Plants that are more prone to being burned by the sun’s rays are shaded, or moved away from direct sunlight. Keep the greenhouse clean to avoid pests, and check plants regularly to ensure they are free of bugs.
Gardening in Grayling, MI helps support the local farmer’s markets and gets the residents outdoors during the warmer months. The serenity and pride in creating something helps create a brighter city. Every year, gardeners create a happier city with gorgeous flower beds and fresh food.
-Article written by Sally Perkins-