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When To Plant Strawberries In Michigan For Success

Mark your calendar on the best time when to plant strawberries in Michigan, which is early in April. If you’re in the Great Lake state, you’ll be pleased to know that strawberries will thrive in any of its counties. However, to stand out among Michigan’s strawberry farmers, you want to ensure that you’ll provide the plants’ ideal conditions to stay productive.

Much like growing strawberries in Nebraska, your likelihood of success in Michigan is higher if you anticipate potential problems. Strawberries will already do well amidst Michigan winters because they are meant for hardiness zones 3 to 11, but proper timing of planting and practices will dictate your strawberries’ survival. Additionally, your area’s planting zone can also affect the time of planting and additional methods for your strawberry garden. 

When To Plant Strawberries In Michigan For Success

When To Plant Strawberries In Michigan: What You Need To Know

 

Early April

Generally speaking, the best time to plant strawberries in Michigan is in April, better yet, early in this month. This is because it is around this time when the ground becomes workable for planting. However, do check the conditions yourself, and you can start in the greenhouse if you think it’s too risky for your crops. 

 

Upper vs lower Michigan peninsula

Besides the soil’s workability after winter, your region also dictates the best time on when to plant. Those in the upper peninsula of Michigan should have stopped their production at the end of July. Usually, their strawberries ripen in the middle of July as well. 

On the contrary, you can start planting early in June if you are in the lower peninsula. The winters in the northern part of Michigan can be challenging, so you’ll notice that most of the strawberries in Michigan are from the southwestern parts. However, this doesn’t mean that those in Northern regions will not be able to produce well. 

You can also check the varieties of strawberries that will do well in your climate to ensure that they will thrive in the garden. 

 

Zones 3 to 10

The growing zone is another significant factor in when to start and end the strawberry season. Those in zone 6 start the earliest in March, followed by zone 5 in April. Zones 3 to 4 can start planting in May, and zones 7 to 10 start in December. 

Michigan’s ratings are from zones 4a to 6b, so be sure to check your location and plan your strawberry planting accordingly. 

 

Planting Strawberries In Michigan

 

Best strawberries for Michigan

Both June-bearing and ever-bearing strawberry varieties will grow well in Michigan. The former is best if you want to get one large crop around the middle of June, while the latter will provide yields in spring and early fall, depending on daylight hours. For June-bearing cultivars, Michigan growers usually plant Allstar, Jewel, Cavendish, and Annapolis to handle zones 3 to 8 compared to the previous two that are best for zones 4 to 8. 

Speaking of which, the best cultivars for day-neutral varieties in Michigan are Tribute, and Tristar, which are also hardy for zones 4 to 8. Compared to ever-bearing strawberries, one can conclude that day-neutral types are their improved version. They are more productive and can even perform well amidst cold periods, which is advantageous in Michigan. 

 

Site preparation

When it comes to preparing the strawberries site, ensure that the soil is consistently moist and drains well. You can add organic compost into the ground, especially if it is sandy, to improve its quality. On the other hand, you can loosen your clay soil since this type is usually dense. 

You can also check the soil’s pH level since strawberries thrive in 5.3 to 6.5, which is slightly acidic. Lastly, the strawberries’ ideal location would be an area that receives 8 hours of sunlight so that they will be more productive in bearing fruits. 

 

Planting

As discussed earlier on, early in April is the best time to plant strawberries in Michigan. This way, they can get established well at the beginning of the season. You want to grow them deep enough so the roots won’t dry out but not too deep that the leaves get buried and cause rot. 

You want the surface of the ground to meet the midpoint of the plant crown. Afterward, don’t forget to water the strawberries well to help them get established and then firm the soil around them to keep them stable and get rid of air pockets. 

Depending on what varieties you have, you should plan the planting system for your strawberries. June-bearing plants are for matted rows while ever-bearing and day-neutral varieties are meant for hills. June-bearing types should fill the rows with runners, but you must cut the runners off in ever-bearing and day-neutral strawberries.

 

Conclusion

If you plan on growing crops in the Great Lake state, strawberries are among the best choices. But do you know when to plant strawberries in Michigan? Ideally, early April is when strawberry season starts in this state. 

However, it still depends on your soil’s workability, so you can use a greenhouse to prevent delays if necessary. Your region and hardiness zone also affect when you should start planting, so June planting is also possible. Afterward, remember the growing requirements of your strawberries to ensure their success. 

Michigan is feasible for strawberries, but proper preparation and practices will make or break your plants’ productivity. 

 

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How To Prevent Root Rot In Hydroponics: 3 Useful Tips

If you’re a newbie gardener who’s looking to find ways to hone your skills, you’d want to learn how to prevent root rot in hydroponics even before this problem affects your plants.

Hydroponics can be advantageous to crops in more ways than one. However, it also comes with risks of diseases, such as root rot, which can be destructive or even lethal to your plants.

Unfortunately, there are no effective methods to recover the wilted parts that were affected by the root rot once it hits your plants. The only thing you can do if you do not want this catastrophe to befall your crops is to prevent it before it happens. Read on to learn more about this subject.

 

What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a disease that attacks the plant roots and causes them to suffer decay. This usually happens when a lack of oxygen supply occurs in the substrate.

To give you an idea, think about plant roots that are submerged in water that only has a little oxygen in it. Over time, the plant suffocates and dies.

Aside from rot and decay, this disease also leads to the proliferation of fungi that are naturally present in the soil. These include Rhizoctonia, Alternaria, Pythium, Botrytis, Fusarium, or Phytophthora. As soon as fungi colonies start to grow, they tend to target the weakened roots and infect your precious plant babies.

Once the plant becomes infected, they won’t be able to take in what they need to grow – water, oxygen, and other nutrients. When this happens, it won’t be long before the plant dies.

 

What is Hydroponics?

In case you’re not aware, the term hydroponic is derived from a Latin word that means “working water”. To put it simply, hydroponics is an art that involves growing various types of plants without soil. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about hydroponics would be a picture of plants with roots suspended into the water without using any type of growing medium.

 

Avoiding Root Rot in Hydroponic Systems

Detecting and identifying root rot can be tricky. When your plants get infected, their leaves and roots gradually wither until the whole crop itself dies from the lack of nutrients, which is a common symptom of many diseases.

 

What causes root rot in hydroponics?

One of the requirements in hydroponics systems is oxygen. Without it, your plants are basically on the road to death. On the other hand, lack of such is one of the major triggers for root rot, and it must be avoided at all costs.

Just like when planting in soil, you loosen up the ground so that your plants’ roots can have their required intake of oxygen. That is the case for crops grown in aqueous solutions as well. If they cannot breathe, they would not be able to grow.

Another agent for root rot is the temperature. The last thing you would want in your system are parasites that leech nutrients intended for your plants and infect the water during the process. In common terms, these fungi are called molds.

One of the best breeding grounds for these is warm and moist areas. For this reason, if the water temperature inside your reservoir is high, then you are susceptible to it. Something as minor as letting the solutions exposed to sunlight can already be a risk factor.

 

3 Useful Tips on How to prevent root rot in hydroponics

There is good news! Root rot in hydroponics can be prevented! Just follow these tips:

Tip#1: Use the right air pump

If you do not want root rot to affect your plants, you merely have to avoid its causes. If you need oxygen, keep the water bubbling by providing an air pump of appropriate size, and also give importance to proper ventilation in the room.

 

Tip #2: Maintain the temperature

The temperature should be maintained within the 70 to 80 degrees F range. Get rid of any materials that can make your system vulnerable to infections, and make sure not to disturb your crops while they are trying to grow.

 

Tip #3: Get rid of the rotten parts

However, if you failed in preventing the disease, then the rotten parts should be removed immediately. Cut them off as there is no chance of reviving them, and focus on the potential new growth instead. Fix your hydroponics system and eliminate the risks.

 

Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits to greens aficionados who dare to take their gardening experience to the next level. Aside from acting as a shield against the effects of inclement weather, a mini, hobby, or semi-pro greenhouse can also serve as a protective layer that keeps harmful bugs and critters at bay.

What’s more, its enclosed structure allows you to control your plants’ growing conditions including the temperature, light, moisture, and ventilation of the greenhouse’s internal environment. With a controlled environment, you’ll be able to extend growing seasons and grow plants that aren’t native to your area.

 

Conclusion

No matter how well-informed you are about how to prevent root rot in hydroponics, you cannot completely eradicate the risks. Therefore, to avoid the worst-case scenario, you should be prepared to sacrifice the infected for the sake of others. While you’re at it, consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening as well.

 

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