Garden Day event comes to Lake County Historical Museum

MSU Extension offers tips for spring gardening

MSU Extension garden experts will be at the Garden Day event sponsored by the Lake County Garden Club and the Lake County Historical Museum on June 4.

MSU Extension garden experts will be at the Garden Day event sponsored by the Lake County Garden Club and the Lake County Historical Museum on June 4.

Pioneer file photo

LAKE COUNTY — The Michigan State University Extension office in Lake County, in partnership with the Lake County Historical Society, and in honor of the Lake County Sesquicentennial anniversary, is hosting a Garden Day event from 10 a.m. to noon, June 4, at the LCHS Museum, 915 N. Michigan Ave., Baldwin.

The workshop will consist of informational breakout sessions on soil, planting, nutrition and 4-H activities.

Master gardeners and MSU Extension experts will discuss how to grow and preserve common garden vegetables, as well as answer questions. Participants will receive seeds to take home to practice the skills they have learned.

Register in advance online at, or by emailing, or calling 231-745-2732. Registration is also available at the door at the time of the event. 

Cost is $5 and includes refreshments and all materials.


Several factors need to be considered when preparing to plant a garden, including the best time to plant, what to plant and how to prepare the garden for planting. MSU Extension offers the following tips.

  • To best determine planting times, consider the following information:
  • The average frost free days for your area, keeping in mind that sometimes a frost can happen after this date.
  • The current weather forecast for your area. An overcast day is best for planting.
  • Whether you plan to plant seeds or transplants.
  • Considering which vegetables you like, how much space you have to plant and how you will meet the growth requirements will help you achieve a rewarding harvest. Advance planning will be the key to success.


Vegetables that enjoy cool temperatures include kale, onions and peas, which are very hardy and can withstand freezing temperatures, as well as broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts and swiss chard, which are frost tolerant.

Plant pea and kale seed, onion sets and seed potatoes as soon as you can work the soil in the spring. Make sure the soil temperature matches what the vegetable seed prefers for optimal germination. 

Late March through May in Michigan is the best time to plant cool season vegetables. Temperatures that dip below freezing for extended periods, however, can damage plants, so it is important to be mindful about how early to plant.

When using cool season transplants, prior to planting be sure to “harden off” the transplant gradually by slowly acclimating them ti the outdoor conditions.


Vegetables that prefer warm temperatures include tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, peppers, beans and corn.
It is best to wait until the air and soil temperatures have warmed before planting.

Warm season transplants should not be put out until the danger of frost has passed. When planting warm season transplants, it is best to postpone hardening off and planting until daytime temperatures are above 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

For more information on best gardening practices, visit and download a vegetable gardening tip sheet.