Dear Crabby, When Can I Plant My Garden?

Dear Crabby, With all this Crazy Weather, I was Wondering When I Should Plant My Garden?

Sincerely, Iris Shallot

Dear Ms. Shallot,

Lots of people have been asking that question. While winter was gracious to stick around a bit to keep the snow-lovers going for a few extra weeks, spring is here. It was too hot too soon, but we’re finally back to normal. You’re right, it was a little crazy. April is usually a good month to get the yard ready, but it was too cold. Then BANG, all that heat, perennials and lawn weeds started growing. Are we behind in planting, is it too soon, what to do – the inquiries have been flowing in.

Dear Crabby sits infront of his laptop

Dear Crabby Gives Advice

But we’re on track, don’t let Mother Nature confuse you. May is the month to plant. I remember – way back when – I used to help my mother with the garden. Families had big, really big gardens when I was a kid. We couldn’t just drive to any corner grocery store for all our needs. First of all, we only had one car, and dad had it most days for work. Money was tight. And most folks took pride in growing their own food. We used to plant tons of seeds – carrots, spinach, lettuce, green beans, squash, pumpkins, melons, cucumbers, beets, onions, potatoes, and even corn. Many times we’d forget what we planted where – we’d have to wait to see what it was as it grew. Mom would soak the seeds overnight in water to help them germinate, not really sure we needed to do that, but that’s how we did things back then. We’d spend days tilling the soil, adding manure (I still giggle when someone says “manure” in such a serious way), and planting. Watering, weeding, and more weeding. I did like making the scare crow because we got to use dad’s old clothing and we’d pretend it was him. All of us would say things to the scare crow dad and we wouldn’t dare say to the real one.

So, I checked my trusty almanac. For us here in the Greater Rochester Area of Michigan, you should be safe to plant everything by May 25. Some plants are frost-resistant, such as cabbage, brussel sprouts, lettuce, cauliflower, and broccoli – you can plant all that now. Things like peppers and tomatoes are sensitive to frost, I’d wait until late May to be sure.

We do a very small garden now, I love “fresh from the garden” tomatoes – doesn’t everybody – some peppers and maybe some lettuce. So, when you plant your garden, you need to know two things: one, I won’t help you plant it, and two, but I will help you eat it.

Happy Planting!

Dear Crabby

About Dear Crabby

Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at


  1. Bradley & Barbara Barnes says

    Look up “Raising Rochester” on Facebook. It is having a Big Build at Faith Church on Avon Road. Planting will happen soon after that. It’s a great cause and opportunity to help Neighborhood House. See you there.

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