Gardeners aim to grow good produce or nurture lovely lawns and landscaping. “Smart gardeners” obtain those goals with earth-friendly techniques that can save money. Our advice is based on science performed at Michigan State University or other land grant universities.
Don't forget to check out our Smart Gardening resources, which includes tip sheets and informational videos.
- Mow at the highest setting to promote deep roots, avoid grub damage and crowd out weeds.
- Mulch leaves and grass clippings into lawn to recycle nutrients.
- Learn how to have a smart lawn.
- Select well-adapted or native plants, trees and shrubs to simplify meeting the plant’s needs.
- Learn how to select smart flowers and trees/shrubs.
- Don’t guess, soil test to ensure an effective balance of nutrients.
- Learn how to test and build smart soils.
- Select the right vegetables for your location. Sunlight, water and good soil are essential for growing good vegetables.
- Learn how to plant a smart vegetable garden.
Smart gardening to protect pollinators
- Watch a webinar on smart gardening for bees from MSU entomologist Rufus Isaacs.
- Read an article on how to protect bees in your yard and garden from MSU entomologist Dave Smitley.
May 4, 2016 | Meghan Milbrath | New resource outlines the rules and regulations surrounding beekeeping and selling honey in Michigan.
May 3, 2016 | Bert Cregg | Successful landscape plant selection and establishment begins with a thorough site assessment.
May 2, 2016 | Kaitlin Wojciak | Follow these tips for creating, purchasing and using compost.
April 29, 2016 | Kendra Wills | Plan now to grow extra produce to help alleviate hunger in your community.
April 28, 2016 | Rebecca Krans | Smart soils, season extenders, nutrients and gardening for pollinators are the focus of the Smart Vegetable Gardening Conference in Tustin on May 21, 2016.
April 28, 2016 | Diane Brown | Learn how to identify purple deadnettle and henbit, two commonly confused weedy members of the mint family.
April 28, 2016 | Gretchen Voyle | Grasses need eight or more hours of full sunlight a day. If you’re struggling to grow grass even after water and fertilizing, a shady lawn may be the problem.
April 22, 2016 | Diane Brown | When establishing vegetable gardens near black walnut trees, select juglone-tolerant vegetables and plant in raised beds with barriers that prevent walnut roots growing into the bed.
April 22, 2016 | Carrie Shrier | Ideas to help children be involved with preservation and conservation of Earth’s resources.
April 21, 2016 | Diane Brown | Hairy bittercress is an annual weed that can spread quickly. It often enters landscapes as a contaminant in container plants.
Find an Expert
May 21, 2016 | Kettunen Center 14901 4-H Drive Tustin, MI 49688
May 26, 2016 | 300 East 1st Street, Flint, MI 48502
Jun 4, 2016 – Jun 9, 2016 | June 4 - 15406 Watercress Way, Cassopolis, MI 49031 June 9 - 2300 N. Benton Center Rd, Benton Harbor, MI 49022
Jun 14, 2016 – Jun 14, 2016 | Royal Cafe, 701 E Main Street, Centreville, MI 49032
Jun 14, 2016 | 300 East 1st Street, Flint, MI 48502
Jun 17, 2016 – Jun 18, 2016 | Prince Conference Center at Calvin College, 1800 E Beltline Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Jun 21, 2016 | Clare County MSU Extension office, 225 W. Main Street, Harrison, MI 48625