Have a home gardening or lawn question? Call our gardening hotline at 1-888-678-3464 or Ask an Expert.
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
- Invite pollinators to your garden or landscape by creating a smart habitat with pollinator-friendly plants and lawns.
- Learn how to protect pollinators using smart gardening techniques.
November 20, 2017 | Jill O’Donnell | Clean water and plenty of it is the only essential ingredient for maintaining tree freshness.
November 15, 2017 | Nate Walton | Although rare in Michigan, the most hazardous blister beetle species can be irritating to livestock, pets and humans. They are occasional garden pests and handling them too roughly without protection can cause skin blisters.
November 8, 2017 | Erick Elgin | European frog-bit is a prolific invasive aquatic plant that is creating a mess along the shores of the Great Lakes.
November 8, 2017 | Insa Raymond | Add some color to this winter by forcing spring bulbs to bloom indoors and explore the science behind it.
October 27, 2017 | Dixie Sandborn | All-season trees like river birch provide interest to your landscape by changing colors throughout all four seasons.
October 19, 2017 | Tracy D’Augustino | Alcona County and Michigan State University Extension are celebrating 100 years since the introduction of Extension to Alcona County in May 1917.
October 17, 2017 | Dixie Sandborn | All-season trees like paperbark maple provide interest to your landscape by changing colors throughout all four seasons.
October 11, 2017 | Dixie Sandborn | All-season trees like Sargent Cherry provide interest to your landscape by changing colors throughout all four seasons.
October 5, 2017 | Douglas Landis | Monarch populations are increasing in Michigan, but they are still low due to factors including milkweed quality and predators. We are interested to hear if you’ve seen organisms preying on monarch eggs and caterpillars.
October 5, 2017 | Bob Bricault | Carpenter ants in trees and houses are an indicator of a moisture and decay problem. Locating the problem gives you opportunity to act.
Find an Expert
Jan 15, 2018 – Apr 23, 2018 | GCCARD Building, 605 N. Saginaw Street (Suite 1A), Flint, MI, 48502
Jan 16, 2018 – Feb 27, 2018 | online
Jan 18, 2018 – Apr 26, 2018 | Bay College West, 2801 U.S. 2, Iron Mountain, MI 4801
Jan 24, 2018 – May 2, 2018 | Washtenaw Western Service Building, MSU Extension, 705 N. Zeeb Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Jan 24, 2018 – May 2, 2018 | Kalamazoo RESA - Wile Auditorium 1819 E. Milham Ave Portage, MI 490
Jan 26, 2018 | Kalamazoo Valley Community College, 6767 West "O" Avenue Kalamazoo, MI 49003
Mar 1, 2018 – Jun 7, 2018 | Verkuilen Building, Assembly Rooms A&B 28115 Dunham Rd., Suite 12, Clinton Twp, MI 48036