The Q&A Archives: Northern garden plants

Question: I get to take over mom's northwest Indiana garden plot this summer. She's been planting the same old stuff year after year. What can I do to the soil to nourish it to have a really great yield this summer? Also, she's shifting her planting to the UP in Michigan, what kind of flowers, vegs will be no fail performers, that's in Zone 3. Soil has constant barrage of pine needles up there, and very rocky.

Answer: Congratulations on ihheriting a garden. To build up the soil, the best thing to do is add lots of organinc matter in the form of composted manure, leaves, grass clippings, hay, straw... Add about 3 to 4 layer in spring as soon as you can work the soil and wait about one month before planting. Do this every year and the garden will really bounce back. Some no brainer vegetables and flower for zone 3 are peas, spinach, lettuce. swiss chard, broccoli, kale and carrots. Flowers include pansies, snapdragons, daylilies, iris and peonies. Good luck with your garden. Charlie Nardozzi NGA Senior Horticulturist

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