The snow has disappeared in Frankenmuth and the days are getting longer. You know what that means? Yup, it’s time to start planting our gardens!
You heard me right, March 1st marks the beginning of Frankenmuth’s growing season. We have stored all those beautiful cannas and dahlias for the winter and now we head to the greenhouse to plant them up and get them prepped for Spring. We dig up and store over 500 canna and dahlia plants every fall, store them in a dark, 40-50 degree room and then the first week of March we begin planting them into 2 gallon pots in the greenhouse. We set our greenhouse to 55 degrees and plant these bulbs into a mycorrhizal soil. What is mycorrhizal soil, you ask? A lot of soils are made to be sterile, free of disease and fungus. Mycorrhizal fungi are added to certain soils to boost a plant’s immune system, making them resistant to soil-borne pathogens. On top of it all, they help keep those pesky parasitic nematodes away. Basically, because we grow in such a cool environment with lots of cloud cover in March, the beneficial bacteria strengthen the root system which helps them to be bigger plants later in the season.
So if your green thumb is wearing off and you are wanting to get back into the soil, set up a spot in your basement and get planting! If you enjoy just seeing and smelling the flowers, Mid–April is when all our forced tulips, daffodils and hyacinths will be in full bloom all over town. Come check them out!
Guest Blogger Dan Hopp is currently the Green Space Manager for the City of Frankenmuth. He studied Horticulture at Michigan State University and has been working full time in the industry for 15 years. He has worked as an annual grower, a landscape designer and manager of commercial green spaces through the years. Growing up in his family’s garden center business, he has spent his entire life working with and around plants and landscapes.