Is it too late?

Asked April 11, 2019, 6:28 AM EDT

Hello, I am new to gardening! I live in Detroit,and want to start a veggie garden(small). I am wondering if it's too late to start indoor seeds to transplant later? Also I have shade in my backyard by the garden bed. I'm wondering if any veggies do we with part shade? Thanks for any help! Aaron

Wayne County Michigan

1 Response

Great to hear you're interested in gardening. Read more about vegetable gardening at the Gardening in Michigan website at and type vegetable gardening in the search tool. You will find Smart Gardening tipsheets and other resources to help you.

You can still start seeds indoors although for your growing region, think about starting next year's plants in March for bigger transplants. Mid April is the later end for you to start fruit bearing crops, e.g. tomatoes, peppers, etc.

It's good that you are observing how much sunlight there is in your garden. Most vegetable crops that bear fruit, e.g. tomatoes, cucumbers, squash will require at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight to successfully produce. You will still have good success in part shade, especially if it's mainly a.m. sun, with greens (lettuces, spinach, kale), peas (seeds planted directly in the soil).
Another important consideration is your soil. We suggest getting a soil test (MSU offers this service at . Select vegetables on the soil test form, so you can get recommendations for how to better prepare your soil for this crop.

Also, check out the Smart Gardening with Vegetables 101 online class which will be available after May 1st. You can search for it at under the events. This will lead you through beginning vegetable gardening.

Happy gardening!