Digging In

Digging In: The Marble Garden

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Marble Garden began because two first-grade teachers wanted to see something besides brick and grass outside their classroom windows. ELi's Coleen Moyerbrailean has the scoop on how that garden has grown in 25 years.

Still time to forage for spring greens in East Lansing

Monday, May 23, 2016

Above: picking stinging nettles.

This year’s long, cool spring has extended the time to forage for spring greens. I’m grateful for the longer season because I am still just learning what to forage and where to find it locally.

Spring Comes to the Parkways of East Lansing

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Above: The author's parkway in mid-summer

The weather of this last weekend led many East Lansing gardeners to break out their gardening tools for some planting and spring garden cleanup. A quick walk through some westside neighborhoods reveals that folks are beginning to use their parkways as an interesting gardening opportunity. A parkway is the land between the sidewalk and the street. Homeowners own the parkway and have the responsibility and the right to maintain the land, while the City has right of access to the parkway.

Volunteer Gardening Day Set for Saturday

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

We can never be sure, but it seems to be spring in East Lansing. With spring comes gardening, and the City of East Lansing is inviting gardeners of all skill levels to participate in a volunteer gardening day at the East Lansing Hannah Community Center (ELHCC), 819 Abbot Road, this Saturday, April 23, from 9 a.m.-noon. 

Digging In: Tips and Tricks for the End-of-August Garden

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Kermiet's garden

The month of August is almost over and with September on the horizon it is time for many avid gardeners to reassess their summertime activities and harvest. Don’t let the cooler weather and shorter days scare you - late summer is a great time to harvest warm season crops and to plant cool season vegetables.

DIGGING IN: Losing the Lawn

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Above: The authors’ front yard in summer.

I guess we missed the memo that front lawns need to be manicured grass. We never much liked watering the lawn and then having to mow it, and always shied away from using herbicides and turf fertilizers. So it made sense to us to lose the lawn when we moved into our home in East Lansing 30 years ago.

Digging In: Buried in Basil?

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Photo: Genovese Basil

At this time of year, many gardeners have a bumper crop of basil. Maybe so much basil that it’s hard to find a use for all of it.

A relative of mint, basil is thought to have originated in India. There are several kinds of basil, but most of the time we see (and grow) either the Mediterranean Genovese or Globe varietals or the purple Thai basil.

Digging In: Growing a healthier community at MSU

Thursday, August 6, 2015


“CSA stands for community supported agriculture,” said Ellen Moje, Manager of MSU’s Student Organic Farm.

The Farm, located at 3291 College Rd. in Holt, encompasses fifteen acres of certified organic land including 20,000 sq. ft. of greenhouse space for growing food during the colder times of the year.

DIGGING IN: Using Native Plants in Urban Landscapes

Thursday, July 30, 2015


Native plants offer aesthetic appeal while providing many more environmental and time saving benefits compared to traditionally grown nursery plants.

Native plants provide much needed food and shelter for insects and wildlife and because they have evolved to survive Michigan’s ever-changing weather conditions, they do not require additional fertilizers, pesticides, frequent cuttings or watering once established.

Digging In: Judy Kabodian's Creative Gardening

Thursday, July 23, 2015

If you've ever driven down Alton Street, you are sure to have noticed Judy Kabodian's impressive garden. Many are stopped in their tracks by the site of the blooming expanse that occupies the entirety of her front yard. Even a CATA bus driver has paused her route to pay her compliments to the gardener. I visited Kabodian's home to learn more about the development of the garden, and to see this eye-catching attraction myself.

DIGGING IN: Time to Bud-Graft in East Lansing

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The summer is an excellent time to bud-graft fruit trees. The process of bud-grafting is similar to regular grafting covered earlier by ELi, but rather than using a whole stem as is done in traditional grafting, only a new bud is grafted onto the rootstock.

Bud-grafting takes very little effort and can be done quickly, which makes it a popular way to put one variety of fruit tree on a hardier rootstock. It also seems to work particularly well for fruit trees.

DIGGING IN: Garlic Harvest Approaches

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Garlic, Allium sativum, is a bulbous plant easily grown in East Lansing gardens and common at the farmer stalls at the East Lansing Farmers Market in the spring and early summer. While the whole plant is edible, most people eat the mature bulb, which is formed from 6-10 cloves divided by a papery skin. In the next few weeks, garlic bulbs should be ready for harvest.

DIGGING IN: Rain Gardens

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Rain garden located outside of Mid-MEAC, Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council, located in East Lansing off Grove Street.