Spring is in the air! After the long winter, it is a glorious time for everyone in Kansas.  For most of us, we are busy with the outdoor chores.  Everything from repairing the winter damage to landscaping, our weekends are full. We do, however, get to enjoy the longer days full of sunshine and warm temperatures.

Gardening is on the minds of many people and it can be extremely baffling with many questions. When to plant? What to plant? Where to plant?  The problem that most people make, especially in Kansas, is waiting too long before planting their gardens.  For some, they will postpone planting their gardens of vegetables, fruits or herbs until the weather is consistently warm, such as the end of May or first week of June.  There are, however, plenty of plants that should be planted earlier in order to have a plentiful harvest in the summer and fall months.  One thought to point out is that some of these plants can start growing inside the home for a short time before they are ready to be planted in the garden.  A guideline for planting recommended by the Farmer’s Almanac says that the following vegetables can be planted in the early spring: broccoli, carrots, kale, spinach, collards, beets, potatoes, peas and onions.  After the last frost, consider planting the following vegetables and fruits: cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, melons, and berries including blueberries, strawberries and raspberries.  Herbs to be planted include cilantro, basil, parsley, sage, mint, dill and thyme. Still feeling unsure when to plant? Most state extension services have a guide listing the planting dates of many vegetables, fruits and herbs.

Remember these gardening guidelines:

  1. Choose the right location. Find an area with plenty of sunshine and a water supply that drains well.
  2. Make your garden a manageable size. Use a plot or plant in containers, whatever you can manage.
  3. Ready the soil for your garden in the spring as soon as you can work with it. Be ready to plant when the weather allows.
  4. Compost! Compost! Compost! Compost is easy and almost anything can be used as compost.
  5. Use high quality, organic non-GMO seeds or starter plants in your garden. It is worth the extra expense.
  6. Mulching around your plants is beneficial to keeping weeds away and retaining moisture.
  7. Don’t throw away those eggshells, use them as a fertilizer for your garden.
  8. Use brewed chamomile tea on plants to prevent them from getting bacterial or fungal infections.

So, this spring go outside, enjoy and gain the benefits of a garden!