While many may have taken advantage of the springlike weather to take care of outside work, Serenity Gardens owner Jana Dalke said it’s best to wait until mid-April before planting anything in the garden.
“If it was up to me I would wait,” she said. “The weather is still too unpredictable and there’s still a chance of cold weather killing plants.”
The best option for those anxious to get out in the garden is to prepare and plan, Dalke said.
“What you can do is put organic matter, like manure, down to enrich the soil and if you have access to black plastic you can put that down too,” she said. “The black plastic will heat up the soil quicker and kill any weed seeds that might have gotten into the soil over winter.”
Mid-March is the time to plant vegetables that can tolerate colder weather, like carrots, potatoes, spinach, peas, and broccoli, she said.
“April 17 is the average last frost day for our area,” she said. “It’s a good idea to wait to plant everything else until then. You can cover plants if you wish to plant earlier but that only makes a few degrees difference if it gets to 25 degrees at night you’re still going to be replanting so don’t get too anxious.”
It’s also a good idea to take this time to plan the layout and what to plant in the garden.
A Kansas gardeners’ guide to vegetable growing is available at extension offices. Dalke said it is a great resource for gardeners with questions about when and how to plant certain things.
Dalke is doing her own preparations to Serenity Gardens to prepare it for spring. She is installing a heated concrete floor in the small green house.
“I start all my seeds on heating pads,” she said. “I keep them around 70 degrees to allow them to germinate. This will save me heating pads and the high energy bills they rack up.”
She hopes to be able to move plants into the newly renovated greenhouse and out of a the stuffed large green house by next week.
Dalke will be talking about gardening noon to 1 p.m. March 4 at Marion Library. Reservations are required. Call (620) 382-2442 by Friday to make a reservation.