Planning your Garden

Have you been itching to plant your own garden, but you aren’t quite sure where to start? Here are a few tips to keep in mind when planning your garden for the upcoming growing season!

  • LOCATION: When selecting a location for your garden, try to stay away from an area that will interfere with your home landscaping. An ideal location will be sunny, level, close to a water source, and away from large trees so the plants don’t have to compete for nutrients with the large roots.
  • SOIL: Vegetables grow best in well-drained, fertile soil. However, most home gardens do not have the proper soil composition. Compost or manure spread over the garden and worked in will not only improve soil fertility but also soil tilth. If you are in need of compost from a local source, check with the Riley County Transfer Station at 785-565-6290.
  • SELECTING WHAT TO GROW: A wide variety of different vegetables can be grown in Kansas. Space available and individual preferences play an important role in deciding what to grow. Select things you enjoy and maybe experiment with a few new and unfamiliar vegetables!
  • OPTIMIZING GARDEN SPACE: Most home gardens have too much produce maturing at the same time. If you are planning to preserve the produce this is great! If not, try planting a few seeds of the same variety every 4-5 days instead of all at once. This will provide a steady supply of produce over a longer period of time. Also try using the same place for early and late season crops. Once you harvest the early season crops, plant some late season crops to really utilize your garden area.

  • MAKE A SKETCH: Once you have decided what vegetables you want to plant, draw and label a model of your garden. This will help you remember what plants are where, different varieties used, and special notes for the gardening season. Keep this copy from year to year to note things you liked, things you need to change, and tips for your next garden.
  • OBTAINING SEEDS AND PLANTS: When choosing varieties for the home garden, consider factors such as disease resistance, yield, maturity date, size, shape, color, and flavor. There are always new varieties being tested and developed, so keep the following sources in mind when choosing your varieties:
    • Ask your local K-State Research and Extension Agent, Gregg Eyestone! His phone number is 785-537-6350.
    • Use varieties that have performed well in the past.
    • Check with your local seed store or garden center for advice on what to plant.

Check out these resources for further information regarding this topic!

Gregg Eyestone is the Horticulture Agent for Riley County K-State Research and Extension

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