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Archive for Friday, April 11, 2014

Patience needed for Lawrence early spring gardening

April 11, 2014

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As new grass sprouts from the ground and leaves begin to return to trees, gardeners should try to exercise a little patience when it comes to their own yards.

While the average last freeze date in Lawrence usually falls around April 11 to April 20, the Douglas County Kansas State Research and Extension office advises caution when it comes to choosing which crops to plant.

“We’re just on the verge of things really, really growing,” said Stan Ring, horticulture program assistant. “April 15 is the day we recommend that the danger of frost is past.”

Cole crops (think lettuce, cabbage, chard and other leafy greens) can be planted now; potatoes and onions are safe choices, too.

Ring said it’s best to hold off on tomatoes, peppers, squash and most other veggies until after the last freeze date.

“The seeds will generally not generate until the ground gets 50 degrees or above, with the exception of the cole crops,” he said.

Most flowers (aside from pansies and snapdragons) should wait until May, Ring said.

In the meantime, it’s important to prepare your garden for the upcoming growing season.

“The best thing you can do is work in some organic material — good compost or potting mix — over the top inch of soil,” Ring said.

For more spring gardening tips, call the Douglas County Extension’s horticulture hotline at 843-7058.

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