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Douglas County

K-State Research and Extension Douglas County 
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Lawrence KS 66046

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K-State Gardening Calendar

by Sharon Ashworth, Douglas Co. Horticulture and Natural Resources Agent

Daylight Savings Time begins on March 13th which means we'll have that extra bit of daylight in the afternoons to get our yards and gardens ready for the growing season. Not sure what to do with that extra hour on Sunday, March 13th? Choose from among the many gardening activities listed on the Kansas Healthy Yards gardening calendar. The gardening calendar is a handy month-to-month to-do list for vegetable and fruit gardening, flower gardening, lawn care, tree and shrub care, and miscellaneous tasks.

garden tools taking temperature as well as garden show room image.Some key tasks from the calendar:

  • Vegetables and Fruits: finish pruning fruit trees, grapes, raspberries, and blackberries; plant asparagus, rhubarb, and strawberries.
  • Flowers: plant cool temperature tolerant annuals like pansies and snapdragons; plant new roses; fertilize spring-flowering bulbs.
  • Lawns: apply crabgrass preventer in late March through mid-April; seed thin areas of tall fescue lawns.
  • Trees and shrubs: wait to prune spring-flowering shrubs until after they bloom; plant new trees.

Also, now is a good time to get a soil thermometer if you don't have one. Before you get carried away on a warm, sunny March day check that soil thermometer before you plant. Peas can go in when the soil temperature is 40oF, but lettuce, parsnips, radishes, and spinach prefer 45oF. Wait until the soil is at least 55oF for tomatoes, and 60oF for peppers, melons, and cucumbers. The Alabama Cooperative Extension System has a handy soil temperature chart for vegetable seed germination. 

If you just can't get around to purchasing a soil thermometer, check out the soil temperatures tracked by the Kansas Mesonet, a collection of K-State Research and Extension weather stations established across Kansas beginning in 1986.

Happy Spring!