Spring is finally here, and while we all are social distancing and home schooling, it’s a great time to put seeds in the ground for a bounty of organic spring greens, radishes, peas and carrots.
Whether you’re a seasoned gardener, or thinking about starting your first lettuce bed, we have lots of resources to get you planting. In early spring in the Midwest, you can plan arugula, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, collards, kale, lettuce, radishes, snap peas, spinach and more.
Need a tutorial to start planting?
Here are a few online resources for the beginning gardeners:
- Get help in creating a Planting Plan from Kansas City Community Gardens (KCCG).
- Find a planting calendar, learn about soil testing, compost and building raised beds from KCCG Garden Guide Sheets.
- Check out KCCG Vegetable Info Sheets to learn best planting and harvesting times and recipes for your favorite greens, herbs and vegetables.
Where can I get seeds or seedlings?
If possible, get your seeds and early seedlings from a local or organic source. Here are a few option:
- Kansas City Community Gardens is taking online orders. Select from a variety of organic fruits, veggies, herbs and flowers from Beanstalk Seeds and support community gardening.
- Soil Service has a wide selection of organic seeds, plant starts and native plants. They are offering curbside pickup and ask that during this time customers email firstname.lastname@example.org with a list of items you would like and include your phone number. For more information, visit Soil Service. They are located at 7125 Troost Ave., Kansas City, MO.
- Planters Seed Feed & Spices in the City Market area has been around since 1924 and offers bulk and packet seeds. Ask about the varieties that do best in our climate and soil. They are located at 513 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO. See more at Planters.
- Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, IA has a huge selection of certified organic seeds that you can order online at Seed Savers Exchange.
- Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds in Mansfield, MO specializes in heirloom seed varieties. You can order online at Baker Creek.
Can I plant seeds leftover from last year?
If you don’t want to order seeds online or risk going to a local store, you can plant some seeds leftover from last year. According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, most seeds will last a couple of years if they’ve been stored in a cool, dry space. Tomato, cucumber and melon seeds can last five years or more.
To test the seeds before you plant, place 10 seeds on a damp paper towel. Fold it up and place it in a plastic bag. Put the bag in a warm spot and check it in a week or so to see if any seeds sprouted. If 8 out of 10 seeds germinates, that’s an 80-percent germination rate and shows your seeds are worth planting. Or you can skip the test, and just plant your seeds in the ground. You may be pleasantly surprised.
Don’t have a place to garden?
In the Kansas City metro area, you can find a community garden near you at Kansas City Community Gardens (KCCG). Or you can rent a 20’ x 25’ ground plot or 4’x12’ raised bed for $8 to $25 at locations sponsored by KCCG. Rental plots are located at:
- Eastwood Hills Community Garden, 8100 Ozark Road, Kansas City, MO
- Freeway Park Community Garden, 1402 Indiana, Kansas City, MO
- Ivanhoe/Richardson Community Garden, 3515 Park, Kansas City, MO
- Kauffman Legacy Park Community Garden and Orchard, 4750 Troost Ave., Kansas City, MO
- Northrup Park Community Garden, 10th and Grandview Blvd., Kansas City, KS
- Prospect Community Garden, 5008 Prospect, Kansas City, MO
- Research Medical Center Community Garden, 2316 E. Meyer, Kansas City, MO
- Swope Park Community Garden, 6917 Kensington, Kansas City, MO
- Jersey Creek Community Garden, 11th St. and Parallel Parkway, Kansas City, KS
Let us know what you’re planning for your garden or any suggestions in the Comment section below. Once your seeds start germinating, show us your garden on Instagram with #greenabilitymag and Facebook with #greenabilitymagazine.