Fruits, Vegetables, and Nuts
With two cool growing seasons and one long warm growing season, we can grow a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and nuts in Sedgwick County. However, the weather can also be a challenge for us, whether it is a late spring frost or a hot, dry summer.
Programs We Offer
The Online Tomato Growing Crash Course is open for registrations here. You will receive the links to the class recordings after you register. Additional course materials:
- Growing Tomatoes (PDF)
- Tomato Containers, Caging & Staking (PDF)
- Tomato Containers, Caging & Staking Notes Page (PDF)
- Tomato Pests & Diseases (PDF)
- Recommended Tomato Varieties 2016 (PDF)
The Grow Good Food Gardening Classes are offered on a variable schedule.
A wide variety of vegetable gardening topics are available to groups on request.
The Advanced Food Gardening Series is offered every few years.
The Central Kansas Market Vegetable Growers Workshop is held on a Saturday in early February each year. This workshop features speakers from successful fruit or vegetable operations and K-State specialists. Sessions vary each year and include growing methods, sales and marketing techniques, season extension, business management, and other related topics. Cost is $20. Pre-registration is preferred.
Twilight meetings and tours will be held at the John C. Pair Horticulture Research Center in Haysville every 2-3 years to showcase ongoing research projects and share results with local producers.
On Our Grounds
The Demonstration Garden on the west side of our building is home to a variety of vegetables, herbs, and some fruit. Our raised beds are made from a variety of materials. We also have an accessible gardening area that demonstrates techniques and garden bed options. The garden is also home to our composting area. Stop by any time to learn about what we are growing and our techniques.
The Demo Garden Blog
The Demo Garden Blog follows the work that our Master Gardeners do in our Demonstration Garden growing vegetables and herbs. You can enjoy a virtual visit when you cannot make it here for a live visit! The most recent post is below.
When is the last chance of frost in the spring? When is the first chance of frost in the fall?
Generally, there is a minimal chance of frost about May 1st, and the soil is usually warm enough at that time to successfully plant tomatoes, peppers, and other warm season vegetables. There is about a 50% chance of frost on April 17th. Many years our last frost is earlier than that, but there is always a chance it is later.
Our average first frost in the fall is around October 20th, although in some years a first frost might be in early October and in other years not until November or December.
What site characteristics do I need to consider before starting a new vegetable garden or planting a fruit tree?
Almost all fruits and vegetables prefer well-drained soils with a slightly acidic pH and good organic matter. For best production, most fruits and vegetables need a full sun location, ideally a minimum of 6 or 8 hours of sun. You should observe a potential garden site to assess if water stands in the spot and how much sun it gets before planting. A soil test will tell you if you need to adjust the soil pH or add nutrients before you start gardening.