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
Growing Growers ICT - An innovative farmer education program that provides new and experienced fruit and vegetable growers with fresh energy and new ideas.
2021 Virtual Direct to Consumer/Farmers Market Conference - February 16-19, 2021. If you can't access it online, contact us about watching the recordings.
Kansas School Garden Guide - a guide to help teachers, administrators, and volunteers get the most out of their school garden.
Victory Garden 101, a series of free, online classes for Kansas gardeners. These were initially offered in April and May of 2020, but the videos and class resources are still available online by clicking the link above.
Design & Grow Gardening Workshop - Offered early in the year, this workshop covers a wide variety of fruit and vegetable gardening topics.
Two Design & Grow workshops were held virtually in 2021 - one on March 6th ("Food for All") and one on March 27th ("Beauty for All").
Library Gardening Classes - These classes are typically held in the Spring and Fall as a joint project with the Wichita Public Library, and feature speakers from our Master Gardener volunteer program.
Central Kansas Market Vegetable Growers Workshop & Regional Farmers Market Vendor Workshop - 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 and include growing methods, sales and marketing techniques, season extension, business management, and other related topics.
By Request - A wide variety of vegetable gardening topics are available to groups on request.
To learn about these programs and more, sign up for our email newsletter.
On Our Grounds
The Demonstration Garden on the west side of our building (shown above) 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! Click the link for the most recent post.
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.
When do I plant garlic?
Garlic should be planted in October, the same time that you would plant flower bulbs. Publication for more information: Growing Garlic.