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Harvey County

Scott Eckert
Scott Eckert

Horticulture Extension Agent

Your front door to the resources of Kansas State University. Information on trees, turf, shrubs, insects, gardens, and other related topics are available through our office. Services available are insect identification, plant identification, and soil tests with fertilizer recommendations.

April Snow-Showers Bring...

Well everything that flowers in the spring in Kansas has done just that and with looming cold temperatures this week, anxious gardeners are worried about their fruit trees and newly planted gardens. Buds of fruit trees vary in hardiness according to their developmental stages, but most fruit trees have flowered and set their fruit, and in general, should be safe from a light frost. According to research, approximately 10 percent of fruit will be killed at 28 F at this stage.

Cool-season vegetable crops such as peas, lettuce, spinach, beets, carrots, onions, cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage are considered cold hardy and can withstand freezing temperatures with no notable damage. However, warm-season vegetables such as peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, melons and squash can be damaged if the temperature drops to 33 F.

Consider these tips to help protect your plants as temperatures drop.

* Cover plants at night. Covers vary in their insulation characteristics, but they can generally add 3 to 5 degrees to the ambient air temperature, helping to protect plants against freezing temperatures. They can be used on nights where temperatures drop as low as 28 F. 

* Choose your cover. Frost blankets or cloth row covers work well.  Other options are plastic coverings or tarps. 

* Be sure your plant covers are weighted to the ground with bricks or stones or they are anchored to the soil to protect them from blowing in the wind. Also check to make sure there are no openings where heat can escape.

* Keep plant leaves from coming in direct contact with plastic, as this can cause the leaves to freeze.

* Remember to take the covers off plants during the daytime to prevent them from overheating.

Youth Veggie Garden Project

The Youth Veggie Garden Project is a free program for all youth in Harvey County who have completed kindergarten through 5th grade. Each youth participant receives several free plants and seeds to grow throughout the summer. After growing these plants, participants have the option of entering plants in the Harvey County Fair for display.  Register for your supply prior to pick up.

Gardening with kids is a great family bonding experience that can teach life skills, too. After learning to care for their garden throughout the summer, your child will feel great pride in their fair entries.

Plant Pick Up:April 30th, 2021: 4:00-6:00pm
Harvey County Fairgrounds,
1st & Grandview, Newton, KS

Winter/Spring Newsletter

New for 2021, our newsletters covers winter pruning, spring lettuce and a year-long calendar for cool-season grasses, plus much more.  Enjoy your planning and planting season!

Winter/Spring Horiculturist

K-State Garen Hour, Spring Series

Popular online program features horticulture experts from across state 

The K-State Garden Hour will kick off its spring online series on Feb. 17 with ‘Planning Your Vegetable Garden.’ The program will be held from noon to 1 p.m. (CST). 

A one-time registration gives viewers free access to all of the spring’s sessions, which include: 

  • March 3 – Best Plants for a Beginner’s Landscape. 
  • March 17 – Pruning Like a Pro: Tips for Trees and Shrubs. 
  • April 7 – Raised Bed and Container Gardening. 
  • April 21 – Gardening in the Shade. 

Helpful Links

What should I grow in my area?

Prairie Star Flowers

Prairie Bloom Flowers

Preferred Trees of South Central Kansas

Care Calendar for Tall Fescue Lawns

Pesticide Applicator Licensing

Kansas Forest Service