As March 17 rolls around, here in northeast Kansas, people are getting excited about planting in their gardens and landscape. While the weather may be a little cold yet for planting flowers out, it is an excellent time to put in those early season vegetables. By now, your garden has been prepared for spring planting by fall tillage and the addition of aged manure and chopped leaves. Early spring is a great time to plant a variety of cool-season crops.
Potatoes should be planted no sooner than March 17th in most of the northern half of Kansas and southeast Nebraska. Potatoes should be planted in hills or rows, 16 in apart, spacing the cut seed potatoes 12 to 16 in apart. To prepare potatoes for planting, cut them so that there are at least 2 good “eyes” on each piece. They let them sit for a day or two to let the cuts heal. Try to plant with the cut sides down for best germination. Once the potatoes are up, there may be a chance for late frost damage, so mulch with straw or hay.
This is also a great time to plant onions. Onions are best planted from plants, not seeds or sets. Usually, sets are onions that have grown for one season already, and many of them will go to seed quickly without putting in growth into the bulb. Onions should be spaced 6 to 8 inches apart, in double or triple rows or on long hills. When planting try to only plant the roots (“hairs”) in the ground. If you put soil around the bulbs, you will have to remove it later to let the bulb get bigger above the soil level. Also, if the bulbs are in the soil, they are prone to rot.
Salad greens can be planted now into the garden. Lettuce, spinach, kale, mixed greens, radishes, peas, beets, carrots, and kohlrabi can all be direct seeded into the garden now. Also, plant cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli plants into the garden and mulch well.
Come out to Grimm’s Gardens to see our selection of seeds, potatoes, and onion plants!