Gardening ahead of the season’s schedule

Gregg Eyestone

By A Contributor

It appears that spring or summer is here to stay. Typically, April 15 is when we want to have crabgrass weed preventers applied to the lawn. Other indicators of time to apply are when forsythia and redbud have bloomed. Mine are blooming! There are several preventer product choices with even a good post emergent.

The vegetable gardening season may be early but there is plenty of time to plant. Later plantings often catch up with the early sowings. However, it is too early to plant tomatoes except for those you are starting from seed indoors.

In preparation of more vegetable gardening, I’m holding a meeting in Pottorf Hall on Thursday, March 29. It will begin at 7 pm. Vegetable gardening in our area will be highlighted. Raised bed gardening, containers and making seed tape are some topics.

Using seed tape is my latest gardening technique. I have good intentions of thinning but it seldom gets done. My radishes, lettuce, carrots and spinach end up too thick. Seed tape can space the plants appropriately at planting. Commercial tape is available, although it usually needs thinned as well.

I make my own seed tape. Toilet tissue, glue, seed and measuring tape are the supplies. Roll out the length of tissue you need. For example, my raised beds are 54 inches wide. A dap of glue is spaced along the tissue as needed. My carrots are spaced 3 inches apart. I can put two rows of carrots on the roll of tissue. If you have confidence in seed germination, then each glue spot gets only one seed. No thinning required. Perhaps there will be empty spaces if the seed doesn’t germinate.

These seed tapes can be made on the kitchen table. They can be made well in advance of planting. I usually do it a day ahead of planting. Store seed tape in a cool and dry location if not planting right away.

The strip of tissue with the glued seeds is laid on the soil. Cover the seeds with soil or potting media. Water the row and it is ready to grow.

Let’s hope for a good season of gardening. It is already starting out interesting.

If you would like additional information on a horticulture topic, please contact Gregg Eyestone at the Riley County office of K-State Research and Extension. Gregg may be contacted at 537-6350 or by stopping by 110 Courthouse Plaza in Manhattan or e-mail: and at

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