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Online program features horticulture experts from across state

Special to the Globe

Matthew McKernan thinks he has just the remedy for gardeners to combat the effects of the recent winter blast across Kansas and the Midwest.

“After a couple of long, cold, snowy weeks, what better way to get excited for spring than planning your vegetable garden?” said McKernan, a horticulture agent with K-State Research and Extension’s office in Sedgwick County.

McKernan and an army of horticulture agents and specialists across the state are getting ready to restart a popular gardening series that debuted to thousands of online viewers during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

“The goal of the K-State Garden Hour in 2020 was to be able to continue to encourage and educate gardeners of all skill levels so that they could be successful gardening in their own yards,” McKernan said. “In 2021, that goal is the same. We want all gardeners, with all levels of experience, to know K-State Research and Extension is there to support them to be successful in their gardens.”

Last year, the K-State Garden Hour featured 21 webinars with more than 8,560 participants, according to McKernan, adding that “82% of our participants said they planned to make changes in their garden as a result of what they learned in the webinar series.”

“Whether you are growing one plant or one acre of plants, there is something new in every K-State Garden Hour to learn,” he said. “Gardening in Kansas is not easy. Between the scorching heat, bitter cold, drought, strong winds and insect or disease problems, there are many challenges for Kansas gardeners. Each K-State Garden Hour shares tips and tricks on how to avoid many of these common problems.”

Organizers also have set the schedule for the summer (May 5 through June 16), fall (Aug. 4 through Sept. 15) and winter (Oct. 6 through Nov. 3) series. The programs planned and a description of each is available online.

Recordings of last year’s and this year’s sessions also are available.