FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Spring is here and that means people begin to grow plants and vegetables for the season.
April can often be a rainy and cool temperature month so gardeners have to know what things they are able to grow and which seeds they to wait to plant.
Ricky Kemery, gardening expert and educator in Fort Wayne, said with warmer weather on the way, many people go crazy and want to start working on their gardens right away.
“April is the best month to plant stuff. Everything from gardens, landscapes, shrubs, etc.,” Kemery said. “You have to be careful not to get out and work soil that’s too wet.”
Kemery used to be the horticulture educator for the Purdue University Extension office in Allen County.
He advises people not to work soil too early either being that you could ruin the structure of the soil by putting it into a garden bed. If someone picks up a piece of soil, squeezes it and water comes out, then the soil is too wet to work with and you will have to wait longer to work in your garden if there is a period with lots of rain.
The latest gardening trends he has seen is organic gardening, which is when someone plants seeds without using chemicals or fertilizers and sustainable gardening, which consists of reusing resources, not wasting anything and using more natural fertilizers.
“This has been a huge thing over the last couple years since the pandemic and I don’t see any end to it,” he said.
The early parts of spring are a good time to begin planting what he calls “cool season vegetables” which includes lettuce, spinach, kale and potatoes. These vegetables can withstand cooler temperatures while in the ground.
When it comes to things to not grow yet, he mentioned how many people are quick to want to plant tomatoes and that it’s not a good idea to plant them early.
“It’s best to wait until our area’s frost date is over which is May 10. What that means is that after that day, there is less than a 50% chance of getting frost or a freeze,” he said. “It’s always good to wait a little while to plant some of those warmer weather vegetables like eggplant and peppers.”
Sustainable gardening is something he highly recommends people do. It can help reduce waste and can benefit the environment as a whole. He’s a fan of growing plants in raise beds because you get into it whether its wet and are able to access it if you are elderly and have issues getting up and down.
“It’s easier to plant, harvest and weed and reduce your work and stress in your garden,” he said.