Now that it appears that Spring has arrived in the St. Louis region, the thoughts of many residents are turning to gardening. Efforts thus far have been frustrating for many because of the varying temperatures and large amount of rain. Many have delayed their Spring planting, and those who haven’t may find that the few warm days caused vegetables to flower prematurely and that the cold temperatures at night have harmed them.
It may have been pushed out of the headlines this week, but the worst drought in 50 years is still spreading across the U.S. At least moderate levels of drought have now enveloped more than 64 percent of the country. That's bad news for farmers -- and for gardeners!
Americans spent $29 billion on their gardens last year, according to the National Gardening Association. And the drought is forcing many people to make some hard and expensive horticultural choices.
Our Adam Allington reports for Marketplace.
Each month Gateway Greening community gardeners gather at the Schlafly Tap Room for Pints 'n' Plants, where guest speakers share their gardening expertise. The latest was from Small Farm Specialist Miranda Duschack, of Lincoln University Cooperative Extension, who shared her knowledge about Integrated Pest Management.
March is the time to plant cold-season crops, such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, potatoes, and onions. You'll find onion "slips"--immature onion bulbs--available at your local nursery now, along with some basic brassicas to start for summer harvest. Next year try starting from seed to select more unusual varieties. Venture out into what may be new territory by trying broccoli rab, kohlrabi, and bok choy.
To complement our weekend programming, in this new bi-weekly column I'll write about the trials and tribulations of my own gardening and that of others, including community gardeners as they work to establish a new space to grow. I hope you get inspired to dig in the dirt yourself. With temperatures on the rise, now is the time to start seeds indoors and get ready to experience the superior flavor of vegetables you can grow at home in your own back yard. Here's one way to get started.