Purdue Extension offers advice to gardeners looking to grow vegetables this spring

Home gardeners seeking advice on growing plants and vegetables can find assistance from Purdue Extension.

The spring of 2013 is certainly different from the previous year.

Folks are now at least beginning to plan their gardening activities with warmer April weather.

In Huntington County, both Purdue Extension staff and volunteers are providing gardening education to the public.

Master Gardener volunteers from Huntington County are hosting workshops on gardening topics. Public sessions in 2013 have included growing herbs and landscaping properties.

The next workshop will be held on Thursday, June 6, at Heritage Hall in Hier's Park at 7 p.m.

The topic of hybridizing will be presented by local Master Gardener volunteers.

Huntington County Master Gardeners will also have their annual Spring Plant Sale on Saturday, May 18, at Hier's Park from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Gardeners are encouraged to ask questions about plants that are available for sale.

Master Gardeners will provide suggestions about how to properly care for plants as well as how a particular plant can be grown in a home landscape.

Demonstration gardens are planted and tended by Master Gardeners at the Forks of the Wabash Historic Park and the Salamonie Interpretive Center each year. Spending time in these gardens can be educational for youth and adults.

The experiences help people better understand and appreciate a wide variety of plants.

Many resources pertaining to gardening can be found online.  A website called "Vegetable Tips: Resources for Easy Gardening" is organized chronologically and walks visitors through the steps in growing vegetables. The site includes sections on "Getting Started," "Planning," "Planting" and "Growing." New gardeners can find information on tools to use, crops to grow and budgets for a vegetable garden.

The vegetable gardening website can be accessed at www.extension.purdue.edu/gardentips/vegetables/grow/.

Other Purdue Extension gardening publications can be viewed by accessing the Purdue Extension Educational Store site (mdc.itap.purdue.edu/dept.asp ) by clicking the "Horticulture" link.  Many of the available publications can be downloaded for free.

If you are having difficulty with finding information online on a gardening topic, send your question via email to emfarris@pur due.edu.

A very helpful publication is called "Indiana Vegetable Planting Calendar" (HO-186-W).

The dates and ranges for planting any type of vegetable can be found in this publication based on location in Indiana.

Ed Farris is the agriculture and natural resource educator with the Huntington County office of Purdue Extension.

He can be reached at 358-4826.