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Popular KSU Online Gardening Program Kicks Off Wednesday

Pat Melgares / KSU Research and ExtensionJanuary 2, 2022

A wildly popular online gardening series isn’t planning to slow down even as outdoor temperatures grow colder.

In fact, organizers of the K-State Garden Hour say the 2022 lineup is charging full speed ahead, starting with the first Wednesday in January – Vegetable Varieties for Bountiful Harvests.

“We are excited to offer a new round of webinars in 2022, based on the topics our participants requested most,” said Matthew McKernan, a K-State Research and Extension horticulture agent in Sedgwick County. “There’s no better time than the cold, winter months to be planning for next year’s garden. That’s why, whether you are wanting to grow more produce from next year’s garden, or redesign your landscape next year, our K-State Garden Hour webinars will kick off the new year in order to will get your garden started right in 2022.”

one-time registration gives viewers free access to all of the 2022 sessions, which include:

  • Jan. 5 – Vegetable Varieties for Bountiful Harvests.
  • Feb. 2 – Indoor Seed Starting.
  • March 2 – Landscape Design 101.
  • April 6 – Pollinator Plans for Continuous Food Sources.
  • May 4 – New and Improved Annual Flower Varieties.
  • June 1 – Organic Pest Management for Vegetable Gardens.
  • July 6 – Growing Culinary Mushrooms at Home.
  • Aug. 3 – Landscaping for Wildlife.
  • Sept. 7 – Recommended Trees for Kansas.
  • Oct. 5 – Improving Soil Health in the Landscape and Garden.
  • Nov. 2 – Wildlife Damage Prevention and Control in the Lawn and Garden.
  • Dec. 7 – Accessible Gardening for All.

Each program is held online from 12 noon to 1 p.m. (CST), including a 45 minute presentation and 10-15 minutes for viewer questions. A description of each program is available online.

McKernan said those who have registered for past webinars must register again for the 2022 series. As in past years, recordings of all webinars can be viewed online.

The K-State Garden Hour began in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic as a way for K-State Research and Extension horticulture experts to share research-based information to gardeners of all abilities and experience.

It has blossomed into a program that, in 2021, was watched by viewers in 39 states, five countries and four continents, according to McKernan. Between February and December, the program drew 16,326 viewers, including a single-session high of 1,034 live viewers for a workshop on container gardening.

McKernan said those who responded to a survey about the series indicated several positive outcomes, including:

  • 8 out of 10 participants reported increasing their physical and/or emotional health.
  • 74% of participants reported reduced levels of personal stress and increased quality of life by gardening.
  • 7 out of 10 participants reported spending more time gardening as a result of the webinars.
  • 87% of participants reported reducing pesticide use in pollinator areas in order to increase pollinator habitat.

“It’s incredible to see the impact and positive response from our K-State Garden Hour series audience,” McKernan said. “Our entire team has enjoyed hosting the webinar series, and we’re ecstatic to see both people’s confidence in gardening growing, as well as to see our participants’ having greater success in what they are growing.

“We hope that enthusiasm continues into 2022 and people continue to take advantage of all the benefits this series has to offer.” 

In addition to information online, interested persons can also contact their local K-State Research and Extension office for more details on the K-State Garden Hour.

Copyright © Meridian Media, 2022. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced without Meridian Media’s express consent.

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