Growing Better: K-State Garden Hour charges into summer series



Program continues to attract thousands to online gardening help

MANHATTAN, Kan. – A popular, lunch-hour gardening program that debuted in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to grow in popularity.

The K-State Garden Hour will kick off its summer online series on May 5 with ‘Herbs: From Seed to Seasoning.’ The program will be held from noon to 1 p.m. (CST).

A one-time registration gives viewers free access to all of the summer’s sessions, which also include:

• May 19 – Xeriscaping: Beautiful Landscapes with Less Water.
• June 2 – Effective Irrigation.
• June 16 – Native Plants to Support Native Bees.

Matthew McKernan, a K-State Research and Extension horticulture agent in Sedgwick County, said the viewers tuned in by the thousands for the spring series, which ended on April 21. He said that more than 3,000 people registered for at least one of the sessions, including a high of 955 for the April 7 presentation on raised bed and container gardening.

“These participants represented at least 36 states, though 90% of the participants are from Kansas, and we had six international participants,” McKernan said. “We hope to continue to grow our participation and expand our outreach as more people become aware of the free gardening webinars we are offering.”

In 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, McKernan said the K-State Garden Hour featured 21 webinars with more than 8,560 participants. So far in 2021, more than 6,000 people have participated in either the live webinars or the recordings.

“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 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.

FOR PRINT PUBLICATIONS: Links used in this story
K-State Garden Hour,

Registration, K-State Garden Hour,

K State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county extension offices, experiment fields, area extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K State campus in Manhattan. For more information, visit K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Story by:
Pat Melgares
[email protected]

For more information:
Matthew McKernan
[email protected]


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