Growing Cool-Season Crops Indoors

While it’s too early to plant outdoor vegetable gardens, now is the perfect time to start growing cabbage, broccoli, lettuce, onions, radishes, peppers and early tomatoes indoors.

To prevent diseases associated with growing in a warm, humid environment, Johnson County Extension horticulture agent Dennis Patton suggests using a seed starting mix or high-quality potting soil.

In order to produce short, stocky transplants, starter plants need artificial light. Fluorescent shop lights, positioned within three-to-six inches of the plants, work best. However, Patton says they need to be kept on a majority of the time.

There are three phases or stages to starting seeds: germination, growth and hardening off. Patton says hardening off involves moving the plants outside to acclimate to real-world conditions over a seven-to-10 day period.

K-State Research and Extension has a number of publications and videos available online to help gardeners of all skill levels. To find out more, go to: www.ksre.ksu.edu or stop by any county or district Extension office.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids, and graduated from Valley Heights High School in May of 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications.After stops at KFRM and KCLY radio in Clay Center, he joined KNDY in 2002 as a board operator and play by play announcer. Derek is now responsible for the digital content of Dierking Communications, Inc. six radio stations.In 2005 Derek joined the staff of KCFX radio in Kansas City as a production coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, which airs on over 94 radio stations across 12 Midwest states and growing. In 2018 he became the Studio Coordinator at the Cumulus Kansas City broadcast center for Kansas City Chiefs Football.