Gardening expert offers practical tips

March 25, 2010 by

David Coltrain has only been on his job as an agent with the River Valley Extension District for seven weeks. But he is a veteran horticultural extension agent and commercial vegetable farmer, and that experience showed Wednesday evening as he gave a talk titled “How Does Your Garden Grow.”

The session was hosted by the Sisters of St. Joseph at the Nazareth Motherhouse, and was sponsored by the Concordia Community Garden of Hope Committee.

Coltrain, who said he was “just learning my way around” the four counties that made up th River Valley District, most recently worked in the K-State Research and Extension Service office in La Crosse, Kan., south of Hays. Before that he worked in the Manhattan extension office for five years, and before that was farmed in southeast Kansas.

In addition to his presentation and the handouts he had available on a variety of gardening issues, he encouraged those attending to visit the River Valley District website for information or with questions. That site is www.rivervalley.ksu.edu

Once on that site, interested gardeners may also signup for a monthly email newsletter that includes a gardening calendar and tips for a variety of crops.

Coltrain’s presentation covered basic gardening know-how, including soil temperature, water requirements, planting and transplanting, insects and plant diseases and pruning, as well as specific vegetable crops and the needs of each.

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