If you were to stop into the TLC Nursery & Outdoor Living Garden Center this week, you’d see that we are all set up to help you get a start on your spring gardening. From muck boots to tools to seeds and starter kits, we’ve got everything you need for your vegetable or flower garden. If you get busy with your garden and find you are running short on time to do your spring time lawn maintenance, give us a call. We also offer full-service lawn maintenance including spring aeration, weed control, and fertilization.

Best Vegetables for Southeast Kansas

  • Southeast Kansas is in plant hardiness zone 6 so be sure to plant vegetables that are recommended for our zone.  Check on your seed packets to know for sure.

Timing for the Independence Area

  • The last average frost on Independence is between the last week of April and the first week of May. After the first week of May, it’s it is safe to transplant seedling to your outdoor garden or plant seeds outdoors without fear of them being killed by the last frost. Of course, you should check the weather forecast. You can very likely get away with planting many seedlings outside in the early range of this envelope. At the very most, you may have to cover them up on a particularly cold night.

Getting Started

  • Cold tolerant vegetables can be started outdoors at this time of year. This includes broccoli, cauliflower spinach, and kale. For more ideas, stop by our garden center and ask one of our staff members! They are experts!

While You Wait

  • We are all getting impatient to get started on our spring and summer gardening, but at this point in the year, most of the work is preparation work. You can spend some pleasant hours outdoors in your garden getting everything ready. You can do some spring clean up including cutting back any remaining dead foliage from last year, pruning trees and just sitting and enjoying the cool spring time air and sunshine.

It’s Time for Inside Seedlings!

  • You can start seedlings inside at this point. Vegetables you can start indoors include melons, cucumber, and squash. Vegetables that don’t transplant well, and therefore need to be planted directly outdoors include corn, lettuce, beets, carrots, beans, and peas.

Soil Preparation

  • While your seedlings are growing indoors and you are waiting for the last frost day to arrive, you can prepare the soil in your garden so that when you are ready to plant, the earth is ready to receive your plants. Some compost can be added to keep your soil rich in nutrients. Luckily, you are gardening in Kansas, which is known for it’s good soils. Silty loam is the general type of soil we have in this area. Have your soil tested and you’ll know exactly what you are dealing with you can augment it properly.

Watering Needs

  • Rainfall in the Independence area averages around six inches in May and June but falls to the three to four-inch rain during the summer months, before picking up slightly into the four-inch rain again in the autumn. This usually translates to the need to the need to water your garden regularly. Of course, you’ll need to know how much water your plants will need.
  • If you do the research in the beginning and group the high water need plants together, keeping in mind the companion tips as well, you can be sure to get all your plants the water you need without over watering others. While the low moisture levels do mean you will have to irrigate your garden, this also means that fungus and pests like slugs are not something we have to battle too much around here. If you use soaker hoses and now sprinklers, you are sure to have low fungus or mildew levels.


For help with any gardening issue, be sure to stop in at our garden center and call about lawn maintenance.