Gardening workshop heralds spring season ahead

Gardening workshop heralds spring season ahead

There may still be a nip in the air, but many in the area are looking ahead to sunny days, soil under their nails, and the taste of fresh produce in the not-too-distant future. On Saturday, March 4, more than 40 eager gardeners met at the York Fairgrounds to attend the Project GROW Gardening Workshop hosted by Nebraska Extension, the Upper Big Blue Natural Resources District, and York State Bank.

Expert horticulturalist Sarah Browning covered a vast amount of information at the event including watering methods, soil health, pest management, and selection of the best vegetable varieties. Browning has worked as an educator with Nebraska Extension since 1998.  Her areas of focus are environmental horticulture, fruit and vegetable production, and food safety. Working with the public and commercial green industry professionals, her major program goals include conserving water, protecting water quality, promoting local food production, and protecting human health.

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Growers of all ages and skill levels attended the event. 

The workshop was attended by people of all ages and skill levels, including master gardeners and those who are just starting out. Attendees asked a variety of gardening questions, from how to get the most out of raised beds made from stock tanks, to why you might add coffee grounds and eggshells to your soil, to how to get blueberries to grow in Nebraska. (Hint: blueberries require a much more acidic soil than is the norm in this part of the country and require a lot of specialized care to coax them to produce in Nebraska gardens. Browning recommends planting serviceberry instead, which grows great here and has a similar flavor profile.)

For those that missed the event, Browning’s materials from the workshop are available on the Upper Big Blue Natural Resources District website. Information about the Project GROW community garden in York is also available on the website. Plots for the 2023 garden season can be reserved now and will be ready for spring planting in a few weeks.  Visit for full details.

Mark your calendars for next year when Sarah Browning will be back to present an additional workshop. Tentatively scheduled for Saturday, March 2, 2024, Browning plans to offer a class on tree care and fruit tree basics.