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K-State Research and Extension News


Plantorama is a weekly five-minute interview with horticultural specialists at Kansas State University, covering timely topics in: home lawn care; vegetable, fruit and flower gardening; landscape design and ornamental plant care;  indoor plant care; and horticultural pest control.

Send comments, questions or requests for copies of past programs to ksrenews@ksu.edu.

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FALL LAWN MANAGEMENT– Mid-October is a perfect time to carry out a handful of cool-season lawn maintenance steps, whether it’s newly-seeded grass or an established lawn. K-State turfgrass specialist Jared Hoyle covers the things homeowners can do now to help their lawns go into the winter in a healthy state, setting them up for a good start in the spring….including fertilization and broadleaf weed control.

Hoyle 10-13

PLANTING SPRING BULBSThe time is here for homeowners to spice up their landscapes with spring-flowering bulb plantings.  These can provide a cascade of color during the spring and early summer, and at times, beyond, if one makes good bulb selections. Riley County Research and Extension horticulture agent Gregg Eyestone talks about shopping for bulbs and establishing them in the landscape setting in the fall.

Eyestone 10-06
09-29-17FALL TREE PLANTINGThese cooler, calmer fall days are simply ideal for enhancing one’s home landscape by planting ornamental trees.  And a K-State ornamental horticulturist strongly encourages people to have a look around their neighborhoods to generate ideas on tree selection for their place. Jason Griffin explains how fall planting gives trees a jump start on growth next spring and summer, and advises folks to do some research before heading to the nursery.Griffin 09-29 

OAK MITE SHORTAGE?Although summer has transitioned into fall, several insects remain at work in home lawns and landscapes. One notable exception is the oak leaf itch mite. K-State horticultural entomologist Raymond Cloyd addresses that good news, and talks about several pests to be aware of.

Cloyd 09-22
09-15-17OVERSEEDING THE LAWN– Homeowners who have thin spots in their cool-season lawns can thicken those up by over-seeding here in the fall. To succeed with that, however, certain guidelines and procedures need to be followed. K-State horticulturist Ward Upham covers those…from soil preparation to post-seeding watering schedules.Upham 09-15 
09-08-17LANDSCAPE PLANT WATERING – It may be subtle, but a number of landscape trees and shrubs are enduring moisture stress. In order for those plants to have sufficient water going into the normally dry fall and winter, K-State horticulturist Ward Upham says homeowners need to address the problem now.Upham 09-08
09-01-17LATE SUMMER INSECTS– The recent cool overnight temperatures have done nothing to slow down an assortment of insects that are infiltrating home gardens and landscapes. Fortunately, most of these are of minor concern. However, K-State horticultural entomologist Raymond Cloyd says a few are worthy of some attention.  Cloyd 09-01
08-25-17PLANTING FALL VEGETABLES– Fall weather conditions tend to be less extreme and more consistent. Johnson County Extension horticulture agent Dennis Patton says this makes for a great environment for raising cool-season vegetable crops.Patton 08-25
08-18-17LAWN OVERSEEDING PREP – September is the optimum time for overseeding cool-season lawns.  K-State turfgrass specialist Jared Hoyle says there are a handful of preparatory steps homeowners can take now to make the overseeding project much smoother. Hoyle 08-18 
08-11-17DETERMINING APPLE RIPENESS– Home apple growers are anxiously awaiting that first new fruit of the season. It's important to know how to accurately determine apple ripeness, and according to Riley County Extension horticultural agent Gregg Eyestone, there are several signals growers can use. Eyestone 08-11
08-04-17IRIS DIVIDING TECHNIQUE– As part of routine management, iris plants should be divided every few years…and right now is the time to do it, according to K-State horticulturist Ward Upham. He emphasizes that gardeners should pay attention to the health of the plants they’re dividing and re-planting.Upham 08-04
07-28-17TIMELY GARDEN HARVEST– K-State vegetable and fruit production specialist Cary Rivard (rih-VARD) offers a handful of guidelines for timely picking of tomatoes, cucumbers, melons and other garden crops.Rivard 07-28
07-21-17ORNAMENTAL FLOWER TRIALSEvery year, K-State conducts evaluation trials on several hundred ornamental flower cultivars. K-State ornamental horticulturist Cheryl Boyer talks about what’s new in ornamental flower selection.Boyer 07-21
07-14-17VEGETABLE HEAT STRESS– K-State horticulturist Ward Upham talks about the interruption in tomato and bean output that could result from the extreme heat, and what gardeners should do in response.Upham 07-14
07-07-17TICKS AND BEETLES– K-State horticultural entomologist Raymond Cloyd discusses how to deal with two pests that are active in home landscapes right now: ticks and Japanese beetles. Cloyd-07-07
06-30-17CURRENT LAWN ILLS– K-State turfgrass specialist Jared Hoyle discusses the best methods of contending with yellow nutsedge and brown patch disease.Hoyle 06-30 
06-23-17BAGWORMS AND SQUASH BUGS– K-State horticultural entomologist Raymond Cloyd urges homeowners to take action against bagworms on landscape evergreens and squash bugs in the garden. Cloyd 06-23
06-16-17VEGETABLE STORM DAMAGE– K-State vegetable production specialist Cary Rivard says following a few basic management steps can usually put weather-damaged vegetables back on the road to productivity.Rivard 06-16
06-09-17RENOVATING STRAWBERRY BEDS– K-State horticulturist Ward Upham outlines the recommended renovation steps, and the follow-up strawberry bed maintenance growers should conduct now that the garden harvest is over for most growers.Upham 06-09
06-02-17OVERLY WET SOILS K-State horticulturist Ward Upham says overly saturated soil from persistent rainfall has resulted in some potential concerns that might need to be addressed.Upham 06-02