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.
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SELECTING SPRING-FLOWERING BULBS– Spring-flowering bulbs, such as tulips, daffodils and crocus, should be planted in early-to-late fall to give them enough time to root before winter. That means now is a good time to be selecting the bulbs you want. K-State Research and Extension horticulture agent for Riley County, Gregg Eyestone, discusses the selection process for bulbs and the benefits of conducting a soil test before planting later this fall.
FALL WEBWORM AND CICADA KILLERS– If you’re concerned about fall webworm infestations, this time of the year, feeding by fall webworm caterpillars is not directly harmful to trees, especially large trees. K-State horticultural entomologist, Raymond Cloyd, explains how to manage fall webworm, along with cicada killers and blister beetles.
REPLENISHING COOL-SEASON LAWNS– When heat and a lack of rainfall have thinned or heavily damaged a cool-season lawn, September is a good time to replenish it. K-State Research and Extension horticulture agent for Johnson County, Dennis Patton, explains the process for planting or overseeding cool-season lawns.
FALL LAWN SEEDING TIPS– September is considered the best time to seed cool-season lawns in Kansas, such as tall fescue or Kentucky bluegrass. K-State horticulturist Ward Upham says success is dependent on fertilization, proper rates, dispersal, good seed contact and proper watering. He discusses each step in the seeding process.
SEVERAL ACTIVE INSECT PESTS– There are several active insect pests in the home landscape and garden. According to K-State horticultural entomologist Raymond Cloyd, squash bugs, blister beetles, cucumber beetles and squash vine borer are all currently active. He explains what can be done to control these pests.
STARTING A COMPOST PILE– Composting is a process that occurs naturally as organic materials breakdown in the landscape. Kansas State University horticulture and garden management instructor, Cynthia Domenghini, says using compost in the landscape provides plenty of benefits for the soil, including improved water holding capacity, drainage and added nutrients.
DIVIDING AND REPLANTING IRIS– As a general rule, iris should be divided about every three to five years to keep the plants from outgrowing their allotted space in the garden and to increase bloom quality. Bearded iris can be divided any time after flowering. In the Midwest, this is often done in August to allow the replanted portions of the plant to have time to develop new roots and become established before colder weather arrives. K-State Research and Extension horticulture agent for Riley County, Gregg Eyestone, explains the process for dividing and replanting iris.
PRIORITIZING LANDSCAPE WATERING– In light of extreme drought across Kansas, homeowners, especially those under watering restrictions, are having to prioritize where that water goes. While many people want to save their lawns, K-State horticulturist Ward Upham says that’s not as high of a priority as other parts of the landscape that would be expensive to replace, such as large, established trees.
INTEGRATING NATIVE PLANTS– For a variety of reasons, native plants are becoming more popular in the home landscape. For the August K-State Garden Hour, Douglas County Horticulture and Natural Resources Extension agent, Dr. Sharon Ashworth, is discussing the ecological benefits of native plants and how to successfully integrate them into the home landscape. She provides an overview of the things she’ll cover during the August 2nd webinar.
INSECT PEST ACTIVITY PICKS UP– As we get deeper into summer, the insect pest activity across the state is picking up. K-State horticultural entomologist, Raymond Cloyd, says bagworms, Japanese beetles, squash bugs, blister beetles and two-spotted spider mites are all currently active. He covers what, if anything, should be done to control these pests.
ARE TOMATOES FEELING THE HEAT?– Tomato growers may be noticing that their otherwise healthy tomato plants are failing to produce fruit. K-State Research and Extension horticulture agent for Riley County, Gregg Eyestone, says tomatoes have an optimal temperature to fruit and when daytime temperatures reach above 85 degrees Fahrenheit it interferes with pollination and can cause plants to abort flowers.
INSECT PESTS AND DISEASE– K-State horticultural entomologist, Raymond Cloyd, and Judy O’Mara, director of the K-State Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab, presented the July Garden Hour on common Kansas insect pests and diseases. O’Mara discussed the impact weather has on disease issues for trees, shrubs and plants, as well as how to identify and manage insect pests and fungal diseases in the home landscape.
BERMUDAGRASS IN TALL FESCUE– If bermudagrass, a warm-season grass, invades tall fescue, a cool-season grass, the bermudagrass will spread and take over. Mid-July is a good time to start controlling bermudagrass in tall fescue lawns. However, the procedure takes about eight weeks to complete and includes spraying with Roundup or another product with glyphosate, scalping the treated area, spraying again with a glyphosate product and reseeding the treated area. K-State horticulturist Ward Upham explains.
SUBSTRATE STRATIFICATION RESEARCH– As container gardening continues to increase in popularity, new research is focusing on reducing water use, especially in larger containers. Kansas State University nursery crop and marketing specialist, Cheryl Boyer, says a study using substrate stratification – layering different substrates or different textures of the same substrate within a single container – is producing some promising results.
SEVERAL ACTIVE INSECT PESTS– Early detection and treatment is the key to successfully controlling insect pests. K-State horticultural entomologist Raymond Cloyd says now is the time to control bagworms and that rose sawfly, elm leaf beetle and elm flea weevil are all currently active.
SELECTING THE RIGHT POTTING MEDIA– A quick trip to the local garden center looking for potting media for containers, flower beds or a raised vegetable garden may take longer than you imagined. That’s because there are a lot of options and if you don’t know what you’re looking for the labels can be confusing. K-State Research and Extension nursery crop and marketing specialist, Cheryl Boyer, says there are a few easy steps for screening the available choices down to one that works best for your needs.
DROUGHT TOLERANT LANDSCAPES– To conserve water and money, many people are looking to develop a more drought tolerant landscape. For May’s K-State Garden Hour, Sedgwick County Extension horticulture agent Matthew McKernan and Central Kansas District horticulture agent Jason Graves discussed plants, trees, shrubs, perennial flowers and annual flowers that are able to handle extreme periods of drought and do well once they’re established in the home landscape.
OPTIONS FOR WEED CONTROL– Weed control often seems like an endless battle. As soon as you think they’re under control, they magically reappear. K-State Research and Extension horticulture agent for Riley County, Gregg Eyestone covers four ways to control weeds in the garden and home landscape: pulling by hand, applying a pre or post-emergent weed killer and putting down some mulch.
A START-TO-FINISH GARDEN GUIDE– From first-time to master gardeners, K-State Research and Extension has a guide that can aid them in planning, planting, growing and harvesting a variety of fruits and vegetables in Kansas’ difficult climate. Rebecca McMahon, administrator of K-State’s local food systems program and one of the authors of the revised Kansas Garden Guide, says this informative and educational publication is designed to help all gardeners be successful.
INSECT PEST ACTIVITY– While insect pest activity is still light, K-State horticultural entomologist Raymond Cloyd says that will most likely change in the weeks ahead. This week, he focuses on bagworms, the boxwood leaf miner, aphids, asparagus beetles, winged termites and winged ants.
REFLECTING CHANGES IN GARDENING– The Kansas Garden Guide – one of the most relied upon guides to gardening in Kansas – has undergone a major makeover to better the reflect the needs and experiences of a wide range of gardeners, especially new gardeners. Rebecca McMahon, administrator of Kansas State University’s local food systems program and an author of the 2023 Kansas Garden Guide, says the new guide reflects changes in practices as well as the way people think about and approach gardening.
REDUCING WATER USAGE– As drought conditions continue across much of Kansas, homeowners are looking for ways to reduce water use in the home landscape. According to K-State Research and Extension horticulture agent for Johnson County, Dennis Patton, there are short-term and long-term solutions for reducing water use in the home landscape while maintaining curb appeal.
WARM-SEASON VEGETABLE PLANTING– Cool-season vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage are already planted, so it’s time to start thinking about warm-season vegetables. K-State Research and Extension horticulture agent for Riley County, Gregg Eyestone, discusses some of the early-season warm-season vegetables for Kansas and the importance of waiting for the correct soil temperature before planting.
INSECT PESTS TO WATCH FOR– Insect pest activity – both indoors and outdoors – will be more widespread this spring and summer. K-State horticultural entomologist Raymond Cloyd says some early insect pests to keep an eye on include the Eastern tent caterpillar, clover mites and the elm leaf beetle.
PLANNING YOUR GARDEN SPACE– With the gardening season in Kansas ramping up, K-State Research and Extension horticulture agent in Sedgwick County, Rebecca McMahon, encourages gardeners to make a diagram of their garden space before purchasing seeds and plants. She explains how a diagram helps in choosing plants, determining planting and harvesting dates and whether it might be possible to plant another garden later in the growing season.
USING CRABGRASS PREVENTERS– Crabgrass preventers are just – preventers. With a few exceptions, they must be applied before germination. K-State Research and Extension horticulture agent for Riley County, Gregg Eyestone explains how crabgrass preventers work and why the timing of the application improves controlling crabgrass.
SPRING COOL-SEASON LAWN CARE– If you have a cool-season lawn, typically that’s Tall fescue or Kentucky bluegrass, early spring is a good time to start caring for the lawn. K-State horticulturist Ward Upham offers tips for the initial spring mowing, fertilizing, watering and weed control.
INSECT PEST TREATMENT OPTIONS– We’ll undoubtedly see a variety of insect pest problems this spring and summer. In many cases, we’ll look for a pesticide to control the pests. However, K-State horticultural entomologist Raymond Cloyd says that may not be necessary. He says there are alternative options that can be just as effective.
TIPS FOR WATERING HOUSEPLANTS– To survive and thrive, houseplants need the proper amount of water. Unfortunately, watering houseplants can be tricky. The March K-State Garden Hour webinar includes tips to help people avoid over or under watering their houseplants. K-State Research and Extension horticulture agent for the Post Rock District, Cassie Thiessen (tee-son), covers the basics of successfully watering houseplants.
IS THE SOIL TEMPERATURE RIGHT?– As daytime temperatures continue to climb, so does the temperature of the soil. But when is the soil temperature warm enough to start planting cool-season crops? K-State Research and Extensjon horticulture agent for Riley County, Gregg Eyestone, says checking the soil temperature – at a depth of approximately two inches – is the only way to know when the soil is warm enough to begin planting.
INSECT PESTS ARE COMING SOON– While insect pest activity probably won’t be noticeable for several months, there are some early-season pests to be aware of. K-State horticultural entomologist Raymond Cloyd says aphids and Eastern Tent Caterpillar are typically the first to appear. He explains how to recognize and manage insect pests in early spring.
PRUNING FRUIT TREES– If the wood is not frozen, prune peach, nectarine, apple, cherry, pear or plum trees can be pruned from now through March. The goal is to allow more sunlight to reach the interior of the trees to increase fruit production. K-State Research and Extension horticulture agent for Johnson County, Dennis Patton, covers the general recommendations for pruning fruit trees in late winter and early spring.
VEGETATIVE PLANT PROPAGATION– The most recent K-State Garden Hour, hosted by K-State Research and Extension horticulture staff, focuses on vegetative plant propagation. Dr. Jason Griffin, director of the John C. Pair Horticulture Center in Haysville, covers the steps involved in vegetative propagation – the process of making new plants that are genetically identical to your existing plants.
EXTENSION GARDENING PUBLICATIONS– If you have a gardening question, K-State Research and Extension probably has a publication in its online bookstore that can provide the answer. KSRE director of publications, Mark Stadtlander, discusses some of the most popular gardening publications and how to find them.
START TREES OFF RIGHT– K-State’s John C. Pair Horticultural Center has conducted research on the effect of controlling grasses around newly transplanted Eastern redbud seedlings and pecan seedlings. If lawn grasses were controlled around the trees, K-State horticulturist Ward Upham says they showed significant growth in diameter, top growth weight, leaf area and leaf weight.
RELIABLE GARDENING INFORMATION– The 2023 K-State Garden Hour, a webinar series hosted by K-State Research and Extension horticulture staff across the state, kicked off January 4th with Reno County Extension horticulture agent Pam Paulsen discussing gardening myths and misconceptions. As part of her presentation, she provided tips for narrowing online search results and finding research-based information.
GARDEN PLANNING PUBLICATIONS– As gardeners continue to comb through the seed catalogs that seem to arrive daily, K-State horticulturist Ward Upham encourages them to do some careful planning before ordering seed. He says to determine how big an area is needed, what to plant, and then research varieties known to perform well in their particular area. Upham also says K-State has several publications that can help gardeners with the planning process.
STARTING TRANSPLANTS FROM SEED– Gardeners looking to get a jump on the growing season can do more than look through all the seed catalogs that have arrived – they can start transplants from seed. K-State Research and Extension horticulture agent for Riley County, Greg Eyestone, covers the steps involved in starting vegetable transplants indoors.
BUSH HONEYSUCKLE CONTROL – K-State horticulturist Ward Upham covers the control methods to combat the spread of bush honeysuckle – an invasive shrub that’s a problem for homeowners and native habitats, especially in the eastern third of Kansas.
USING OLD GARDEN SEED– Before gardeners make their final seed selections for the coming growing season, K-State horticulturist Ward Upham encourages them to test any leftover seeds from previous years for viability. He says that under the right conditions, seeds will normally remain viable for about three years and testing for viability is relatively easy.
CELEBRATE, EDUCATE, GROW– The theme for the 2023 International Master Gardener Conference being held June 18-22 in Overland Park is Celebrate, Educate and Grow. The conference is being hosted by the Kansas State University Extension Master Gardeners of Johnson County. K-State Research and Extension horticulture agent for Johnson, County, Dennis Patton, discusses the workshops, presentations and tours that have been lined up for the conference.
MASTER GARDENER CONFERENCE – The Kansas State University Master Gardeners of Johnson County is the host organization for the 2023 International Master Gardener Conference. The conference is being held June 18-22 in Overland Park. K-State Research and Extension horticulture agent for Johnson County, Dennis Patton, says this is the signature event for Master Gardeners. This week, he explains the work that went into securing the bid to host the conference.
CARING FOR POINSETTIAS– The poinsettia, with its scarlet, star-shaped leaves, is a traditional plant for the winter holidays. Because of its color, the poinsettia is often used as decoration. This is typically the time people start bringing them into the home. K-State Research and Extension horticulture agent for Riley County, Gregg Eyestone, discusses how to select and care for poinsettias throughout the holidays.
LIVE CHRISTMAS TREE CARE– For many, the holidays are symbolized by the Christmas Tree. For some, it’s an artificial tree, and for others it’s a trip to a local tree farm or tree lot to pick out a live tree. If you’re getting a live tree, K-State forester Charlie Barden says there are several things to consider – selection, care and proper disposal.
END-OF-THE-YEAR CLEAN UP– Outdoor insect pest activity may be nothing more than the sound of crickets, but indoors is a different story. K-State horticultural entomologist Raymond Cloyd says to be on the lookout for invasive intruders, such as the Asian Lady bird beetle. He also recommends cleaning up any garden and yard debris where insect pests might overwinter.
CARING FOR HOUSE PLANTS– Caring for house plants in late fall and winter can be difficult because it’s easy to provide too much water or fertilizer at a time they’re not putting on much growth. K-State Research and Extension horticulture agent for Johnson County, Dennis Patton, says adequate light is what house plants really need to stay healthy over the next five or six months.
ADDING LATE-SEASON NITROGEN – Early November is the perfect time to fertilize cool-season grasses, such as Kentucky bluegrass and tall fescue. K-State horticulturist Ward Upham says this application is late enough that the fertilizer is taken up by the roots but isn’t used until the next spring. If you have any broadleaf weeds like henbit, chickweed or dandelions, he says early November is also a good time to apply a broadleaf weed killer.
PLANTING SPRING FLOWERING BULBS– Spring flowering bulbs, such as daffodils, tulips and crocus add color, variety and interest to the home landscape. In addition, K-State Research and Extension horticulture agent for Riley County, Gregg Eyestone, says once planted, many of the spring flowering bulbs will maintain themselves for years with minimal care. He discusses the steps involved in planting spring flowering bulbs this fall.
INSECT PESTS ARE MOVING– As the weather turns colder, insect pests are searching for places to overwinter or looking to invade homes where it’s warm. K-State horticultural entomologist Raymond Cloyd discusses ways to reduce the risk of these pests finding refuge in your yard or home.
SAVING TOMATOES AND PEPPERS– It won’t be long before the first frost is forecast. If you have tomatoes or peppers that haven’t been harvested, K-State Research and Extension horticulturist Ward Upham says they need to be harvested and properly stored prior to the frost.
BENEFITS OF MULCHING IN THE FALL– Fall is the perfect time to add mulch around trees, shrubs and some perennials. K-State Research and Extension horticulture agent for Riley County, Gregg Eyestone, explains how mulch promotes root development in the fall and offers protection in the winter from the typical Kansas freeze/thaw cycles.
TIPS FOR PREVENTING SUNSCALD– The warm, sunny days that we enjoy during the winter are often harmful to young, thin-barked trees, such as honeylocusts, ashes, oaks, maples and fruit trees. K-State horticulturist Ward Upham says that under those conditions the bark on these trees can reach relatively high temperatures. However, he says there are steps we can take to protect thin-barked trees from sunscald.
LESS INSECT ACTIVITY– Cooler temperatures may be slowing insect pest activity in Kansas. However, K-State horticultural entomologist Raymond Cloyd says there are several active insect pests to be looking for, such as elm leaf beetles, lace bugs and golden rod soldier beetles.
FERTILIZING COOL-SEASON LAWNS– We conclude our three-part series on fall care for cool-season lawns. In the previous two weeks, K-State Research and Extension horticulture agent for Johnson County, Dennis Patton, discussed the importance of choosing quality seed and the process for planting or overseeding cool-season lawns. This week, he covers fertilizing cool-season lawns and the benefits of a thick healthy lawn.
OVERSEEDING COOL-SEASON LAWNS– September is an excellent time to plant or overseed a cool-season lawn. Last week, K-State Research and Extension horticulture agent for Johnson County, Dennis Patton, talked about the importance of choosing quality grass seed. This week, Dennis covers the steps involved for planting or overseeding a cool-season lawn.
CHOOSING QUALITY GRASS SEED– The first half of September is prime lawn time for cool season lawns, such as tall fescue and Kentucky Bluegrass. In the first of three-part series on fall lawn care, K-State Research and Extension horticulture agent for Johnson County, Dennis Patton, says successfully planting or overseeding cool-season lawns begins with choosing quality grass seed.
APPLE AND PEAR HARVEST– There’s nothing better than a homegrown apple or pear. But when should they be harvested? For apples, K-State Research and Extension horticulturist Ward Upham says to focus on the flesh color, seed color, color change and flavor. Pears ripen from inside out. If they are allowed to ripen on the tree, they will be gritty. Upham covers the indicators and characteristics to look for when harvesting apples and pears.
AN UPDATE ON INSECT PESTS– The recent heat across Kansas has been a perfect environment for a variety of insect pests. K-State horticultural entomologist Raymond Cloyd has an update on bagworms, squash bugs, mimosa webworms and cicada killers.
IT MIGHT BE TIME TO DIVIDE IRIS– As a general rule, iris should be divided about every three to five years to keep the plants from outgrowing their allotted space in the garden and to increase bloom quality. In the Midwest, dividing iris is typically done in late July or August. K-State Research and Extension horticulture agent for Riley County, Gregg Eyestone, says this allows the replanted portions to develop new roots and become established before freezing weather arrives. He explains the process for dividing and replanting iris.
PRIORITIZE TREES FOR WATERING– The hot, dry summer is forcing many homeowners to prioritize watering in the home landscape. K-State horticulturist Ward Upham says trees, especially those planted in the last two-to-three years, should be watered first. He explains why trees should be a higher priority than watering shrubs and perennial flowers, vegetables and lawns, and covers the recommended practices for watering trees.
TIPS FOR EFFICIENT WATERING – The lack of rainfall has many homeowners and gardeners concerned about keeping their lawns, landscapes and gardens alive without running up a huge water bill. K-State Research and Extension horticulture agent for Johnson County, Dennis Patton, says the key is to water efficiently. In most cases, lawns, landscapes and gardens need just an inch of water per week. He says the mistake most people make is not knowing how much water they’re applying.
JAPANESE BEETLES AND SQUASH BUGS– The warm and sunny conditions across Kansas have been perfect for adult Japanese beetles to start feeding on a variety of plant species. Squash bugs are also becoming a concern and need to be treated while they’re still small. K-State horticultural entomologist Raymond Cloyd discusses how to control these two insect pests.
BE PATIENT WITH TOMATOES– This year’s growing season has been challenging for tomatoes. Riley County Extension horticulture agent Gregg Eyestone says the weather hasn’t been ideal for tomatoes, but if growers are patient, the tomatoes will develop and be ready for harvest. He offers some tips on caring for tomatoes.
GROWING CULINARY MUSHROOMS– Mushrooms can be a fun and tasty addition to your garden and dinner table. For the July 6th K-State Garden Hour, Reno County horticulture Extension agent Pam Paulsen is covering some of the commonly cultivated mushroom species and walking through the steps for growing them successfully at home. She has a preview of the upcoming webinar – which is also recorded for those who can’t join live.
PROTECTING SWEET CORN– Raccoons seem to be the unofficial inspector of sweet corn. They seem to harvest the sweet corn the day before it’s to be picked. K-State horticulturist Ward Upham says the best control measure is fencing – either electric or kennel fencing. He explains how to construct each type of fencing to protect homegrown sweet corn from raccoons.
MANAGING A COMPOST PILE– Many Kansas gardeners use compost to help amend clay-based soils. But, what does it take to create a good compost pile? K-State Research and Extension horticulture agent for Johnson County, Dennis Patton, says the trick – or challenge – is to use the proper mix of greens, browns and moisture.
TWO LANDSCAPE INSECT CONCERNS– K-State horticultural entomologist Raymond Cloyd is tracking a wide assortment of insect challenges that are turning up in home landscapes at this time. This week, he discusses two of the primary pests he’s hearing about from homeowners. One is that perennial issue on landscape evergreens, bagworms. The other is an insect that is making rose bushes look unsightly. He talks about dealing with both of them.
FLOODED LAWNS AND GARDENS– It was a wet finish to the month of May in many locations around Kansas. In fact, excessive moisture to the point of some minor flooding has left homeowners and gardeners wondering if their various plants are in jeopardy. This week, K-State horticulturist Ward Upham takes a look at how vulnerable vegetables, lawns and landscape trees can be to overly-wet conditions…and if there’s anything one can do about it.
ORGANIC VEGETABLE PEST CONTROL–Growing garden vegetables organically means that insect pest control must be approached a bit differently. On a recent K-State Garden Hour webinar, Johnson County Extension horticulture agent Zac Hoppenstedt discussed the approaches to organic insect management that will provide the best results for gardeners. Here, he goes over several of the basic principles.
ASSORTED LAWN AND GARDEN INSECTS– Not surprisingly, with the rapid warm-up in the weather, an array of insects have ramped up in home landscapes and gardens. K-State horticultural entomologist Raymond Cloyd reports on several that he’s hearing about from homeowners and gardeners…especially concerning aphids on landscape ornamentals and various bugs on early vegetable garden plants. He offers control advice for each.
PLANTING VEGETABLE TRANSPLANTS–Now is the time to purchase and plant warm-season vegetable transplants such as tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers. Transplanting is a simple process, but still must be done right to assure that those plants get off to a strong start…and this year, that includes protecting them from the seemingly relentless wind. Riley County Extension horticulture agent Gregg Eyestone talks about all of that this week.
POISON IVY CONTROL– It’s a common invader in home landscapes, yet it often is difficult to distinguish from other comparatively harmless plants: poison ivy. Because it’s so caustic to the touch for many people, getting rid of it is a priority. K-State horticulturist Ward Upham discusses accurately identifying poison ivy and means of controlling it for good.
ORNAMENTAL FLOWER SELECTION– The local nurseries and garden stores are booming with ornamental flower selections for home flower beds, borders and hanging baskets. Not all annual flowers can handle Kansas’ weather extremes, and that’s why K-State Research and Extension evaluates flower cultivars for their hardiness as well as for their aesthetics. Sedgwick County Extension horticulture agent Matthew McKernan talks about some of the new flower types and about basic flower care.
ASSORTED INSECT PESTS– As the weather warms up, insect activity outside the home and around the landscape starts to pick up. K-State horticultural entomologist Raymond Cloyd is already getting calls from homeowners about various early pest problems. This week, he discusses how to deal with clover mites entering homes from the yard, Nantucket tip moths feeding on pines, and eastern tent caterpillar webbing up in landscape trees.
FRUIT PEST SPRAYING– Home fruit growers are advised to get the jump on possible pest problems with the appropriate spray treatments here in early spring. This is particularly true with apples, as well as peaches, nectarines and apricots, provided that latter group isn’t hit with freeze damage first. This week, K-State horticulturist Ward Upham addresses preventative fruit pest control.
PLANTING FOR POLLINATORS– Bees and other pollinators serve an essential role in the ecosystem. In recent years, there’s been greater interest on the part of homeowners in attracting pollinators to their home landscape. On the most recent K-State Garden Hour webinar, Central Kansas Extension District horticulture agent Jason Graves discussed this week’s topic: plant selection for attracting and harboring pollinators continuously.
RAISED BED GARDENING– Home flower and vegetable gardeners interested in trying something different this season might want to try raised bed gardening. Raised beds make for easy access to the growing plants for care and harvesting. Johnson County Extension horticulture agent Dennis Patton covers the basics of establishing a raised bed growing site in the home landscape.
CONTAINER GARDENING ADVICE– For those with only limited outdoor space to grow things, or for those who simply want to liven up certain locations in their landscape, container gardening is just the ticket. Johnson County Extension horticulture agent Dennis Patton goes over the basics of succeeding with container gardening…from growing medium selection to appropriate container size for good plant productivity.
MORE ON POTATO PLANTING– Step one in planting garden potatoes in the spring is preparing the seed pieces…splitting the seed potatoes and letting them cure. Step two, then, is the planting itself. And in the second part of this conversation with K-State horticulturist Ward Upham, he covers planting depth and spacing, and planting site management at and following potato plant emergence.
PLANTING GARDEN POTATOES (part 1)– St. Patrick’s Day is the signal most home gardeners go by for planting their potatoes. But the truth is, vegetable gardeners can successfully plant those spuds anytime between now and mid-spring. That’s according to K-State horticulturist Ward Upham, who leads off a two-part discussion by looking this week at potato variety selection and seed piece preparation.
ORNAMENTAL FLOWER SELECTION– An ornamental flower bed or border should complement the surrounding home landscape. And that comes back to flower type selection and planning for an attractive arrangement. This was the theme of the latest K-State Garden Hour webinar, presented by Lyon County Extension horticulture agent Travis Carmichael. This week, he covers some of the tips presented in that session.
SELECTING LANDSCAPE ORNAMENTALS–As hints of spring start to show up, homeowners may be in the market for new woody ornamental plant material for their landscapes. Before placing any tree or shrub orders or outright making a purchase, doing one’s homework is imperative, according to K-State ornamental horticulturist Jason Griffin. The first order of business, as Griffin outlines, is to assure that the new tree or shrub is likely to endure whatever conditions it will encounter in its new location.
READYING FOR ASPARAGUS PLANTING–For you home gardeners, it’s not quite time to plant a new asparagus bed. However, preparation for that planting should start right now, according to K-State horticulturist Ward Upham. Asparagus establishment differs from most other perennial vegetable plantings. This week, he goes over the basic pre-plant preparatory steps.
PRUNING FRUIT TREES– Tree structure means everything to home tree fruit production. That’s why Kansas State University horticulturist Ward Upham urges fruit growers to check their trees over right now for pruning needs. According to Upham, different fruit trees require different pruning approaches. He goes over the steps, in order, for successfully pruning fruit-bearing trees.
SUCCEEDING WITH TRANSPLANT STARTS– Home gardeners trying their hand at raising transplants from seed may be disappointed that there’s not been much in the way of germination yet. That could be attributed to any of several things, according to Riley County Extension horticulture agent Gregg Eyestone. He walks through some steps that will help assure a successful outcome with those transplant starts, as were shared in a recent K-State Garden Hour webinar session which can now be viewed online.
STARTING VEGETABLE TRANSPLANTS (part 2)– Once a home gardener has committed to raising vegetable transplants from seed, success rests with following some basic ground rules, according to Johnson County Extension horticulture agent Dennis Patton. Included in those are planting the seed in the proper growing medium, and carefully managing the plants’ exposure to light and temperature.
STARTING VEGETABLE TRANSPLANTS (part 1)–Don’t look now, vegetable gardeners, but another growing season is only two months away. If you’d like to get the jump on your garden activity, starting early-planted vegetable transplants from seed is a project worth undertaking, according to Johnson County Extension horticulture agent Dennis Patton. In the first of a two-part visit, he talks about getting started with those transplants, with particular emphasis on one of the very first crops to be transplanted: onions.
WINTER LANDSCAPE WATERING– Following an unusually dry winter, homeowners often find that winter desiccation has taken a toll of their landscape trees and shrubs. And that could have been avoided with a timely watering in mid-winter. In that it is quite dry now in this area, providing supplemental moisture to those woody ornamentals is important, according to K-State horticulturist Ward Upham. He talks about how much watering is required, and how to go about it.
CHOOSING VEGETABLE VARIETIES– The garden catalogs are out, which promote all sorts of vegetable varieties for home gardeners to include in their production this year. On a recent K-State Garden Hour webinar, Sedgwick County Extension horticulture agent Rebecca McMahon covered some general principles of vegetable variety selection…including the considerations she brings up on this week’s program.