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K-State Research and Extension News

Plantorama

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.

Program Date

Segment Title
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10-07-22

SAVING TOMATOES AND PEPPERSIt 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.

Upham 10-07
09-30-22

BENEFITS OF MULCHING IN THE FALLFall 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.

Eyestone 09-30
09-23-22

TIPS FOR PREVENTING SUNSCALDThe 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.

Upham 09-23
09-16-22

LESS INSECT ACTIVITYCooler 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.

Cloyd 09-16
09-09-22

FERTILIZING COOL-SEASON LAWNSWe 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.

Patton 09-09
09-02-22

OVERSEEDING COOL-SEASON LAWNSSeptember 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.

Patton 09-02
08-26-22

CHOOSING QUALITY GRASS SEEDThe 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.

Patton 08-26
08-19-22

APPLE AND PEAR HARVESTThere’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.

Upham 08-19
08-12-22

AN UPDATE ON INSECT PESTSThe 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. 

Cloyd 08-12
08-05-22

IT MIGHT BE TIME TO DIVIDE IRISAs 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.

Eyestone 08-05
07-29-22

PRIORITIZE TREES FOR WATERINGThe 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.

Upham 07-29
07-22-22

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. 

 

Patton 07-22
07-15-22

JAPANESE BEETLES AND SQUASH BUGSThe 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.

Cloyd 07-15
07-08-22

BE PATIENT WITH TOMATOESThis 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.

Eyestone 07-08
07-01-22

GROWING CULINARY MUSHROOMSMushrooms 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.

Paulsen 07-01
06-24-22

PROTECTING SWEET CORNRaccoons 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.

Upham 06-24
06-17-22

MANAGING A COMPOST PILEMany 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.

Patton 06-17
06-10-22

TWO LANDSCAPE INSECT CONCERNSK-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.

Cloyd 06-10
06-03-22

FLOODED LAWNS AND GARDENSIt 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.

Upham 06-03
05-27-22

ORGANIC VEGETABLE PEST CONTROLGrowing 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.

Hoppenstedt 05-27
05-20-22

ASSORTED LAWN AND GARDEN INSECTSNot 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.

Cloyd 05-20
05-13-22

PLANTING VEGETABLE TRANSPLANTSNow 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.

Eyestone 05-13
05-06-22

POISON IVY CONTROLIt’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.

Upham 05-06
04-29-22

ORNAMENTAL FLOWER SELECTIONThe 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.

McKernan 04-29
04-22-22

ASSORTED INSECT PESTSAs 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.

Cloyd 04-22
04-15-22

FRUIT PEST SPRAYINGHome 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.

Upham 04-15
04-08-22

PLANTING FOR POLLINATORSBees 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.

Graves 04-08
04-01-22

RAISED BED GARDENINGHome 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.

Patton 04-01
03-25-22

CONTAINER GARDENING ADVICEFor 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.

Patton 03-25
03-18-22

MORE ON POTATO PLANTINGStep 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.

Upham 03-18
03-11-22

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.

Upham 03-11
03-04-22

ORNAMENTAL FLOWER SELECTIONAn 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.

Carmichael 03-04
02-25-22

SELECTING LANDSCAPE ORNAMENTALSAs 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.

Griffin 02-25
02-18-22

READYING FOR ASPARAGUS PLANTINGFor 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.

Upham 02-18
02-11-22

PRUNING FRUIT TREESTree 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. 

Upham 02-11
02-04-22

SUCCEEDING WITH TRANSPLANT STARTSHome 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.

Eyestone 02-4
01-28-22

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. 

Patton 01-28
01-21-22

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.

Patton 01-21
01-14-22

WINTER LANDSCAPE WATERINGFollowing 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.

Upham 01-14
01-07-22

CHOOSING VEGETABLE VARIETIESThe 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.

McMahon 01-07