Harvey County

Category: Horticulture


Be sure to check out these great landscapes during the Second Century Library Foundation Flower and  Garden Tour in Newton this weekend!  The times are: 9 AM to Noon on Saturday, June 9 and 1 to 4 PM on Sunday, June 10. The homes on the tour include:  2413 College Ave. North Newton; 2913 Bluestem Court, North Newton; 314 Glendale, Newton; and 1704 Cypress Lane, Newton.

This tour garden tour helps the library raised funds for the Newton Public Library.  Suggested donation is $8.00.  Admission brochure available at the gardens on the tour and the Newton Public Library.

Now on to grubs!

You don’t have to treat for grubs most of the time.  Sometimes the damage they do does warrant treatment to prevent damage to your lawn.  If you plan on using a grub preventative on your lawn, the first half of July is a good target date for most products. Preventatives are normally used on areas that have had a history of grub problems.

Traditional grub insecticides such as Dylox or carbaryl (Sevin) are normally applied in late July after grubs are present or as a rescue treatment once damage is seen. Products that contain Merit (imidacloprid) are considered grub preventers. Actually, these products do not prevent grubs, but rather kill grubs when they are quite small, and long before they cause damage. Merit is safer to use around pets and humans than traditional grub killers. Merit can be found in Bayer’s Season-Long Grub Control, Grub No-More and Grub Free Zone. Another grub preventer with the trade name GrubEx contains chlorantraniliprole. Though this product is very effective, it is less water soluble than imidacloprid. It should be applied earlier, preferably April or May, but applications through June should still be effective.

Remember, all grub products should be watered in soon after application.


There are many benefits to using mulch!  Mulching is an important practice that is often overlooked. Mulching can reduce the time spent in cultivating.

A mulch can:

* Conserve soil water.

* Control weed growth.

* Keep soil temperature uniform.

* Reduce frost damage to fruit.

One of the most effective ways of reducing the need to apply water to garden plants and conserve natural rainfall is to use garden mulches. Mulches are most appropriately used on summer crops when periods of water use are greatest. Mulches provide a barrier that helps prevent moisture loss from the soil by evaporation. They also can be useful in maintaining cooler soil temperatures, controlling weeds, reducing soil compaction, and keeping produce cleaner.

Plastic Mulches:

Black polyethylene mulch is preferred because clear plastic mulch promotes weed growth underneath it. Plastics usually are available in rolls from 3-4 feet wide. They are placed over the row or bed, the edges covered with soil, and various sized holes cut for the different crops. Black surfaces absorb heat, warming the soil for earlier production. Later, the foliage shades the plastic, reducing the heating of the soil. These mulches work best with warm-season crops such as tomatoes, melons, peppers, and eggplant, which are usually established by transplant. Continue reading “Mulching”

Successful Vegetable Garden

If you were to ask a farmers’ market grower what it takes to have a successful vegetable garden he or she may say it takes a lot of work!  A lot of effort goes into producing a successful garden be it for the farmers’ market or in the back yard. There are many things to do between planting time and harvest. Consider each of the following cultural practices. Thinning many small seeded crops need to be thinned. For crops such as beets, carrots, radishes, turnips, and direct-seeded tomatoes or onions, it is necessary to thin some young plants from the thickly seeded row. An advantage of this process is that you can select the best of several plants and remove the poorer ones. This should be done 1-2 weeks after emergence of the seedlings. Weeding and cultivating Weeds are a natural garden competitor. They compete with vegetable plants for water, nutrients, and space. The use of mulches and cultivation will help control weeds. Don’t allow weeds to get a start. Control them when they are small. Mulching can reduce the time spent in cultivating.

Loosening the soil with a tiller or hoe accomplishes several things: Continue reading “Successful Vegetable Garden”

Care and Management for Established Lawns

The fescue lawns in Harvey County have greened up in the cooler temperatures of spring!  Lots of lawn mowers humming and edgers buzzing let us know its lawn maintenance season too.

Mowing: Turf-types: 2 to 3 inches. K-31: 2 1⁄2 to 3 1⁄2 inches. Raise height to the upper end of the range during the summer.

Fertilizing:  September, November, May.

Watering:   In the Spring water minimally.  Summer: 1 to 1 1⁄2 inches per week. Fall: only as needed to prevent wilting.

Planting:  September or March through April, using 6 to 8 pounds of seed per 1,000 square feet.

Dandelions:  Herbicides are most effective in the fall.

Crabgrass Preemergence herbicide:  Apply before redbud trees reach full bloom.

Grubs:  Treat May through July depending on when grubs are present.

Aerating:  Early spring or fall, as needed

Doing these chores at the correct time and correct way will save you money and time and help create a healthy, beautiful lawn.

Why do weeds invade your lawn!

Weeds are opportunist! Meaning they grow when the conditions (opportunity) is right for them. Too dry, too wet, poor soil drainage, compacted soil, temperature, etcetera, weeds will find a way! Why do weeds invade your lawn?

Improper mowing.
Mowing too low and too infrequently thins the turf, allowing weeds to get started.

Improper watering.
Frequent watering encourages weed seed germination, disease, thatch, and a shallow-rooted turf that is less competitive with weeds for soil moisture and nutrients. Continue reading “Why do weeds invade your lawn!”

Beet/Swiss Chard

Beets, beets, beets!  We ate lots of beets growing up because dad grew them and mom canned them!  I still do like them and grow them each year mainly to eat in salads.  Beets are a popular vegetable and can be grown as a spring or fall crop in Kansas.

Tops can be used as a cooked green rich in vitamin A, and roots are a good source of vitamin C. Roots may be canned or pickled and are served diced, sliced, whole, and in strips. Beet juice is the basic ingredient of borscht. Swiss chard is a close relative of the beet and produces foliage rather than an enlarged root. Nutritional value and uses are similar to those for beets. Continue reading “Beet/Swiss Chard”


There is nothing like fresh fruit from your own backyard!  If you have a little bit of space, you should try to raise strawberries to eat yourself and share with the neighbors.  Of course, if you are growing them your will have to take care of them.  This includes fertilizing at the right time for optimum production.   I have written many soil test recommendations over the years and have found that basically most garden soils in Harvey County have adequate levels of all nutrients other than nitrogen IF the area has been fertilized in the past.

However, it is recommended that a soil test be done to be sure of the nutrient needs of your fruit planting. If the soil test recommends phosphorus and potassium, use a 10-10-10 fertilizer instead of what is recommended below but triple the rate. For example, instead of ½ cup per 10 feet of row, use 1.5 cups per 10 feet of row. Continue reading “Strawberries”

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