Category: May 2018

Iris Bacterial Soft Rot

If your irises aren’t looking healthy this year, they may have a condition called bacterial soft rot. The bacteria will cause a smelly and slimy rot of the leaves and rhizomes. Leaves often separate easily from the rhizome. If your plants are heavily infested they may die.

Though most often associated with iris borer, environmental damage can also provide an entry point for this disease.

Rhizomes that show extensive signs of damage should be discarded.  If there is a plant that has special value, you may wish to try to save it. The American Iris Society suggests using a spoon to remove all infected tissue. Then, allow the rhizome to dry in the sun. Finally, use a chlorine based cleanser to powder the wound. Dousing in place with Dial antibacterial soap (with triclosan) can be substituted for the chlorine based cleanser.

When dividing rhizomes from beds that have shown evidence of soft rot, disinfect the knife between cuts of even apparently healthy rhizomes with a 10% bleach solution or rubbing alcohol.

As mentioned previously, iris borer damage can provide a place of entry for this disease. To control iris borers, remove and discard dead leaves in the fall to eliminate a number of the iris borer eggs. Larvae can also be killed by hand in June by squeezing infested leaves in the vicinity of the injury. During division, borers in lightly infested rhizomes can be killed by poking them with a piece of wire. Borer control can also be achieved through the use of imidacloprid (Merit, Bayer All-In-One Rose & Flower Care, Bonide Systemic Granules, Hi-Yield Systemic Insect Granules) or through the use of the parasitic nematodes Steinernema carpocapsae or Heterorhabditis bacteriophora.

By: Cassie Homan

Spend Some, Share Some, Save Some: Family Budgeting

Is your household’s spending, saving, and sharing on track to support your goals and values? It’s time to revisit those guidelines and expectations. K-State Research and Extension has a helpful resource that can assist you as you answer these questions. It is never too late to take a small step toward stronger financial wellness. For additional assistance or to access more resources, contact your local Post Rock District Office.

Spend Some, Share Some, Save Some: Family Budgeting bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/MF3306.pdf

By:  Nora Rhoades

Fertilize Your Plants by Sidedressing

Sidedressing, also referred to as topdressing, is the practice of fertilizing your plants as they are actively growing. This is done using a fertilizer high in nitrogen and gives your plants an extra boost during the growing season. Done correctly, sidedressing can improve vegetable, fruit and flower production.

Use the chart linked below to learn the amount of fertilizer needed, and suggested time of application for your specific crop.

http://tinyurl.com/hxtgres

By: Cassie Homan

Why Family Communication Is Important

We rarely think about our communication with loved ones. However, family communication is very important and determines our relationships with each other, setting the tone for family life. Family communication is not simple. It has many parts. Communication is more than what we say and do. Our messages depend on how we think the other person will react, so we communicate differently with individual members of the family. Each of us has several different communication patterns that develop over time. It depends on who is communicating.

K-State Research and Extension’s, Essential Living Skills: Basic Family Communication is a curriculum that guides participants toward improving everyday communication in their families. This educational program emphasizes skill-building and mindful communication techniques for improving family communication and interaction.

To access the curriculum, visit https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/S134E.pdf. For assistance, using the curriculum to improve your own family communication, and/or to explore ways you might be able to effectively use the curriculum as a teaching tool in a learning environment, contact Nora Rhoades, Family and Youth Development Agent in the Post Rock District.

By:  Nora Rhoades