Tag: Horticulture

Herbs: From Seed to Seasoning

Healthy food choices don’t have to be boring and bland. Come learn how to cook with less salt but more flavor. We will demonstrate how to add herbs to your favorite recipes and grow them in your garden.

Join us for a fun night of cooking and gardening. Horticulture Agent, Cassie Homan will share tips on growing and caring for popular herbs such as basil, cilantro, thyme and more. Nutrition, Food Safety and Health Agent, Ashley Svaty will discuss healthy cooking strategies and will provide a fresh snack using home grown herbs.

We will host this program in two locations, the first in Beloit on May 9 at the First Christian Church. And again on May 16 in Smith Center at the American Lutheran Church at 6 p.m.

Participants will go home with recipes and an herb plant. $5 to participate, please RSVP to the Post Rock Extension Office at 785-738-3597. For more details, please go to our events page. https://www.postrock.k-state.edu/events/

By: Cassie Homan

How to Get Rid of Asparagus Beetles

If you are growing asparagus, then it is that time of year to be aware of the only insect pest of asparagus; the common asparagus beetle. Adult beetles are only 1/4 inch long. Adults emerge from the soil in early spring and fly to new asparagus shoots where they mate and feed. Females lay up to 30 eggs on the end of spear tips as they emerge from the soil.

Common asparagus beetles overwinter underneath plant debris, loose bark, or hollow stems of old asparagus plants. The life cycle can be completed in eight-weeks. There are two generations in Kansas. The adults and larvae feed on asparagus spears and can defoliate ferns if populations are extensive. Larvae consume leaves and tender buds near the tips, which leaves scars that eventually turn brown. Damage caused by larvae interferes with the plant’s ability to photosynthesize (manufacture food); thus, depleting food reserves for next year’s crop.

To help protect your asparagus patch from beetles: applying insecticides; handpick eggs, adults, and larvae and place into a container with soapy water; and/or remove any plant debris after the growing season to eliminate overwintering sites for adults. Insecticides should be applied as soon as common asparagus beetles are present, and again in late summer through early fall to kill adults before they overwinter. Thorough coverage of all plant parts is important in suppressing populations.

By: Cassie Homan

Kansas Lawn Care Basics

Do you want a jump start on your lawn maintenance this year? If you want to be the envy of all your neighbors, and have the greenest lawn on your block join us for Kansas Lawn Care Basics. K-State Specialist, Jared Hoyle, will teach us about seasonal lawn care, weed management, and Buffalo and Fescue grass care! Join us Thursday, April 18 at 7:00, at the Guaranty State Bank in Beloit, Kansas. Free to participate but please RSVP to the Post Rock Extension Office at (785) 738-3597

For more information, follow the link: https://www.postrock.k-state.edu/events/

By: Cassie Homan

Crabgrass Preventers

Have you struggled with weeds in your lawn, flower beds, and garden? Crabgrass is a very common Kansas weed that seems to thrive in our hot summer weather. Get ahead of weeds this year by applying a preemergent herbicide. The best time to apply is around the middle of April or when the Redbud trees in your area start to bloom.

Read our latest blog for more information: http://postrockextension.blogspot.com/2019/03/stop-crabgrass-before-it-starts-growing.html

By: Cassie Homan

Fruit Tree Workshops

Come learn how to care for your fruit trees and help them succeed in our unpredictable Kansas climate!

Saturday, March 23 at 9:00am and 2:00pm
SAME DATE… but offering two different locations and times!

Morning Session
Mankato Christian Church
102 E. South Street
Mankato, KS 66956

OR

Afternoon Session
St. Mary Catholic Church
301 E. 1st Street
Glasco, KS 67445

Featured Speaker:
Ward Upham, K-State Research and Extension Specialist and Master Gardener Coordinator

Practice hands-on pruning techniques!

New and experienced gardeners are welcome, free to participate but please RSVP to Post Rock Extension, 785-738-3597 by March 18th.

For more information, go to: http://tinyurl.com/yxq2ma5w

By: Cassie Homan

Forcing Stems of Woody Plants for Indoor Bloom

This winter seems like it will never end. So in the meantime here is a fun activity you can do indoors to have some pretty blooms before spring fully arrives.

Stems of a number of woody plants can be forced into bloom for indoor display. Of course, some are easier to force than others. Three of the easiest are forsythia, pussy willow, and flowering quince. These plants have now gone through enough cold weather to satisfy their chilling requirement and should bloom if given the right conditions.

Choose a day that is above freezing for collecting branches for blooming. Keep the stem length to 3 feet or less. As you cut, place the stems in a bucket of water. Once you have the number of branches you want, bring them into the house and soak them in warm water for several hours — a bathtub works well for this. This ensures that the stems and buds are fully hydrated. Next, place them in a container that has a warm, preservative solution and place them in an environment with high humidity and plenty of light.

Make your preservative solution by dissolving packets of floral preservative in water.  These packets can often be obtained from your local florist. You can also make your own preservative by adding a tablespoon of Listerine per gallon of water, but commercial preservatives are preferred. Floral preservatives accomplish two functions; they prevent bacterial growth in your water and provide nutrients and energy for the life processes of the plants.

Many times our houses have a very low relative humidity during the winter. These low humidities can lead to dehydration of flower buds and blossoms. To raise the humidity around your plants, mist the plants or drape a dry cleaner’s bag over your stems. If a cleaner’s bag is too small, use a painter’s clear plastic drop cloth. Humidifiers can also help raise humidity levels.

Normally, forsythia will take about nine days to flower, quince will require between 12 to 20, and pussy willow needs from five to 15 days. The time required will vary depending on indoor conditions and how late in the winter the branches were collected. Most woody plants should be in flower within three weeks of collection and will remain in flower for about a week before blooms start to fade.

By: Cassie Homan