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
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.
Many of our soils in Kansas are far from ideal. We often face high pH and low Nitrogen. We can add fertilizer or we can naturally amend our soils using compost. Composting is easy to start and a great way to recycle your kitchen and garden scraps!
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.
Warm seasons grasses include Bermudagrass, Buffalograss, and Zoysiagrass they require special care to survive our hot and dry summers. Year round attention is needed to keep the weeds down and help your grass look green and lush. Follow this DIY calendar to care for your lawn each month.
Spring is just around the corner, planning your garden and landscape can start today! Join us for this three-part garden series, Wednesdays in February at the Osborne Public Library from 12:10-12:45pm. Contact Cassie Homan at your local Extension Office for more details.