Tag: Horticulture

Dealing with Chiggers

Chiggers are mites, not insects. And like all mites, the adults have eight legs.  However, the larva only has six legs.

Though the bright red female adult is tiny (about 1/20th of an inch) the larva is much smaller (about 1/150th of an inch). Only the larvae are parasitic and attack animals. The larva injects digestive juices into the skin, which causes a rapid swelling. In the center of the swelling is a “feeding tube” from which the chigger sucks out liquefied skin cells. Feeding usually continues for 2 to 4 days.

Protection from chiggers uses two approaches. The use of a repellent can discourage chiggers from attacking. The most effective repellents are Deet and permethrin. Both chemicals are applied to your clothing. The second approach seeks to reduce chigger populations. Keeping the lawn mowed regularly can help, but large populations may require the use of an acaricide. Effective products include bifenthrin (Talstar, Hi-Yield Bug Blaster II, Hi-Yield Bug Blaster Bifenthrin, and Ortho Lawn Insect Killer Granules), cyfluthrin (Tempo 20, Bayer Vegetable & Garden Insect Spray) and carbaryl (Sevin).

For more information go to: https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/MF2107.PDF

By: Cassie Homan

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