Kansas State University Weather Data Library

Country living enthusiasts and agripreneurs alike need access to weather data to manage their pursuits wisely. Here are all of the weather-related resources a Kansan could wish for—in one place! The Kansas State University Weather Data Library offers a wealth of information we can use, whether we are raising plants and animals, in the backyard…

Smoky Hills

The Smoky Hills region, occupying the north-central part of Kansas, consists of three separate bands of hills running from southwest to northeast. The western band is the Chalk Buttes, a relatively flat area compared to the other two, but with geological surprises that give it a charm all of its own. The middle band is…

How To Build a Two-Bin Composter

Composting is probably one of the most familiar techniques of organic gardening. No wonder—it’s a great way to enrich the soil and make use of some of that garden debris that always collects as the season progresses. Composting just makes sense. However, deciding to make compost is one thing, and coming up with a compost…

What is pH?

We’ve all heard of pH, whether we garden, raise crops, or manage pastures. We know that some plants like a more acidic soil, while some prefer a more alkali soil. But what exactly do acid and alkali mean? The pH scale measures the concentration of hydrogen ions in a dissolved substance. Pure water can be…

Red Hills

Red Hills, Gypsum Hills, Gyp Hills, Medicine Hills—they go by all of these names. But whatever they’re called, there’s nothing quite like this region of rust-colored buttes, mesas, sinkholes, and caves to give a person a strange feeling that “we’re not in Kansas anymore.” We are, though! The Red Hills are located along the south-central…

Don’t Throw It Out!

This is not a post about recycling—at least not the type that involves saving up plastic bottles for the local recycling center. This type of recycling is quite a bit more interesting because it seriously challenges your creativity. If you’re keeping a close eye on your spending, there is one key question that will arise…

Extending the Growing Season

Fall is almost upon us! And with fall comes the first frost and the end of the gardening year.  Maybe. Haven’t you ever thought that it might be nice to keep growing some of your own vegetables in the winter?  Yes, you can always go to the grocery store and buy what you need, but…

Links: Zone and Frost Maps

When is it time to plant lettuce? When do you sow wheat? It all depends on your local climate. Some of you may be scurrying to hunt up frost information for your area in preparation for some late-season planting. Here are three resources to help you out. They’ll come in handy next spring, too.  …

Ozark Plateau

The Ozark Plateau, located in the very southeastern corner of Kansas, is characterized by rolling hills and forests. Occupying only 55 square miles in Cherokee County, this is the smallest physiographic region in the state.   Soil The soils on the steep slopes of the area are moist, but they are also thin, rocky, acidic,…

Planting Vegetables the Easy Way

This gardening trick will save you countless back-breaking hours of toil on your hands and knees, poking one tiny seed after another into the dirt.  It will also reduce the amount of money you spend on seeds annually.  And it comes in time for the fall crop. What must you do to reap these benefits…