Growth Cracks

Growth Cracks

Growth cracks are a problem most gardeners will have to contend with sooner or later.  Fortunately, the problem is structural in nature, and therefore will not cause an epidemic. Commonly affected plants include: Tomatoes (especially beefsteak varieties). Eggplants. Cucumbers. Melons. Grapes. Jalapeño peppers frequently crack, as well, but this is normal and not likely to cause a storage problem. Growth cracks appear when the skin … Continue reading Growth Cracks

30-Year Normals

30-Year Normals

Agriculture is very much a weather-dependent pursuit. The success or failure of both garden and field crops in any given year depends primarily on the rainfall and temperatures. Even pastures should be managed with an eye to the sky. With this in mind, it is a good idea to know roughly what type of weather you can expect in an average year. Oregon State University … Continue reading 30-Year Normals

The Changing Face of American Agriculture: Part 2

The Changing Face of American Agriculture: Part 2

Agripreneurship Young people continue to enter agriculture, according to the last USDA census. Most young farmers have limited capital to work with, and they frequently find outside financing difficult, if not impossible, to obtain. With land prices remaining high, they typically buy small properties when they first start out and purchase additional land as they save money. This paradigm leads naturally to the rise of … Continue reading The Changing Face of American Agriculture: Part 2

Get Ready for July 2016

Get Ready for July 2016

Summer can be very busy, but don’t forget to learn and brainstorm.  Spend some time enjoying nature, researching animals, and growing healthy plants. Brush up on your birdwatching vocabulary. Discover how wood type affects the sound of your guitar. Explore the 11 physiographic regions of Kansas. Learn about rare and popular breeds of livestock. Consider growing beans as a field crop in Kansas. Find out … Continue reading Get Ready for July 2016

Prairie Strips in Field Crops

Prairie Strips in Field Crops

There’s a new farming technique on the Midwestern prairie.  It’s innovative, it’s sustainable, but it’s also readily available to farmers of all stripes. This tool is the prairie strip, a strip of native prairie plants grown right in the middle of a grain field.   Benefits The idea behind prairie strips is to create a buffer zone between the field and the land downhill, holding … Continue reading Prairie Strips in Field Crops

The Dirt-Cheap Green Thumb

The Dirt-Cheap Green Thumb

Gardening on a budget doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice looks or taste! The Dirt-Cheap Green Thumb: 400 Thrifty Tips for Saving Money, Time & Resources In and Around the Garden by Rhonda Massingham Hart will show you how to make the most of your gardening dollars, while still enjoying a beautiful and productive garden. These tips will improve your efficiency every step of … Continue reading The Dirt-Cheap Green Thumb

K-State Horticulture Newsletter

K-State Horticulture Newsletter

Gardening in Kansas can be a very unique experience. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to find information tailored to our somewhat unpredictable climate and growing conditions. Fortunately, K-State has filled the gap with a weekly newsletter packed with useful and timely information that gardeners of all stripes will appreciate. Whether you have a kitchen garden, a large orchard, or just a few flowers in pots, … Continue reading K-State Horticulture Newsletter

Get Ready for March 2016

Get Ready for March 2016

Get ready for spring!  It’s time to plan new projects, start a garden, and get outside to enjoy nature. Start a new garden or orchard. Plan your farm water system. Take on the 5-minute brainstorming challenge. Learn more about growing your favorite vegetables. Learn about the breeding birds of Kansas. Start a farm journal. Find creative uses for all those extra eggs. Discover the power … Continue reading Get Ready for March 2016

Pros and Cons of Gardening in Kansas

Pros and Cons of Gardening in Kansas

Gardening in Kansas is quite a bit different than gardening in most other states—and that can be both good and bad. The Kansas climate is unique, which presents challenges and opportunities found nowhere else in America. So what exactly is different about gardening in Kansas, and how do we adapt?   Pros Long growing season. Most of Kansas has a long growing season, giving you … Continue reading Pros and Cons of Gardening in Kansas