Attendees will hear the latest in vegetable, flower and turfgrass research and production
OLATHE, Kan. — Kansas State University will host its Olathe Horticulture Research and Extension Center Field Day on Saturday, July 30 from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. This year marks the center’s 20th year of conducting research on horticulture crops.
The day features presentations and a chance to talk with experts and learn about the latest vegetable, flower and turfgrass research and production methods to help growers achieve success.
Admission is $5 per person, which includes cold bottled water, seminars, classes and demonstrations. K-State horticulture research develops its list of recommended grasses, flowers or vegetable varieties through university research conducted in Olathe to determine what grows best in Kansas City landscapes.
K-State Research and Extension conducts research in flowers, vegetables and turfgrass at the center. Visitors can speak with university professors leading the research projects and Johnson County Extension Master Gardener volunteers.
* Annual Prairie Star Flower trials – Companies from around the world submit their newest developments. This year 600 cultivars have been planted for evaluation. The trials show which flowers can withstand the climate in this area and illustrate that not all varieties are created equal. Check out the container plantings as some annuals are only meant for use in pots.
* Year of the Begonia – Come see 45 varieties growing in containers or the soil, including many new introductions.
* Dwarf Cannas and Coleus – Bigger is not always better. These new introductions are great for in-ground gardens but also shine in containers.
* Pollinator Friendly – More annuals are being introduced to attract butterflies and pollinators. See what’s new with Salvia, Agastache, and Lantana cultivars.
Vegetables – Growing Local Food
Find out what K-State Research and Extension is doing to assist local farmers involved in the growing local food movement and about its work in food safety and security. K-State projects include:
* High tunnel production systems with tomato, pepper, cucurbits, and spinach
* Grafting tomatoes and peppers for increased yield and disease resistance
* Soil health and microbiology studies using cover crops and no-till systems
* All America Selections Variety Trial program
* The KoolKat Mobile Produce Cooler
* Growing Growers: Training first-generation farmers in the Kansas City/Lawrence area
Extension Master Gardeners Backyard Garden demonstration area
Vegetable gardening is as popular as ever. Learn about the trend toward incorporating vegetables into the landscape or “foodscaping.” This Extension Master Gardener project demonstrates methods of growing vegetables from raised beds, vertical gardening and a new spin on the square foot concept. The garden also features a wide variety of herbs, a colorful flowering cutting garden and extensive fruit plantings.
Free soil tests
Johnson County residents can bring their soil and get one free soil test per Johnson County address, complements of Johnson County Stormwater Management. A soil test determines the nutrients in the soil. It is important to know the nutrient levels to grow healthy plants. Go to www.johnson.k-state.edu to learn how to take a soil sample. At least 2 cups of dry soil are needed for a proper test.
How to get there
The research center is located at 35230 West 135th Street, Olathe. The entrance is approximately nine miles west of Highway 7 on 135th Street. Admission is $5 at the gate. Lunch will be available for purchase during the event. For more information call (913) 715-7000, or visit www.johnson.k-state.edu.