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MANHATTAN – The weather in Kansas may be unseasonably warm for the next several days, but we’re entering the time of year when a winter storm can blow in suddenly.

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Whether you’re a novice at cooking, or are the experienced short-order cook at your house, chances are that you don’t prepare a 14-pound holiday turkey and all the trimmings every day. Kansas State University’s Karen Blakeslee says there are ways to avoid last-minute stress and keep food saf…

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The thrill of the hunt can continue at the dinner table if the game isn’t handled properly along the way. Game meats are excellent sources of protein and similar in composition to domestic animal meats. Calorie and fat contents vary with the age and species of the animal.

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Part of the allure of fall foliage is color variation. There are trees that turn red, purple, yellow, orange and brown.

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At first glance, soil sampling would seem to be a relatively easy task. However, when you consider the variability that likely exists within a field because of inherent soil formation factors and past production practices, the collection of a representative soil sample becomes more of a challenge.

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Black walnuts are ready to be harvested when the hull can be dented with your thumb. You can also wait until the nuts start falling from the tree. Either way it is important to hull walnuts soon after harvest. If not removed, the hull will leach a stain through the nut and into the meat. The…

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Though light pruning and removal of dead wood are fine this time of year, more severe pruning should be left until spring. Consider pruning to be “light” if 10% of less of the plant is removed. Dead wood does not count in this calculation. Keep in mind that even light pruning of spring-bloom…

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Fall is the season when most horse owners should think of how they can improve their horse pastures for the coming year. Some pastures might have been managed well and others not, depending on their management efforts. Horse pasture improvement and renovation requires some time and patience.…

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The fall season can be an excellent time to plant trees. During the spring, soils are cold and may be so wet that low oxygen levels inhibit root growth. The warm and moist soils associated with fall encourage root growth. Fall root growth means the tree becomes established well before a spri…

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September is here and that means it is prime time to fertilize your tall fescue or Kentucky bluegrass lawns. If you could only fertilize your cool-season grasses once per year, this would be the best time to do it.

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Pears should not be allowed to ripen on the tree. They should be picked while still firm and ripened after harvest. Tree-ripened fruits are often of poor quality because of the development of grit cells and the browning and softening of the inner flesh. Commercial growers determine the best …

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By mid-August, most bagworms have finished feeding and retreated into their bags. Insecticides will not penetrate the thick, leathery, silk-lined pouches.

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The extremely hot weather we have had recently not only interferes with flower pollination but also can affect how quickly fruit matures. The best temperature for tomato growth and fruit development is 85 to 90F. When temperatures exceed 100 degrees, the plant goes into survival mode and con…

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Telling when a melon is ready to be harvested can be a challenge or it may be quite easy. It all depends on the type of melon. Let’s start with the easy one. Muskmelons are one of those crops that tell you when they are ready to be picked. This can help not only harvest melons at the correct…

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Tomatoes often have problems with cracking caused by pressure inside the fruit that is more than the skin can handle. Cracks are usually on the upper part of the fruit and can be concentric (in concentric circles around the stem) or radial (radiating from the stem). We don’t know everything …

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Hornworms are the largest larval insect commonly seen in the garden. Though usually seen on tomato, they can also attack eggplant, pepper, and potato.

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Next year’s strawberry crop will be affected by what you do to this year’s strawberry bed. The sooner after harvest the patch is cleaned up, fertilized and irrigated, if possible, the better the chance of getting a good crop next year. One of the main goals in renovation is to provide a high…

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This time of year, two common leaf-spot diseases appear on tomato plants. Septoria leaf spot and early blight are both characterized by brown spots on the leaves.

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Soils are warm enough now that tomatoes can benefit from mulching. Tomatoes prefer even levels of soil moisture and mulches provide such by preventing excessive evaporation. Other benefits of mulching include weed suppression, moderating soil temperatures and preventing the formation of a ha…

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New transplants, even those hardened off in a cold frame, may need protection from strong winds when set out. Wooden shingles placed to block the wind used to be the standard recommendation but are now difficult to find. Try a plastic milk jug or a 2-liter soda bottle with both the bottom an…

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More time in the kitchen makes this a good time to review food safety tips

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Spring-bearing strawberry plants that were set out this spring should have blossoms pinched off. New plants have a limited amount of energy. If blossoms remain on the plants, energy that should go to runner development is used to mature fruit instead. Plants that are allowed to fruit will ev…

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Got dead pine trees? If you are in the eastern half of Kansas, they probably died of pine wilt, a disease that is widespread in that part of the state. If you are in central or western Kansas, pine wilt is less common but it can still occur in pockets.

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MANHATTAN – A Kansas State University farm analyst says his phone has been ringing frequently as the state’s farmers and ranchers flood him with questions about the recent drop in commodity markets.

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It’s almost time for the Brown County Free Fairs annual fundraiser spotlight auction. This is the biggest 4-H fundraiser of the year in which area businesses and individuals donate merchandise and services to be auctioned off over KNZA radio on March 9-10. The flier with this year’s items ha…

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If you have ever seen emerging peach leaves that are puckered, swollen, distorted and reddish-green color, you have seen peach leaf curl. Uncontrolled, this disease can severely weaken trees because of untimely leaf drop when leaves unfurl in the spring. Fortunately, peach leaf curl is not t…

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Kansas is fortunate to have the scenic county side, a relatively low cost of living, and produces a valuable part of our food supply.

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For many families, it’s a pretty special time when the holiday ham is sliced, veggies are cooked and the rolls are golden brown. Kansas State University agricultural economist Andrew Barkley notes that consumers may not realize there’s probably a healthy helping of science on the holiday pla…

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The poinsettia can be found everywhere right now — florists, nurseries, grocery stores, large-scale retailers, even hardware stores. As common as they are, you might wonder how to choose plants with confidence and care for them so they won’t droop before Santa drops down the chimney.

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The weather in Kansas may be unseasonably warm for the next several days, but we’re entering the time of year when a winter storm can blow in suddenly.

  • 0

At first glance, soil sampling would seem to be a relatively easy task. However, when you consider the variability that likely exists within a field because of inherent soil formation factors and past production practices, the collection of a representative soil sample becomes more of a challenge.

  • 0

Black walnuts are ready to be harvested when the hull can be dented with your thumb. You can also wait until the nuts start falling from the tree. Either way it is important to hull walnuts soon after harvest. If not removed, the hull will leach a stain through the nut and into the meat. The…

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Fall is the season when most horse owners should think of how they can improve their horse pastures for the coming year. Some pastures might have been managed well and others not, depending on their management efforts. Horse pasture improvement and renovation requires some time and patience.…

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September is the best month to reseed cool-season lawns such as tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass. However, you can get by with an early to mid-October planting for tall fescue. October 15 is generally considered the last day for safely planting or overseeding a tall fescue lawn in the fall…

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Brown County youth will have 4-H projects on display at the Kansas State Fair in the 4-H building and the livestock barns. If you are considering attending the fair or want to learn more about the Kansas State Fair the following is a press release from the fair about everything it has to off…

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September is here and that means it is prime time to fertilize your tall fescue or Kentucky bluegrass lawns. If you could only fertilize your cool-season grasses once per year, this would be the best time to do it.