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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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In many landscapes, crabgrass is considered an ‘opportunistic’ plant. Given the chance to take over thin or bare lawns, it is a more-than-willing intruder.

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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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New strawberry plantings should be set early in the growing season so that mother plants become established while the weather is still cool. The mother plants develop a strong root system during this cool period when soil temperatures are between 65 and 80 degrees F. The most appropriate pla…

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Raspberries and blackberries are perennial plants with biennial canes. In other words, a single plant will last many years but an individual cane will only live for two. In a cane’s first year, it will grow but will not produce fruit. The second year, it will fruit and then die. Though these…

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For cattle producers, bull sale season has arrived. Prospective buyers are flipping through the sale catalogs and studying the pedigree information, performance data and bull pictures trying to determine where they want to make their investment.

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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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It’s hard to believe but Spotlight Auction 2020 was the last normal 4-H event hosted in 2020 before Covid showed up and changed everything for the rest of 2020. We still had the 2020 Brown County Fair for the youth. It wasn’t open to the public but the youth were still able to show their liv…

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Extension educational programing will be hosting mostly virtual programs this winter to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community. One benefit of providing meetings online in a virtual format is that we can provide more programs on a wider range of topics at a cheaper price and reach…

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Not all firewood is created equal. Some species of trees are able to produce much more heat per cord of wood. A cord is the amount of wood in a well-stacked woodpile measuring 4 feet wide by 8 feet long by 4 feet high.

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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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Though trees are a vital part of our landscapes, there are situations where volunteer trees need to be controlled. This is often a case of the wrong plant in the wrong place. If the tree is a desirable species, you may want to consider transplanting in the spring. If it is not, active contro…

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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…