Stan Ring

Stan Ring is the Horticulture Program Assistant for K-State Research and Extension in Douglas County and contributor to the Lawrence Journal-World. He writes the Garden Variety column.

Recent stories

Garden Variety: Garden repair after a storm
June 11, 2014
Many portions of Kansas have received heavy rains and/or severe weather, including high winds, hail and, in a few cases, tornadoes. Our small garden ecosystems may have seen some damage as well, although not as bad as others or even our next door neighbors. So how can we help our gardens recover?
Garden Variety: Use bees to your benefit
June 4, 2014
Beekeeping is a new activity for many but continues to be a fun and rewarding one for those who enjoy gardening.
Garden Variety: Time again for annuals
May 22, 2014
Planting annuals for me is hit and miss. There is guidance courtesy of Kansas State University, which has research and a published list of what to plant. A Web search for “Prairie Star Flowers” will get you to that guidance.
Garden Variety: high-definition gardening
May 15, 2014
The simplest raised bed is just mounded soil, high in the center, tapering to the edge. Most have a border made of almost any material; lumber, logs, rocks, bricks, cinder blocks, etc., to retain this soil. The goal is to hold the growing media above ground level and truly define a place not to walk.
Garden Variety: The meddling nettle
May 8, 2014
Nettle is an inconspicuous plant, especially when small. It has a wiry stem, alternate heart-shaped leaves with serrated edges, and a cute white flower at the very top. It was not a plant I wanted; however, it does have both good and bad qualities.
Garden Variety: Take extra care when planting early
May 1, 2014
Gardeners often try to get a jump on the season by planting tomatoes as early as possible. Though this can be successful, there are certain precautions that should be observed, especially this year with the abnormally cool spring.
Garden Variety: Late spring freeze can have lasting effects
April 24, 2014
Just when we had allowed Spring Fever to really get the best of us, buying plants, cleaning the winter accumulation, trimming, and even mowing, along comes the freeze — a killing freeze in some places with only mottled frost in others. Out come the old sheets and blankets covering our most beloved and dotting our landscape like a bad modern art painting.
Garden Variety: It’s time for asparagus
April 17, 2014
Asparagus is one of those vegetables where freshness is incredibly important. If you have never eaten asparagus fresh out of the garden, try it. It may convince you to grow some of your own.
Garden Variety: Spring Fair can help you master your garden
April 10, 2014
As Master Gardener Jim Harmon says, the Douglas County Master Gardener Spring Fair “is an excellent educational opportunity for anyone who wants to learn about gardening.”
Garden Variety: Controlling early spring weeds
April 3, 2014
Two specific weeds seem to become nemeses to gardeners first in the growing season: dandelion and henbit. Both, in quantity, produce lush purple or yellow casts to open fields and, at the same, a singular eyesore in our space.

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