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Garden Variety: Kaw Valley Farm Tour returning soon

The 16th annual Kaw Valley Farm Tour will be held as planned on Oct. 3 and 4. The self-guided tour of local farms is an opportunity to meet farmers, learn about locally produced agricultural products and see ag production practices firsthand. The bulk of the tour is outdoors with plenty of ...

Garden Variety: Natural touches for your fall decor

There is something about fall, with its cooler temperatures and changing leaves, that seems to lure even the most minimalist of decorators into setting pumpkins on the porch. Perhaps the cheery orange color is hard to resist, or there is something appealing about seeing the fruits of the ...

Garden Variety: Protect your sunflower seed harvest from wildlife

Sunflowers add a splash of late-summer color to gardens and landscapes, but they are more than just pretty flowers. The seeds produced by these plants are a tasty treat for people and wildlife. Take steps now and in the coming weeks, as the flowers fade, to preserve the seeds for harvest this ...

Garden Variety: Jog your memory with a garden journal

Writing about successes and failures in the garden is a good way to ensure the successes are repeated and mistakes are avoided. Making notes about the garden, or journaling, can be done any time of year, but late summer — as the garden fades and harvest slows — is an optimal time to make ...

1930s Lawrence home with modern addition blends old and new

A lath wall transitions the Maletsky household from its antique, original section to its modern, bright addition. Through the spaced wooden panels — once used as a wall’s foundation — one can view the living and dining room of a house originally built in the 1930s. There are wooden ...

Garden Variety: Getting the most of your winter squash crop

There are many kinds of squash, and the best time to harvest each is different. In particular, the winter squash group, which includes acorn, butternut, spaghetti, and other squash with hard mature rinds, can be difficult to know when to pick. Winter squash also has a longer shelf life (and in ...

Garden Variety: Know the signs, causes of tree decline

Late summer is often the time of year when trees that are struggling to survive succumb to environmental stresses and/or pests. They may put on an early show of fall color before dropping their leaves, or they may simply drop their leaves or needles. This happens with trees in natural settings ...

Garden Variety: Renovate to keep your lawn in good shape

Healthy lawns reduce erosion, require less mowing than weedy ones and are an easy way to cover an expanse of outdoor space. Many people think healthy lawns require a lot of inputs and maintenance, but they really only need a little extra care at certain times of the year. In the Lawrence area, ...

Garden Variety: Now’s the time to control crabgrass

Early August is when crabgrass becomes most noticeable in the Lawrence area, and it is especially prolific this year. The weedy grass grows in spreading clumps and favors curb lines, bare spots in the lawn, landscape beds, gardens and sidewalk cracks. Now is the time to control it or make plans ...

Garden Variety: Know how to identify, remove poison ivy

Poison ivy is well known for the reactions most people have from handling or brushing against the plant, but despite its notoriety, many people also find it hard to recognize. To add to the confusion, there are mentions of poison oak and poison sumac. Poison ivy is native to Kansas and ...

Garden Variety: How to handle sweet corn problems and pests

July is sweet corn season in Kansas. While some gardeners are already enjoying fresh ears of corn from their gardens, many are still waiting for kernels to develop or are battling corn earworms, raccoons and deer. Here are some tips for dealing with these problems and pests. The most common ...

Garden Variety: Assassin bugs in your garden? No problem

Many Lawrence-area gardeners are taking notice of an interesting and distinctive insect this summer, which appears to have a larger population than usual. The insect is commonly known as a wheel bug or assassin bug (Arilus cristatus), and it benefits plants by feeding on plant pests. Right ...

Garden Variety: When to harvest fruits and veggies

Knowing the right time to harvest fruits and vegetables from the garden is tricky for some crops, even for experienced gardeners. To complicate it further, some produce can be harvested at different stages or have additional edible parts of the plant than what is traditionally harvested. Follow ...

Garden Variety: Now’s the time for fresh blackberries

Blackberry season is beginning in northeast Kansas. If you are already growing blackberries, you should check your plants for ripe fruit and begin harvesting. Otherwise, consider picking berries at a local farm, purchasing fresh ones at a local farmers market or planting some blackberry plants ...

Garden Variety: Wildflowers are in bloom; here’s how to identify them

Black-eyed Susans, yellow sweet clover, Queen Anne’s lace, and many other wildflowers and grasses are putting on a show on Kan- sas roadsides, in native prairie sites, and in the nearby Flint Hills. If you have the chance to go for a drive, a bike ride or a walk in one of these regions, this ...

Garden Variety: Tips for keeping weeds out of your vegetable garden

As summer-loving vegetable plants begin to thrive in the warm Kansas sun, summer-loving weeds are taking off too. They appreciate water, fertile soil, and light as much as cultivated plants, and unfortunately some of them are a challenge to control. The best approach uses a combination of ...

Garden Variety: Plant pumpkins this month for an October harvest

In Kansas, early to mid-June is the best time to plant pumpkins, squash and gourds in the garden for harvest in October. Growing them is a fun solo or family activity which yields fruit for cooking, jack-o’-lanterns, fall displays and future birdhouses. When most people think of pumpkins, ...