KC Gardens

Annual K-State Horticulture Center Field Day - July 26

Field day
Field day Submitted photo

Come see the hottest, newest plants while enjoying cool classes in air conditioned comfort and icy cold water while wandering the field trials. Learn about the latest and greatest before it ever hits the garden centers. It's all here at the K-State Research and Extension Horticulture Center’s Field Day, Saturday, July 26, from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. It's your chance to peek behind the scenes, talk with the experts and learn about the latest varieties and methods for achieving growing success.

Admission is $5 per person, which includes ice cold bottled water, seminars, classes and demonstrations. K-State Research and Extension horticulture research develops its list of recommended grasses, flowers or vegetable varieties through university research conducted in Olathe to determine what grows best in our Kansas City landscapes.

What you'll see

The Center conducts research in flowers and vegetables. Visitors can speak with university professors heading up the research and Johnson County Extension Master Gardener volunteers.

Highlights – Flower Area

  • Annual flower trials - Companies from around the world submit their newest developments. The research trials show which flowers can withstand the Kansas City climate. The trials illustrate that not all varieties are created equal. Check out the container plantings as some annuals are only meant for use in pots.
  • Impatiens - Are you concerned about downy mildew? Come check out the research being conducted on alternatives plants for the landscape. Many new cultivars are being grown to see how they stand up to our climate.
  • Native Plants, Liatris – Numerous varieties of this Kansas native have been planted. See how these blue-spiked flowers can perform in your garden.
  • Cannas – This favorite plant is making a comeback in the garden with smaller varieties suitable for creating texture in the landscape or for dramatic containers.
  • Cutting Garden – Grow your own flowers for the table with a cutting garden. See the array of flower colors and varieties to grow.

Highlights – Vegetable Area

  • No till Gardening – Reducing tillage in the garden is all the rage. See how minimal tillage can be used in your garden to reduce work and improve yields.
  • Tomato and Pepper Variety Trials – Check out the new introductions and find out which varieties will make the cut in our quest for bigger yields and flavor.
  • Grafted Tomatoes – This latest trend is breathing new life into heirloom tomatoes. Learn more about this process and see how they compare.
  • Backyard Garden Demonstration Garden – Vegetable gardening is as popular as ever. This Extension Master Gardener’s project demonstrates various methods of growing vegetables. Raised beds, trellises, and different planting methods are demonstrated along with a fruit garden. Stop by the Extension Master Food Volunteer booth to sample tantalizing treats using fresh herbs and gluten free ingredients. We’ll also share some recipes and tell you about upcoming cooking classes. And don’t forget to bring some dollars to enter for a chance to win our Unique Kitchen Utensils gift basket.

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.ksu.edu/soiltestto 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 information call (913) 715-7000, or visit www.johnson.ksu.edu.