Southwind District
Krista Harding 
District Horticulture Agent


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Dear Gardener,

How many more gray days can we have?!? Everyone I talk to mentions how LONG this winter has been. It's amazing what a few days of sunshine can do for us. Here's hoping March is a "lamb" all month long!

As always, if you have horticulture questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.


Krista Harding
District Extension Agent

Kansas Weather Data
 The Kansas State Climatologist website is a fascinating page to visit! This page offers all kinds of interesting items related to weather, including monthly precipitation by county, average temperatures as well as soil temperatures. I look at this site a lot when we are in drier times because there is a link to the the drought monitor. Check it out! I think you will find some interesting and useful data. Here is the link: Kansas Climate 
Horticulture Office Locations
As the growing season is near, I want to remind of my office locations. The services I provide are FREE and available to anyone! Whether that is plant identification, making tree recommendations, problem solving or identifying insects, I can help you. Skip the internet search and ask a real person your questions!

Monday & Friday - Erie
Tuesday - Iola
Wednesday morning - Yates Center
Wednesday afternoon - Chanute
Thursday - Fort Scott 
Fruit Tree Spray Schedules
Now is the time to get a game plan together to control unwanted pests on fruit trees. Once the pest is found, it is often too late for control measures. K-State has a new set of publications for pest control on apples and stone crops. In addition, a new insecticide publication is also available. I have inserted these documents below. Just click on the link to view.

Spray Schedule for Apples

Spray Schedule for Stone Fruits

Fruit Pesticides

Proper Timing for Crabgrass Preventers
I'm one of the guilty ones that has a yard with more crabgrass in it than any other species of grass. Yes, I hate to admit that but it's true! I really notice this later in the summer when the fescue is slumping and the crabgrass has taken over. At that point, it is much too late to try to do anything about it. But, if you remember that you had a problem with crabgrass last summer, we approaching on the time of year to get it under control.

Crabgrass preventers do just that - they prevent crabgrass seed from developing into mature plants. Many people have somewhat of a foggy idea of how they work and assume they kill the weed seed or keep it from germinating. That is not the case. It prevents emergence.

Since preventers have no effect of existing crabgrass plants, it must be applied before germination. For our area, we need to apply preventers 
in late March. A good rule of thumb to use is, when you see the Redbud trees blooming, apply crabgrass preventer. Depending on the product used, you may need a follow-up application in 8 weeks. Dimension & Barricade are two products that only require a single application.
Pruning Deciduous Shrubs
The proper time to prune deciduous shrubs (those that lose the their    leaves each winter) is based on when they flower. Deciduous shrubs are placed into three groups:
  • Those that flower in the spring on wood produced last year
  • Those that flower later in the year on current seasons' growth
  • Those that produce flowers, but flower are of little ornamental value
Shrubs that flower in the spring should not be pruned until immediately after flowering. Though pruning earlier will not harm the health of the plant, the flowering display will be reduced. Examples include forsythia, lilac and mock orange.

Shrubs that bloom on current seasons' growth or that do not produce ornamental flowers are best pruned in late winter to early spring. Examples include Rose-of-Sharon and some spirea.

Grow It - Prepare It

Video - Growing Asparagus
Growing Asparagus
Growing Asparagus