K-State Research and Extension News
July 19, 2012
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Flowers, Vegetables and Turfgrass to Take Center Stage at Hays Horticulture Evening;

Kansas Included in Soup Recall; 

Divide Iris Clumps as Summer Peaks

Flowers, Vegetables and Turfgrass to Take Center Stage at Hays Horticulture Evening

HAYS, Kan. – Kansas State University’s Agriculture Research Center at Hays will host its 2012 Evening Horticulture Event on Thursday, Aug. 30. The center is at 1232 240th Ave. in Hays.

Registration will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the refreshment tent by the flower trials. The program will run from 6 to 9 p.m. Presentation topics will include:

* Prairie Star annual flower trials,
* Turfgrass issues and
* Insect issues – lawn and garden.

A garden photography exhibit is included, and K-State Research and Extension specialists will be on hand to discuss horticulture topics on an informal basis.



Kansas Included in Soup Recall

MANHATTAN, Kan. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has announced the recall of 94,850 pounds of corn chowder soup.

The recall is in response to reports from two consumers who found pieces of a marker in the soup product, said Karen Blakeslee, K-State Research and Extension food scientist.

The soup products were marketed under a variety of brands in several states. In Kansas, the recall involves Chef’s Cupboard Chunk Chicken Corn Chowder. The 18.8-oz. cans are marked with a “best-by” date of March 1, 2014.

Consumers who have already purchased the products can return them to the point of purchase for a refund.

More information about the recall is available at Indiana Firm Recalls Corn Chowder Soup Products That May Contain Foreign Materials.

More information about consumer food science and safety is available at K-State Research and Extension offices throughout the state and online at K-State's Rapid Response Center.



Divide Iris Clumps as Summer Peaks

MANHATTAN, Kan. – If they’re happy where they live, bearded irises multiply. Unless gardeners divide the resulting clumps every three to five years, though, most varieties start losing vigor and flowering ability.

“Late July through early August is the ideal time -- not only to divide but also to plant or move irises,” said Ward Upham, K-State Research and Extension horticulturist.

For dividing, he recommends these steps:

* Soak dry soil a day or two before. Then dig up the entire clump. The revealed part will be a tangled mass of thick rhizomes (tough underground stems) and smaller feeder roots.

* Begin knocking off soil and twisting, breaking or cutting the root mass into smaller pieces. A knife or spade can help.

* Continue until you have planting-size divisions. The minimum is one rhizome with attached roots and a fan of leaves. (It probably won’t bloom next year.) The better division is Y-shaped:  two “minimums” with smallish rhizomes attached to a larger one.

* Discard broken roots. Get rid of old or dried-out rhizomes and those with borer damage or soft rot.

* Cut leaves back by two thirds.

* Prepare the planting site: Weed.  As needed, incorporate fertilizer and/or organic material, 6-8 inches deep.

* Dig a hole as deep as the division’s longest root. Either mound up soil to hold the rhizome in the hole’s middle, or hand-hold the rhizome at ground level while you replace the fill dirt. Water halfway through and after refilling the hole. The rhizome’s top surface should end up dusted with soil or exposed to the sun.

The usual planting arrangement is a triangle of three divisions, with their leaf fans facing out, 10 to 12 inches apart.

“If they’re facing the other way ‘round, you’ll be dividing again really soon,” Upham said.


K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus, Manhattan.

Story by: Elaine Edwards
K-State Research & Extension News

Contributing writers: Mary Lou Peter, Nancy B. Peterson and Kathleen Ward