K-State Research and Extension News
July 09, 2014
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Annual K-State Horticulture Center Field Day is July 26

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Gardeners can see what flowers, fruits and vegetables grow best in the area

OLATHE, Kan. — There’s a place where would-be and veteran gardeners alike can see the hottest, newest plants while enjoying cool classes in air conditioned comfort and icy cold water while wandering the field trials. It's all at the K-State Horticulture Research and Extension Center’s Field Day, Saturday, July 26, from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. just west of Olathe.

The field day offers a chance to peek behind the scenes, talk with experts and learn about the latest fruit, vegetable, and flower varieties and methods for achieving growing success.

Admission is $5 per person at the gate, which includes cold bottled water, seminars, classes and demonstrations. K-State Research and Extension horticulture researchers develop their lists of recommended flower and vegetable varieties through research conducted in Olathe to determine what grows best in Kansas City-area landscapes. 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 plants. The research trials show which flowers can withstand the Kansas City-area climate. The trials show 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? Research is being conducted on alternative plants for the landscape. Many new cultivars are being grown to see how they stand up to the local climate.

  • Native Plants, Liatris – Numerous varieties of this Kansas native have been planted. See how these tall, spiked flowers can perform in your garden.

  • Cannas – This favorite plant is making a comeback 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 recipes and tell you about upcoming cooking classes. And don’t forget to bring some dollars to enter for a chance to win a Unique Kitchen Utensils gift basket.

Free soil tests

Johnson County residents can bring soil samples 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 -- important when trying to grow healthy plants. Go to Soil Testing in Johnson County, Kansas to 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 K-State Horticulture Research and Extension Center is located at 35230 West 135th Street, Olathe. The entrance is approximately nine miles west of Highway 7 on 135th Street. Lunch will be available for purchase during the event. For information call (913) 715-7000, or visit K-State Research and Extension Johnson County.


Stop by the 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.



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: Adele Wilcoxen
K-State Research & Extension News

Dennis Patton – 913-715-7000