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KSRE Tuesday Letter

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K-State Research and Extension
123 Umberger Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506-3401

July 19, 2016

KSRE Annual Flower Trial Field Days are Next Week!

Submitted by Cheryl Boyer

On July 26, Extension Horticulture will host an industry field day for our bedding plant research trial (Prairie Star Flowers) at the Olathe Horticulture Research and Extension Center, 35230 W. 135th St., Olathe, KS 66061. Educational sessions start at noon and include speakers from national and international plant breeders such as Dummen Orange and Euroamerican Propagators as well as practitioners in the industry. Registration includes lunch and dinner, speakers, and a trial notebook to take notes on the new cultivars of bedding plants participants think will be interesting for use in their businesses. Everyone related to the green industry is invited including growers, retailers, landscapers, city municipal parks departments, botanic gardens, landscape architects and Extension agents. Please encourage your stakeholders to attend.

Our bedding plant trial is one of only a few across the U.S. and the only one in the Great Plains region (closest are the Chicago Botanic Garden and the Denver Botanic Garden in conjunction with Colorado State University). We evaluate plants for vigor and floriferousness as well as the way in which they display flowers. Cultivars selected for the Prairie Star list must perform well for two years before being added to our recommended plant list. Last year we only added 36 cultivars to the list (out of more than 500 tested). This year we have had around 600 submissions, however, the weather has certainly thrown some of them for a loop. Come see for yourself how they have performed—you’ll be the first to know the best bedding plant cultivars in the pipeline!

The public field day, also hosted by the Johnson County Extension Master Gardeners, will be the following Saturday, July 30. Please come and invite friends and colleagues!