Here are three ways to prune, Ward Upham of K-State says:
• Thin out branches from a shrub that is too dense. Remove most of the inward-growing twigs by either cutting them back to a larger branch or cutting them back to just above an outward-facing bud. On multi-stemmed shrubs, the oldest canes can be completely removed.
• To reduce height or keep a shrub compact, remove the end of a branch by cutting it back to a bud. Don’t cut branches back to a uniform height, because that results in a witch’s-broom effect.
• For multi-stem shrubs that have become too large, with too many old branches to justify saving the younger canes, cut all stems back to 3- to 5-inch stubs. This is not recommended for all shrubs but does work well for spirea, forsythia, pyracantha, ninebark, Russian almond, little leaf mock orange, shrub roses and flowering quince, Upham says.
Forsythia x intermedia Kolgold (Magical Gold) has extra large (quarter-size), rich golden-yellow flowers and grows 4 to 5 feet tall and wide.
Golden Peep (Courdijau) forsythia is a smaller, more compact form (1½ to 2½ feet tall and wide) with bright yellow flowers and yellow to purple fall color as a bonus.
A trio of introductions from Proven Winners: Show Off (Mindor), Show Off Starlet (Minfor6) and Show Off Sugar Baby (Nimbus). All three are compact; Show Off grows 5 to 6 feet tall, but the second two are dwarfs – Starlet grows 24 to 36 inches tall and wide, and Sugar Baby grows 18 to 30 inches tall and wide.
Cabbage, broccoli, endive, cauliflower, lettuce, potatoes, radishes, onions, peas, spinach, strawberries, rhubarb, turnips and beets. Be sure the soil is dry enough to be crumbly before you plant. Ward Upham of K-State gives these tips for planting:
• Fertilize vegetables before planting, working the fertilizer into the soil. It is best to have a soil test done first to be sure what the soil needs, but failing that, use a vegetable fertilizer at the suggested rate.
• Plants that are coming outdoors from indoors should be gradually exposed to the wind and cold, and this can take as long as a week. This is the time, when the soil is cool, to use a root stimulator or transplant solution to water in the plants. Use about 1 cup of solution per plant.
• Onions are usually grown from sets (small bulbs) or plants. Plants are usually better labeled by variety than sets, Upham says. “Onions can be planted thickly if young plants are harvested for green onions so that the remaining onions are thinned,” he says. “Those left to develop bulbs will need to be about 4 to 6 inches apart. Onions are shallow rooted, so be sure to water if the weather turns dry.”
Here is the seminar schedule:
9 a.m.: Frustrated With Fescue? by Butler County extension agent Larry Crouse
10 a.m.: Beautiful Plants That Need Less Water, by Scott Vogt of Dyck Arboretum of the Plains in Hesston
11 a.m.: Hellebores: The Gardeners Dream Plant, by master gardener Helen Pauls
Noon: Soup It Up! (how to grow, freeze and use produce to make soup), by master gardener Gerre Brown
1 p.m.: Attracting Bees and Butterflies, by Kay Neff of Neff Family Farm
2 p.m.: Planting a Succulent Dish Garden, by master gardener Lisa Barland
3 p.m.: Watering Plants and Not Your Sidewalk, by Riley County extension agent Greg Eyestone
4 p.m.: Fantastic Fragrant Shrubs, by Riley County extension agent Greg Eyestone
1 p.m.: Plant Mafia! (plants that are incompatible), by Lee Llammas of Harvest Greenhouse and master gardener Becky Freund
2 p.m.: Landscaping for the Birds, by Geary County extension agent Chuck Otte
3 p.m.: Hummingbirds of Kansas, by Geary County extension agent Chuck Otte
4 p.m.: The Coolest Way to Compost! by Harvey County extension agent Scott Eckert.