Right Plant Right Place

Man Landscaping

Not all plants are suitable for all areas of the state or even all areas of your yard! It is important to know what site requirements (i.e. soil types, water needs, sun exposure, hardiness zone, etc.) each type of plant needs to be a healthy, vigorous addition to the landscape.

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Water Wise

Water-Saving Irrigation Techniques

Water Spray

Educating yourself about water efficient technologies and strategies in regards to your own lawn or landscape will help conserve our natural resource and save you money. If you have an irrigation system, having a Certified Landscape Irrigation Auditor inspect your lawn will ensure maximum efficiency. For your reference, more information can be found on the Irrigation Association website at www.irrigation.org.

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Mulch in Garden

Mulch: A cover to protect plant roots.

The use of mulch will improve water infiltration and reduce storm water runoff. An additional benefit is that mulch will shade the soil reducing water evaporation. Choosing to use an organic mulch will improve the soil texture over time. Also, it can suppress weeds that compete with the desired plant. How well a mulch conserves moisture is determined by its composition and how it is applied.

Listed here are several of the most commonly used landscape mulches available. Deciding which mulch to use will depend on its cost, availability, ease of use, durability, and its appearance in your particular situation.

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Grasscycle and Compost

Compost Bin

Grasscycling is the easy practice of allowing grass clippings to drop back on the surface of the lawn after mowing. Once cut, grass clippings first dehydrate, then decompose, quickly disappearing from view.

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Your soil may already have enough nutrients to support plant growth, and you can save time and money as well as helping the environment by not applying more. Using too much fertilizer leads to pest problems and excessive plant growth. It also adds to pollution in Kansas rivers, lakes, streams, and wetlands. Underfertilizing is not the best option either; it can lead to thin grass or weeds which allow soil to erode.

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Managing Yard Pests

Row Covers

Manage gardens and landscapes by using cultural and mechanical methods that enhance natural enemy effectiveness. Grow diverse plant species and tolerate low populations of plant-feeding insects and mites so that some food is always available to retain predators and parasites. Plant a variety of sequentially flowering species to provide natural enemies with nectar, pollen, and shelter throughout the growing season.

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Stormwater Runoff and Pollution/Water Quality

Storm Water Runoff

Storm Drain

Storm water runoff is precipitation from either rainstorms or melting snow that does not soak into the ground or other porous surfaces.  Storm water from neighborhoods is carried efficiently via storm drains to rivers, lakes, streams and beaches.  The presence of chemicals in the storm water can pollute these bodies of water and the environment, impacting plants and wildlife and polluting drinking water.

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Songbirds and Butterflies

Children Making a Birdhouse

Building a bird house is a great family activity.

Biodiversity is important for a healthy yard. Many gardeners try to attract songbirds, butterflies, and other wildlife because of the creatures' roles in feeding on insect pests and pollinating flowers.

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Horticulture Newsletter

KSU Horticulture Newsletter

Get more information from our weekly newsletter.

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