K-State Research and Extension Horticulture Center Field Day

Date: Saturday, July 26, 2014

Time: 8am - 3pm

Tickets: $5, purchase at the gate

Trial beds of annual flowers at the K-State Extension Horticulture Research Center in Olathe, Kansas.

Come see the hottest, newest plants while enjoying cool classes in air conditioned comfort and icy cold water while wandering the university's field trials. Learn about the latest and greatest before it ever hits the garden centers. It's your chance to peek behind the scenes, talk with the experts and learn about the latest varieties and methods for achieving growing success.

K-State Research and Extension horticulture research develops its list of recommended grasses, flowers or vegetable varieties through university research conducted in Olathe to determine what grows best in our Kansas City landscapes.

Admission is $5 per person, which includes:

  • bottled water,
  • seminars,
  • air conditioned classes, and
  • demonstrations.

What You'll See

The Center conducts research in vegetable production and flowers. 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 developments. The research trials show which flowers can withstand the Kansas City climate. The trials illustrate that not all varieties are created equal.  Check out the container plantings as some annuals are only meant for use in pots.

Magenta New Guinea ImpatiensImpatiens - Are you concerned about downy mildew? Come check out the research being conducted on alternatives plants for the landscape.  Many new cultivars are being grown to see how they stand up to our climate.

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

Cannas – This favorite plant is making a comeback in the garden 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
Red tomato and green tomato growing on the vine.

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.

Dr.Alan Stevens, K-State Research and ExtensionFree soil tests

Johnson County residents can bring their soil and get one free soil test, complements of Johnson County Stormwater Management. A soil test determines the nutrients in the soil. It is important to know the nutrient levels to grow healthy plants. Go to www.johnson.ksu.edu/soiltest to learn how to take a soil sample.  At least 2 cups of dry soil are needed for a proper test.



The Research Center is located at 35230 West 135th Street, Olathe. The entrance is approximately nine miles west of Highway 7 on 135th Street. Admission is $5 at the gate.

Lunch will be available for purchase during the event.

For information call (913) 715-7000.


Lawn&Garden Research Center Field Day>Vegetables

Video: Local plant and flower trial garden growing international acclaim

Saturday, July 26
  • 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Rain or Shine!

Admission: $5, at the gate -- includes bottled water and hourly lectures delivered by professionally trained experts

Location: Research Center, 35230 West 135th, Olathe (approximately nine miles west of Highway 7 on 135th Street.)

Dennis Patton, horticulture agent, K-State Research and Extension in Johnson County presents a seminar on hydrangeas.
Class Room Speaker Schedule (Main Building) TBA
  • 9 a.m. – Permaculture for the Home Landscapes by Jim Crist, EMG
    Gardening can be hard work and unproductive or it can be beautiful and rewarding.  By being a part of nature instead of working against it, we can create beautiful and bountiful landscapes with fewer efforts.
  • 10:15 a.m. – Hardscapes and Garden Paths by Jack Carson, EMG
    Are the foundation to a good garden design.  Come learn to construct a solid path and get ideas to beautify your outdoor space
  • 11:15 a.m. – The In’s and Out’s of Food Preservation, Johnson County Extension Master Food Volunteers
  • 12:15 p.m.– Edible Forest Gardening by Caitlin Dix, EMG
    Instead of the traditional row by row crops which can be labor intensive, how about mimicking nature by creating ecosystem which is much more practical and self-sustaining for the gardeners.
  • 1:15 p.m – Perennial Garden Renovation Ideas by Mae Christenson, EMG
    Not happy with your overgrown garden but don’t know where to start? Let’s talk about it and hopefully, walk away with exciting solutions
  • 2: 15 p.m. – It all begins with the Soil by Nancy Chapman, EMG
    Soil is not just dirt; it’s the foundation to growing healthy plants. “When you take care of the soil, the top will take care of itself.” When you attend this class, you will be surprised by how much fun dirty talk can be.

Walk and Talks – Hosted by K-State Research Faculty TBA
  • 9 a.m. – Prairie Star Flower Trials Dr. Alan Stevens, KSU
    (Flower field across from main building)
  • 10 a.m. – Fruit and Vegetable Research Update Dr. Cary Rivard, Molly Fusselman, Kim Oxley, KSU
    (Gather by the high tunnels (hoophouses) south of the Backyard Garden)
  • 11 a.m. – High Tunnel Tomato Projects Lani Meyer and Mike Ryan, KSU M.S. Students
    (Gather by the high tunnels (hoophouses) south of the Backyard Garden)
  • Noon – Patio Container Trials Robin Dremsa, Research Associate
    (East of main building)
  • 1 p.m. - Prairie Star Flower Trials Dr. Alan Stevens, KSU
    (Flower field across from main building)
  • 1 p.m. - Fruit and Vegetable Research Update Dr. Cary Rivard, Kim Oxley, KSU
    (Gather by the high tunnels (hoophouses) south of the Backyard Garden)
Backyard Garden Series (meet under the blue roof in the research field)
  • Stop by and check out the activities. Volunteers will be available throughout the day to answer questions and give tours. 
  • At 10:15 tour the newly planted native pollinator garden located at the main entrance behind the registration tent.
  • Protein crops will be highlighted at noon. Meet for this talk at the garden located in the field.

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