gardening en German engineering <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Thank goodness for gadgets because how else would we ever get things done?&nbsp; Things like cherry pitting for example must have&nbsp;driven Simple Simon's Pie Man to distraction.&nbsp; But then he probably was never lucky enough to find a dandy little gadget called the</span></p><p>Kernomat der “schnelle” Doppelentkerner.&nbsp; Ah, the joys of modern living live on in today's Growing on the High Plains.</p> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 05:00:01 +0000 Skip Mancini 34887 at German engineering Meet gardening's mini-Freddy Krueger <p></p><p>We’ve enjoyed a lush garden this summer with tall corn, big cabbages, sweet potato vines that could be jungle instead of food, and towering tomato plants. Imagine our horror when we visited the garden one morning to find an interstate of raised trails weaving in and out our plantings. This was my introduction to a live mole.</p><p> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 05:00:02 +0000 Karen Madorin 34643 at Meet gardening's mini-Freddy Krueger The Great Tomato Race <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">To participants in the great tomato race, the fourth of July is a big deal.&nbsp; It’s the finish line for the green thumb trying to win the title of “The First Tomato of the Season.”&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">If you missed out on this race, there are more tomato contests to come, like trying to win the distinction of growing “The Biggest Tomato” later this summer. &nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 05:00:01 +0000 Skip Mancini 34305 at The Great Tomato Race When it comes to rain, it's not good to want a thing too much <p></p><p>One of my favorite novels to teach is John Steinbeck’s <em>The Pearl</em>. I love his use of landscape, the very human ways the main character Kino and his young wife Juana face ills that befall them, and truths about human nature the author unfolds in quotes that spill from memory at odd times. One of those instances occurred recently.</p><p> Mon, 28 Apr 2014 05:00:02 +0000 Karen Madorin 31005 at When it comes to rain, it's not good to want a thing too much Gardening Gifts <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This week we'll look at items both from and for the garden, with some special attention given to finding gifts that might make gardening chores a bit easier for senior gardeners. &nbsp;We'll also look at some 'gifts from the soil' that don't really require soil, thus making them ideal holiday items for those who miss not having a garden of their own anymore. &nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p><p> Thu, 05 Dec 2013 16:30:00 +0000 Skip Mancini 25152 at Gardening Gifts Tom Gillan: Gardening on the Side <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;Tom Gillan is the owner of Native Nursery. &nbsp;He's also in the midst of writing a book titled&nbsp;<em>Gardening on the Side. &nbsp;</em>It's not about gardening as a hobby, it's about planning and planting specific to the side of the building.</span></p><p> Thu, 31 Oct 2013 05:00:02 +0000 Cindee Talley 23593 at Tom Gillan: Gardening on the Side Tomato Diseases <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span>A look back at my past gardening challenges brings up the myriad of difficulties one faces when trying to grow tomatoes. &nbsp;These most popular fruits of our gardening labors require consistent record keeping, as you don't ever want to plant them in the same space within a three year period. &nbsp;Tomatoes can suffer from a wide variety of soil-borne and airborne illnesses, as well as being the target of a horde of insects that can eat or infect the foliage of your prize plants. &nbsp;After years of fighting against blight, viruses, unpredictable weather patterns, and beastly bugs, I've decided that perhaps the best solution to my tomato problems is found in the adage about 'safety in numbers'.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p> Thu, 29 Aug 2013 13:52:54 +0000 Skip Mancini 20870 at Tomato Diseases Little Blue Stem <p></p><div>In a continuing investigation of landscape plans utilizing grass gardens, this week we'll look at Little Bluestem. &nbsp;This hardy 'bunch' or 'clump' grass is of a more manageable size than it's bigger relative, the Big Bluestem of the tall grass prairies. &nbsp;Little Bluestem can serve as an eye-catching accent plant, or as a seasonal backdrop for wildflowers or other blooming plants. &nbsp;And in its native habitat it provides forage for grazing animals and shelter for various birds and wildlife.</div><div> Thu, 15 Aug 2013 05:00:02 +0000 Skip Mancini 20170 at Little Blue Stem Entrepreneurship the real crop of this urban farm <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">When you grow up in the city, chickens aren’t something you see every day. But 13-year-old Malek Looney is getting to know them well.</span></p><p>"They’ll flap their wings and make loud noises and squawk at you. And you’ll be like, 'Oh no, they're mad at something,'" said Looney, taking a break from watering crops on a recent sunny morning.</p> Sat, 03 Aug 2013 05:01:00 +0000 Beth Lipoff 19693 at Entrepreneurship the real crop of this urban farm Red, White, and Blue <p></p><p> It's not too late, even in midsummer to plant a flowering Old Glory.&nbsp; Petunias are the flower of choice for high plains conditions.&nbsp; Thu, 04 Jul 2013 05:01:01 +0000 Skip Mancini 18163 at Red, White, and Blue Last Rites <p></p><p> I've finally given up the ghost in terms of trying to grow azaleas in a climate where they are not meant to be.&nbsp; I don't really know why some of us who like to garden on the High Plains won't take no for an answer, and stick to the plants that are meant for our near-desert terrain and weather.&nbsp; As I write this the calendar has just moved past the first week of June and the thermometer is edging above 104 degrees at early afternoon.&nbsp; Azaleas are Southern belles, needing moisture, reasonable winds and more acidic soil than we have in Western Kansas.&nbsp; If I want azaleas in my life from now on, they'll come in pots with foil wraps and big bows that put a touch of springtime on the Easter buffet table or a Mother's Day brunch. Thu, 27 Jun 2013 14:20:50 +0000 Skip Mancini 17987 at Last Rites If Color had a Taste, Green would be English Peas <p></p><p>English peas are a challenge for High Plains gardeners.&nbsp; To increase your chances to taste the color green from the garden, I've discovered these keys:</p><ul><li>Plant early</li><li>Stake against the wind</li><li>Water continuously</li><li>Check often because they go from tender orbs to hard marbles almost instantly Thu, 20 Jun 2013 05:01:01 +0000 Skip Mancini 17594 at If Color had a Taste, Green would be English Peas Assistant Pollinator <p> Watching bees and butterflies with pollen-coated legs buzz about my garden fascinates me. While I don’t plan to grow my leg hair until it can collect yellow nodules of plant magic, I have decided to join these insects’ efforts to pollinate my tomato blooms.</p> Fri, 14 Jun 2013 17:35:48 +0000 Karen Madorin 17420 at Assistant Pollinator Patchouli Rescue Stirs Memories <p></p> Thu, 30 May 2013 05:01:00 +0000 Skip Mancini 16660 at Patchouli Rescue Stirs Memories Lilac Memories <p></p><p>Memory triggers include anything from childhood toys,&nbsp; favorite tunes, or scents that punch the start button on videos of our past that cycle over and over in our heads.&nbsp; Each spring when lilacs bloom, I get a full two weeks of scented prompts that start those mind movies rolling.&nbsp;</p> Fri, 03 May 2013 05:01:00 +0000 Karen Madorin 15444 at Lilac Memories Spanish Moss a.k.a Gray Beard <p></p><p> A trip from the High Plains to the Coastal Plains of South Carolina brought Skip lots of new gardening images and ideas.&nbsp; One of the most interesting botanical finds was Spanish moss, a wispy airplant&nbsp; with an unusual history.&nbsp; This week Growing on the High Plains will take a look at an area of the country that is as botanically different from the flatlands of Kansas as day is different from night.</p> Thu, 28 Mar 2013 05:01:00 +0000 Skip Mancini 14026 at Spanish Moss a.k.a Gray Beard Hollyhocks <p>Hollyhocks thrive in this arid climate we call home.&nbsp; It does not flower the<br />first year, but sends up a tall stalk the next that will bloom most of the<br />summer.&nbsp; The best time to plant your seeds is late summer, giving it time to<br />sprout and get established before winter sets in.&nbsp; The most common disease<br />is rust, which can be managed by actively removing affected areas or with<br />chemicals.&nbsp;</p> Mon, 09 Jul 2012 05:02:41 +0000 Skip Mancini 2819 at Hollyhocks Early Birds <p></p><p> Most plants in Skip's garden got a jump on spring, producing foliage, buds, flowers, and fruits earlier than usual, and thus allowing an amazing harvest of ripe tomatoes in mid-June.</p><p> Mon, 02 Jul 2012 05:00:16 +0000 Skip Mancini 2818 at Early Birds