Skip Mancini

Producer and host of High Plains History and Growing on the High Plains

Home community: rural Haskell County, KS (PO Box 699, Sublette, KS  67877)

Phone: (800) 678--7444 (Garden City studios)

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Great Gardens: Ready made shade

Credit carolinafarmstewards.org

When Kathleen and Robert Fields moved into their home, the neighborhood was well-established.  The backyard was surrounded with ready made shade.  Kathleen quickly learned that leaves were great start for compost.  

"Great gardens begin with soil building," she says, "You can get a sick plant and bring it back to health if you have good soil."

Kathleen also believes in perennials.  She subscribes to this saying, "The first year they sleep.  They second they creep.  The third they leap."

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

Great Gardens: Where the Buffalo Roam

Carole Geier

Today we travel to the sandhills south of Garden City, Kansas to the home of Larry and Carole Geier.  The couple has created an oasis in the midst of sagebrush and sand. The location has perks like night skies filled with stars, and some burly neighbors who used to roam the prairie. 

Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

The fine art of gardening

Sunset at Timbercreek Canyon
Credit 10weatherpics.blogspot.com

The Great Garden series continues with a visit to Darla Wood's garden in Timbercreek Canyon, Texas.  Darla has tried the traditional lawn route unsuccessfully, and now integrates art and listening what the land wants to be.   

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Growing on the High Plains episode
8:00 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Milkweed

Some consider this wildflower a weed, but to Monarch butterflies and those who love them, this perennial is precious and should be a part of every garden.   It is also perfectly suited to the high plains climate.

Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Great Gardens: Putting lawns to beds

Credit austinnativelandscaping.com

 In this look back at Great Gardens across the High Plains, Skip travels to Amarillo, Texas.  There she meets Bob Hatton, who took a yard composed primarily of lawn, and created a landscape featuring plants that trigger memories of his childhood like this beautiful redbud tree.

Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Great Gardens: Setting the table in Atwood, Kansas

Shirley Opera House- Atwood, Kansas
fundanything.com

The Great Garden series continues with a trip back in time to the Shirley Opera House in Atwood, Kansas.  Skip talks with Alice Hill who is setting the tables at the Opera House with good things from the garden.

You'll remember Alice Hill, whose latest adventure is Full Circle Aquaponics.  She's busy growing everything they eat at Beaver Creek Ranch. 

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Great Gardens: Going Native in the Texas Panhandle

highplainsgardening.com

As we continue looking back at the Great Gardens of the past, today we'll head to Amarillo, Texas to meet Angie Hanna.  Angie has coined the term "extreme" gardening, referring to growing things in a transitional climate that is between growing zones, faced with constant shifts.  The challenge of the climate brought Angie to a goal of working with the climate, not against it.  

Angie also has a website full of growing tips for our neck of the woods: highplainsgardening.com.

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Great Gardens Series

Skip Mancini asked gardeners from throughout our broadcast area to participate in a special 'show and tell' series on Growing on the High Plains. A 'June in January' look at eight great gardens begins with an overview of the people and places that Skip visited during the summer of 2008.

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Great Gardens: A look back

Gardens can be great even in drought-stricken, southwest Kansas. Skip's yard proves it.
Credit hutchnews.com

Today begins a look back at a series called Great Gardens, which originally aired in 2008.  Visits to eight High Plains gardeners located throughout the HPPR broadcast area resulted in interviews on a variety of topics.  From wildflowers to grapevines to landscaped lawns and cottage gardens, we'll begin a repeat of this series, and a call for eight more gardeners to join in a new interview series for the future.     

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

The Survivor Tree

Credit Fred R. Conrad / nytimes.com

During Skip's latest trip to The Big Apple she visited the 9/11 Memorial site and learned about a special tree that's growing in the center of the Plaza.  It's called The Survivor Tree, because it survived the 2001 destruction of the World Trade Center and surrounding area.  Nursed back to health by many volunteers, it was replanted in 2010 and was a big part of the opening of the Memorial Park in 2011.  Today the Callery pear tree stands tall among a forest of oaks, and it serves as a reminder of our human strength and spirit throughout the seasons of each year.

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Where do marshmallows come from?

Credit snakeroot.net

Skip explores a part of the plant world that offered something sweet in ancient times.  Today it's most prevalent in boggy areas or landscaped water gardens, which makes it quite popular in lots of back yards on the High Plains.    

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Deadheading

Credit agricultureguide.org

Today we'll learn about an ominous sounding chore that is a necessity for maintaining a perennial flower bed.  To some of our more mature listeners the title of today's show might recall Volkswagen vans packed with Greatful Dead fans touring the summer rock concert season.  But for the true garden buff, the term denotes a frequent summer chore of clipping spent blossoms in order to tidy up and control re-seeding.  It's a task that's never-ending but necessary.   

Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Phlox: A High Plains gardening favorite

Credit plantanswers.com

 Today we'll look at one of the most popular flowers in the garden, and one that is definitely easy to grow in the High Plains areas.  Once looked upon as a too tall and sometimes top heavy plant that sported pale colored blooms, phlox have been developed into various heights and some hot colors that will put some punch in your mid-summer perennial doldrums.     

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Thomas Drummond
8:00 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

Pioneer Plant Finder

Thomas Drummond, botanist
Credit skreb.co.uk

Not all New World explorers discovered countries.  Some found new plants for the world to enjoy.  Today we'll look at a naturalist who helped record the floral finery of the gulf coast of Texas.  

Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

Welcome to Lotusland

Credit nssga.org

A visit to Santa Barbara, California brought Skip to Lotusland and a look at an amazing series of gardens that was developed by a famous opera singer.  Over the years a collection of over 3,000 plants from throughout the world have been assembled in a beautiful setting of 25 separate gardens.  Many of the garden residents are rare and unusual, and some are even protected by international treaties, making this southern California stop a real treat in itself.   

Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Botanically speaking, succulents are hot

Credit thesucculentsource.com

One of the hottest trends in houseplants or patio pots is a widely mixed variety of succulents.  From tiny miniatures to super shrub sizes, these plants are fun to look at and to grow.  Akin to camels in that they can carry enough water to survive hot, dry locales, succulents can be a thorny cactus, a smooth and silky aloe or just about anything in between.

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

German engineering

Cindee Talley

Thank goodness for gadgets because how else would we ever get things done?  Things like cherry pitting for example must have driven Simple Simon's Pie Man to distraction.  But then he probably was never lucky enough to find a dandy little gadget called the

Kernomat der “schnelle” Doppelentkerner.  Ah, the joys of modern living live on in today's Growing on the High Plains.

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

The City of Brotherly Love: Reading Terminal Market

Reading Terminal Market
Credit foodabletv.com

On a recent trip to Philadelphia Skip explored a treasure trove of local food, fresh produce, and other special items just made for those who love farms and gardens and what they grow.  A historical setting that once served the Eastern U.S. as a huge train station has now become a huge market for all things tasty and tasteful.

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

The Great Tomato Race

Credit feastingonpixels.blogspot.com

To participants in the great tomato race, the fourth of July is a big deal.  It’s the finish line for the green thumb trying to win the title of “The First Tomato of the Season.”  

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.     

Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Lawns, Xeriscape style

Welcome to Ward's Garden Center, step inside for a tour
Cindee Talley

On this final visit about xeriscaping, we'll look at lawns (or the lack of them) in many dry-weather landscape designs.  Believe it or not, there are grasses that can give you a lawn for less water, and that fit in with the look of a xeriscape garden.

Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Xeriscape's Big Three

Credit Cindee Talley

 Our xeriscape series continues with a look at three blooming perennials that, once established, can bring a variety of colors, shapes, and textures to your low-water landscaping.

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Watering xeriscape style

Skip talks with the xeric experts at Ward's Garden Center. Left to right: Don Lonnberg, Matt Lutz, and Skip Mancini.
Credit Cindee Talley

Techniques that make every drop of water count in your xeriscape beds include how much, how often, and how to apply that gardener's liquid gold.  The importance of soil preparation is also discussed this week.  

Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Top five xeriscape shrubs

Skip, (left) talks with xeriscaping experts Don Lonnberg, (center), and Matt Lutz, (right).
Credit Cindee Talley

This week it's Matt Lutz's turn to give a 'favorite five' for a xeric garden.  He decided to highlight shrubs that will thrive in a near-desert climate.   

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Top five plants to use in xeriscaping

Don Lonnberg, right, talks with Skip Mancini.
Credit Cindee Talley

Horticulturalist Don Lonnberg gives us five of his favorites that will do well in a low-water, high-heat garden.

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Great Beginnings in Xeriscape Gardening

Skip Mancini (L) and Mike Ward (R) talk about the addition of xeriscaping experts and plants at Ward's in Garden City, Kansas
Credit hppr

Today Skip begins a series on xeriscaping by introducing some people who will be our guides as we travel down the road to survival during the dry times.

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Growing on the High Plains
8:01 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Introduction to Xeriscaping

Credit landscapingnetwork.com

 This week begins a series about xeriscaping.  Sometimes our growing conditions leave us feeling as if we’re living in the desert.  Today, Skip will teach us what kind of landscaping thrives in heat without much water.  

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Tree Planting Pointers

Lone tree stands on the plains near Johnson, Kansas
Credit stevegarufi.com

This week GHP looks at the best way to insure success with shade trees, starting at the very beginning with good ideas on planting.  We've turned to Master Gardener and long-time tree grower Shirley Buller to line up some simple tips and techniques to get your trees started down the right road to a long, healthy, and shady life.

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Growing on the High Plains
2:00 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Plant some shady savings

Credit blog.cartwrighttree.com

  

If you're looking for ways to cut energy costs in your home or business, don't just look inside.  Turn your gaze outside and consider planting some shade trees to help cool your abode in summer and keep it protected and filled with the warmth of natural sunlight in winter.

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Great Horned Owl facts and fallacy

Fledgling peeking out of the nesting platform.
Credit Skip Mancini

 Last week Skip told you about the efforts to attract great horned owls to her home, and the enjoyment watching these wonderful birds gives her.  This week, she shares owl facts, separating fact from fallacy.  

If you'd like to learn how to build a nesting platform for these magnificent birds, or if you'd like to see the family residence at Skip's, simply drop her an email using this link.

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Great Horned Owls: A tale of survival in southwestern Kansas

Nesting platform
Credit Skip Mancini

 Years ago the resident architect joined up with the family environmental engineer to create a very special abode.  They spent the weekend fashioning a nesting platform for great horned owls, in hopes of providing the perfect honeymoon cottage for the pair that spent the previous year in the shelterbelt.  Ollie and Big Owlberta moved in and set up house.  Their struggle to survive in this sometimes brutal land has taken the architect and the engineer on a rollercoaster ride of joy, grief, and worry.  

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