Flowers on trial in Western Kansas
Flowers are on trial at the Kansas State University Agricultural Research Centers in Colby and Hays, Kansas.
Kansas is a big state, with varied climate and growing conditions. Western Kansas is unique with its hot days, lack of rain, and high elevation. Those factors create conditions where flowers store more sugars in their petals. That results in deeper, darker, richer, and more vibrant colors according to a recent blog post by Dr. Stevens for the Leavenworth Times.
Every year in late summer, Kansas State University holds Horticulture Field Days at the Colby and Hays stations.
In Colby, visitors are welcome anytime to stroll the grounds and look at the flower trial plots and containers. The Center is located on the west side of Colby, just south of Highway 24. The grounds of the Research & Extension center are open during daylight hours 7 days a week.
The Colby event is this evening, Wednesday, August 13, with registration at 5:15, guided tours at 5:30, and speaker programs beginning at 6:15.
In Hays, Horticulture night is a Thursday, August 14. Registration starts at 5:30, with the program at 6:00.
Attendees can enjoy a free hot dog, and listen to experts talk about the Prairie Star Flower test results, lawn management issues, shrub varieties for our climate, tomato and pepper, and garden-friendly insects.
The tracts of flowers are visible from I-70 at the Hays Ag Research Center. If you pull off, you’ll see how different flowers are surviving north-central Kansas.
The Hays grounds are also open to visitors during daylight hours on regular business days.
Here’s contact information for both facilities:
The Northwest Research-Extension Center
105 Experiment Farm Rd
Colby, Kansas 67701-0505
Western Kansas Agricultural Centers
1232 240th Avenue
Hays, Kansas 67601
Dr. Stevens has been at Kansas State University for over 20 years researching flowers. He serves as the State Extension Specialist in Floriculture and is director of the Horticulture Research Center in Olathe, KS.