Available land, irrigation water, long growing season and central geographic location for marketing are particularly favorable for the expansion of horticultural crop production in Sedgwick County. Research emphasis at the center is on evaluating new varieties and production practices. We look at both food crops and ornamental plants, which add to the quality of life in home landscapes, parks, golf courses and other recreational areas.
A new grape vineyard has been planted and plans are on the table for a new peach orchard. Early spring or off season strawberry production are being studied in the field and high tunnel structures.
Vegetable crops we are rating include asparagus, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and tomatoes. There is a high tunnel structure being studied.
Our ornamental plant tests include shade, ornamental and flowering trees and flowers. We even study turfgrass for our transition zone. Recent additions to our trials include studies of medicinal plants.
The floriculture trials include bedding plants for evaluation and comparison to the same trials at the Olathe Center, Hays and Colby. Perennials were planted in trial beds the spring of 2001.
The research data we obtain is made available to the public through our various publications. We distribute these through the KSU Extension Service and at industry field days and other public events.