Horticulture evening will be hosted in Hays Sept. 11

An informational evening filled with horticulture topics and displays is planned for Sept. 11 at the Kansas State University Agricultural Research Center in Hays. The outdoor event will feature production and water conservation techniques around the lawn and garden. The event is free and the public is welcome.

Presentations by the Ellis County Extension Master Gardeners will highlight production of 10 tomato, 23 pepper and six zucchini/squash varieties. Attendees will be able to taste varietal variations at sampling tables.

The Master Gardeners will share their experiences with a backyard garden demonstration plot and a composting station adjacent to the garden will be available to view. The garden is in its second year of production.

Holly Dickman, water conservation specialist with the City of Hays, will discuss water conservation and warm season grass demonstration plots. The plots are part of a Turf Conversion Program promoted by the City of Hays, which encourages homeowners to convert full-sun-exposure lawns planted with a cool-season turf to a low-water-use turfgrass or landscaping. The advantages, according to Dickman, are water conservation and less maintenance.

Dickman will speak about a plot of xeric flower varieties being established this year which can thrive in dry conditions will little or minimal care in the Hays area. More varieties will be planted this fall and next spring.

Homeowners are encouraged to bring neighbors and friends, ask questions and share gardening experiences. The event will be in the Horticulture Gardens of the K-State Agricultural Research Center at 1214 240th Ave. The center is directly south of Hays across from the parks along the 183 By-Pass.

Registration starts at 5:30 p.m. with the program beginning at 6 p.m. It ends at twilight. More information is available by calling 785-625-3425.