Yes, it's hard to think that anyone could make something grow in the midst of all this summer heat, but now is the time for planning for fall crops such as alfalfa, gardens, wheat, cool season turf grasses and landscape trees and shrubs.

Preplant wheat meeting

Producers are working fast and hard to stay ahead of the weeds in field crops and fields that will be planted to wheat this fall. But many other factors need to be considered before the first seeds are put in the ground.

To approach the 2010 wheat crop with the latest information, I've scheduled a preplant wheat meeting for Aug. 17, beginning at 10 a.m., at the Finney County 4-H Building.

Guest presenter will be Dr. Kent Martin, Extension crops and soils specialist from the Kansas State Research and Extension Center here in Garden City. This will be the first time for many of you to meet Kent, and I firmly believe you'll soon learn that he is, and will continue to be, a tremendous asset for field crop research and information for southwest Kansas. Kent has a vast knowledge of soils and crop production that he is anxious to share.

Kent will address several topics, particularly the latest K-State "Wheat Seed Book" performance results that soon will be available. Also, I've asked him to review the "Wheat Disease and Insect Ratings" publication that is now available. But, Kent especially wants to hear the questions and concerns that producers bring to the table for discussion.

Fall alfalfa planting

Late August is an ideal time for fall alfalfa planting. If you are a new producer of this perennial crop, please do you homework ahead of time. A lot of dollars are spent in seed, field preparation and timeliness of each of the numerous practices vital to a successful stand going into the winter months. The Alfalfa Production Guide is available at the Extension office or go online to download the latest information.

Fall gardening

Yes, in the midst of the heat, you can be planting additional crops for harvest later in the fall. For early August, vegetables would be beans, carrots and beets. Later in the month, others will include the horseradish roots, lettuce, radish, spinach and turnips. I'll gladly share my personal fall gardening tips and the university recommendations, just stop in or give me a call at 272-3670.

Fall cool season turfgrasses

Mid-September is the ideal time to seed cool season turf such as the fescues and bluegrasses. But now is the critical time to prepare for that magical green carpet that you dream of having. Begin with soil weed control, soil preparation, grade and drainage work, irrigation considerations, seed selection, seeding rates, watering to get a great stand, weed control in the fall, fertility and when to give that first mowing!

Sound like work? Well, yes, it is, but the rewards will be well worth it for years to come. We have a complete set of publications that will guide you through the whole process with the beautiful green carpet ending. Stop by the Extension office at 501 S. Ninth for complete information or to visit with me.