July 11, 2003 | By: Aimee D. Heald

From nontraditional cut flowers to mini watermelons, the University of Kentucky Twilight Horticulture Tour will have something to interest just about anyone.

The UK Horticultural Research Farm in south Lexington is home to dozens of projects and variety trials, and on July 22 from 6 p.m. until dark all of them will be spotlighted. 

“There’s going to be a whole host of things we will be able to show growers our latest research give them some ideas of things they can do themselves,” said John Strang, UK Extension horticulture specialist. “We’re planning to have a wagon tour at the beginning so visitors can go to all the stops and then have some time at the end where they can go back and talk to the guides about what interests them most.”

Strang said tour participants will have a chance to see how the farm is using hydrangeas, bittersweet, lilacs, holly, peonies and more as cut flowers. Another interesting stop on the tour focuses on mini watermelon production.

“Mini seedless watermelons are something that has caught the public’s attention,” he said. “These will fit in the refrigerator very easily. They’ve become popular in a lot of the farmers’ markets across the United States and there are several varieties. We’re looking at them to see how they will work in Kentucky.”

If flowers and melons don’t pique your interest, there are plenty of other stops including cucumber plots, a gourmet potato plot, sorghum varieties, as well as pot-in-pot tree production, the All-American vegetable selection plot and organic pepper production.

Strang said researchers at the farm have been conducting trials to see if wasps may serve as a biological control for the European corn borer on peppers. Researchers are studying organic methods of weed control as well.

The Twilight Tour is open to the public, but is mainly aimed at commercial growers. For more information please contact your local county Extension office, Strang at 859-257-5685 or Brent Rowell at 859-257-3374. The UK Horticultural Research Farm is located on the southwest corner of Nicholasville Road and Man O’ War Boulevard in Lexington.


Writer: Aimee D. Heald 859-257-4736, ext. 267
Source: John Strang 859-257-5685