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Gardener’s almanac (Sept. 29)

  • Published Saturday, Sep. 29, 2012, at 7:53 a.m.
  • Updated Saturday, Sep. 29, 2012, at 7:54 a.m.

Shine on, harvest moon – I don’t know how cloudy it will be, but tonight is the full harvest moon, at its fullest at 10:19 p.m.

Finally, rain – The end of September has finally brought us rain. Before planting, wait for the soil to dry out so that when a handful is squeezed, no water comes out and an indention of your fingers isn’t left behind, but the soil is crumbly. (Like a NuWay?)

Preparing a planting site – Ward Upham of K-State gives these directions for preparing a fruit planting site in the fall – applicable for any planting you may want to do:

Till grassy areas so grass does not compete with the fruit plants for moisture and nutrients. Have the soil analyzed for plant nutrients; you can get soil-test instructions from the Extension Center at 21st and Ridge Road. Organic matter such as compost, grass clippings, leaves, hay, straw or dried manure can be tilled into the soil to help improve it.

“If fruit plants can be set by early April, they will have developed a stronger root system to support plant growth than they would if planted later,” Upham says.

Plant – Garlic, spring-flowering bulbs, grass seed, sod, pansies, trees and shrubs.

Garden events

Bartlett Arboretum concert – Bartlett Arboretum will be open Sunday for a concert by the Kelley Hunt Band. Tickets are $10. Gates open at 3 p.m., and the concert will be at 4 p.m. Food will be for sale from Lyon’s Den BBQ and Luciano’s Italian Cuisine; picnics also are welcome. Dogs not allowed.

Twilight tour – Scenic Landscapes will have its annual twilight tour from dusk to midnight Oct. 5 and 6. People can sit around the campfire and in various garden areas that will be alight throughout five acres of the nursery at 5911 W. Maple. A movie will be shown in the amphitheater at dusk both nights, and live music will include the Jukes with Clif Major performing from 8 to 11 p.m. Friday. Free refreshments will include hot dogs, marshmallows, hot apple cider and popcorn. Admission is free. For more information, call 316-942-4861.

Learn about rose and coneflower diseases – Rose rosette is a disease that has been ravaging roses across the Wichita area. You can learn about the disease – and about aster yellows, which hits other perennials, especially coneflowers – when the Sedgwick County Extension Office and the Wichita Rose Society host a class on them at 7 p.m. Oct. 9 at Botanica. Raymond Cloyd of Kansas State University will present the class during the monthly meeting of the rose society. Refreshments will be served at 6:30 p.m. The meeting is free and open to the public.

Fall hours at Botanica – Evening hours have ended for the season at Botanica, but the gardens will be open on Sundays through October, from 1 to 5 p.m. Hours for Monday through Saturday are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission on Thursdays is $3 year-round, and Botanica is the Walktober 2012 location every Thursday in October. For more information on Walktober, go to the website www.hwcwichita.org.

“Wichita’s History in Picture Postcards” talk – Jim Mason will be at Botanica on Wednesday to give a talk about his new book featuring 200 vintage picture postcards showing what Wichita was like 100 years ago. Copies of the book will be available for purchase. The lunchtime lecture, at 12:15, is included in Botanica admission.

Botanica Alfresco – Botanica will be transformed into an outdoor dining room for the annual Alfresco Gala benefit at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 5. Tickets are $100, or $75 for Botanica members. Make reservations by Monday at botanica.org or call 316-264-0448. Proceeds benefit Botanica.

Scenic Landscapes dinner theater – Sterling College will present “Godspell” and La Galette will cater dinner Nov. 2 and 3 at Scenic Landscapes, 5911 W. Maple. Tickets will be $27, and proceeds will benefit Challenge Farm Orphanage. Fall-themed table centerpieces will be for sale. Reservations must be made by Oct. 29 at Scenic; call 316-942-4861.

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