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Gardener’s almanac (Oct. 6)

  • Published Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012, at 7:38 a.m.

Early October chill – I didn’t expect to see “patchy frost” in the forecast this early in October. If you have any tender plants that you can’t bear to see damaged, cover them with sheets or cart them into the garage. As you bring houseplants into the house, wash them off first with strong blasts of water from the hose. To force insects out of the soil, soak the pot in a tub of lukewarm water for about 15 minutes, Ward Upham of K-State says.

Remember that the donation weekend for plants to the zoo will be Oct. 20 and 21. The zoo gambles, too, on there not being a frost until after that weekend.

Pick tomatoes before a forecasted frost.

Plant – Grass seed (deadline Oct. 15), garlic, spring-flowering bulbs, pansies, ornamental kale, trees and shrubs.

Fertilize established spring-flowering bulbs – If they need it.

Garden events

Twilight at Scenic Landscapes – The fire pit and torches will be particularly welcome burning after dusk Saturday night at Scenic Landscapes, 5911 W. Maple. The nursery and its gardens will be all aglow for the annual twilight tour, from dusk to midnight. There will be live music, a movie in the outdoor amphitheater at dusk, free refreshments, and places to sit and get into the thrill of fall weather. Free admission.

Community Garden & Farm Tour – A national grassroots campaign called Food Day comes to Wichita on Oct. 13 and 14 with a tour to support sustainable local gardens and farms and healthy food. The free tour will be from 1 to 4 p.m. each day and will visit seven community gardens in the city and two farms, one in Derby and one in Cheney. You can download a free ticket at www.hwcwichita.org to be eligible to win gardening tools and supplies. Locations on the tour: ARC Rows of Sharin’, 2919 W. Second St.; Breakthrough Garden, 935 N. Market; Delano Community Garden, 200 S. Walnut; Garden of Eat’n, 3501 S. Washington (Garvey Park); Hilltop Community Garden, 1329 S. Bluffview; Planting Peace Community Garden, 20th Street and North Shelton; Elm Lane Farm, 12431 E. 55th St. South, Derby; and MG Honor Farm, 36706 W. 39th St. South, Cheney.

Rose rosette workshop – 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 workshop on them at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Botanica. Raymond Cloyd of Kansas State University will lead the workshop 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.

African violet program – Patty Daniel will give a program on growing beautiful standard African violets at the meeting of the Wichita African Violet Study Club at 1 p.m. Friday at Botanica. The meeting is free and open to the public.

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