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Gardener’s almanac (March 16)

  • Published Saturday, March 16, 2013, at 8:32 a.m.
  • Updated Saturday, March 16, 2013, at 8:41 a.m.

Weedy clumps – Wild onion, wild garlic and star of Bethlehem are showing up in some landscapes in wiry green clumps. Treatments include Weed Free Zone and Speed Zone, also effective on dandelions, Ward Upham of K-State says. You can also use 2,4-D or 2,4-D + MCPP + Dicamba (i.e., Trimec, Weed-Out, Weed-B-Gon) on wild onion and garlic in March on a day that is at least 50 degrees.

Cole crops – If you’re buying broccoli, cauliflower or cabbage to plant, choose small, stocky, dark green plants, Upham says, and be sure to fertilize regularly to avoid the plants buttoning or bolting. Fertilize at transplanting with a starter solution and continue to fertilize every two to three weeks until harvest. Once plants button (produce an extremely small head) or bolt (go to seed), it’s irreversible.

Plant – Seed potatoes, strawberries, broccoli, lettuce, radishes, peas, turnips.

De-mulch – Remove winter mulch from existing strawberry plants, Upham says.

Looking alive – Dwarf irises and more daffodils are blooming at Botanica, and landscape supervisor Pat McKernan at this point expects the tulip peak to be around April 7 to April 10.

Garden events

Project Beauty Card & Game Party – Project Beauty will have its annual card and game party fundraiser March 28 at Botanica. People can bring their bridge or bunco group, a favorite board game, or just come to join in playing with others. Prizes will be awarded. Toni D’s Too will serve lunch, and cookies will be served for snacks. Hours are from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and the cost is $12. Make reservations by March 25. Make checks payable to Project Beauty and mail to Project Beauty, 9011 E. 101st St. N., Valley Center, 67147. For more information, call June Walburn at 316-744-0792.

Youth Lawn Mowing Clinic – Boys and girls in the fifth through ninth grades who want to earn a summer income or learn lawn-mowing safety can take part in a lawn-mowing clinic during spring break Wednesday at the Extension Education Center, 21st and Ridge Road. The cost is $5, and there are two times: from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and from 1 to 3:30 p.m. The kids will learn about lawn grasses and their care, lawnmower safety and maintenance, and getting a lawn-mowing job. After completing training, they will receive an information packet, business cards and certificate. The cost is $5 in advance or $10 at the door. For more information, call Marcia at 316-660-0138.

Iris meeting – The Wichita Area Iris Club will have a meeting at 7 p.m. Monday at Botanica. The meeting is free and open to the public.

Talk on shade evergreens – Master gardener and landscaper Kathy Bagwell will be at Botanica on Wednesday to talk about planting evergreens in a shady yard. The lunchtime lecture, at 12:15, is included in Botanica admission.

Grow Good Food Workshop – A workshop March 23 at the Extension Center will be for people who want to grow fruits and vegetables. One of the sessions covers growing in heat and drought. The Grow Good Food Workshop costs $5 and will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the center at 21st and Ridge Road.

The morning sessions will cover basic gardening topics: vegetable gardening from the ground up, growing a garden in heat and drought, and organic pest control. In the afternoon there will be a choice between advanced gardening – growing your own salad, seed starting under lights, and fruit trees for small spaces – and cooking and preserving – cooking with fresh vegetables, cooking with fresh herbs and preserving the harvest.

Register online at growgoodfood.eventbrite.com or call 316-660-0100.

Where are we on tulips at Botanica? – The tulip display runs from the middle of March through mid-April and features the Tulips, Fairies & Friends Festival every Saturday from March 23 to April 13. This year’s festival also includes a fairy house competition. Visit Botanica.org for details on this event and to plan your visit.

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