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Gardener’s almanac (April 6)

  • Published Saturday, April 6, 2013, at 7:37 a.m.

Plant – Cabbage, collards, chard, broccoli, endive, cauliflower, lettuce, potatoes, radishes, onions, peas, spinach, rhubarb, turnips and beets.

Thin spots in the lawn and crabgrass – If your lawn is thin, weeds will take advantage of the situation and move in, so you may want to put down a crabgrass preventer now, or while redbuds approach but have not entered full bloom. If you apply a short-lasting preventer, you will need to reapply it in a couple of months, no later than June 15. Otherwise, you can apply, once, the longer-lasting Dimension or Barricade. Dimension is the best choice if you planted a lawn last fall. Barricade also has nitrogen in it, so avoid it if you don’t want to fertilize.

Thin spots in a fescue lawn also can be sodded to add thickness. Sod is more successful than seed in the spring.

Strawberry weeds – Gardeners often have problems weeding around strawberries, because they form a mat, Ward Upham of K-State says. There are no weed preventers that non-professionals can use on strawberries, so weeds must be pulled by hand or treated with an herbicide after they appear. Poast (sethoxydim), a grass-killing herbicide, can be sprayed directly over strawberries without harm but should not be applied within seven days of harvest, Upham says. Poast is in Hi-Yield Grass Killer and Monterey Grass Getter, he says.

Fertilizing fruit trees – Fruit trees benefit from fertilization around bloom time, Upham says, and the amount varies with the age of the tree. Trees normally primarily need nitrogen, he says, so use a high-nitrogen fertilizer such as a 27-3-3, 29-5-4, 30-3-3. You can use lawn fertilizer as long as it does not contain weed killers or crabgrass preventers. Upham gives these rates:

• Trees 1 to 2 years old, apply 1/4 cup fertilizer per tree.

• Trees 3 to 4 years old, apply 1/2 cup per tree.

• Trees 5 to 10 years old, apply 1 to 2 cups per tree.

• Trees more than 10 years old, apply 2 to 3 cups.

You can also use nitrate of soda (16-0-0) but double the rate, Upham says. If a soil test calls for phosphorus and potassium, use a 10-10-10 but triple the rate.

“On apple trees, last year’s growth should be 8 to 10 inches; cherries should have 10 to 12 inches; and peaches should equal 12 to 15 inches of terminal growth,” Upham says. “If less than this, apply the higher rate of fertilizer, and if more, apply the lesser amount.”

Spread fertilizer evenly on the ground away from the trunk of the tree and to the outer spread of the branches, then water it in, Upham says.

Kentucky coffee tree seedlings – Project Beauty will be selling 7-inch seedlings of Kentucky coffee tree for around $7 Saturday during the Tree Festival at the Extension Center, 21st and Ridge Road. The festival goes from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Junior gardener program – Botanica has a limited number of spots in a new program for children in third through fifth grades. They will meet in the Downing Children’s Garden every second Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. to tend their own raised garden bed from April through October. The cost is $49, or $35 for Botanica members. For reservations, call Karla Jahn at 316-264-0448, ext. 115.

Garden events

Garden photography program – Master gardener and long-time photo enthusiast Ron Williams will share tricks of the trade with regard to garden photography at the meeting of the Derby Garden Club on Monday at the Derby Public Library. The meeting will be at 7 p.m. and is open to the public.

Fragrant-roses talk – Master gardener Diana Jones will lead a discussion on fragrant roses during the meeting of the Wichita Rose Society on Tuesday at Botanica. The society has decided to sell fragrant roses at Herb Day (May 4) this year, and has ordered some Bourbon and other fragrant shrub and floribunda roses. The evening begins with light refreshments and a meet-and-greet at 6:30 p.m., followed by the meeting at 7. It is free and open to the public.

Talk on new plants and container gardens – Ron Marcum of Dutch’s Greenhouse will be at Botanica on Wednesday to show how to use a variety of plants, including new ones for 2013, in container gardens. The lunchtime lecture, at 12:15, is included in Botanica admission. Truffles Catering will service lunch from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for $7.

African-violet clinic – People who are having problems with their African violets can bring them to the next meeting of the Wichita African Violet Study Club for discussion and help. The meeting will be at 1 p.m. Friday in the Fireside Room at Botanica. The meeting is free and open to the public and will include a discussion of programs and officers for the coming year and some repotting.

Rose-pruning clinic – The Wichita Rose Society will have a rose-pruning clinic at Botanica from 9 a.m. to noon April 13. Society members will be pruning the roses at Botanica, and people can watch and learn and also participate. If you want to do some pruning, bring sharp pruners and gloves. The clinic is included in Botanica admission.

Botanica’s expanded hours – Botanica is now open on Tuesdays and Thursdays until 8 p.m., and on Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. The Tuesday/Thursday night hours run through September, and Sunday hours run through October.

Project Beauty Luncheon & Basket Party – Project Beauty will have a fundraiser for its beautification projects on April 18 consisting of chances to win gift baskets and a silent auction. Members and merchants have donated items for the occasion, which will be at 12:30 p.m. at Rolling Hills Country Club, 223 S. Westlink. Cost of the lunch is $17. Make a reservations by April 13 by calling June at 316-744-0792.

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