Plant — Pumpkins, tomatoes.
Bagworms have hatched — If you see a juniper fading and a brown area within it, look closely, because bagworms likely are crawling around, extension agent Bob Neier says. They’re pretty tiny — about a quarter of an inch. You can pick them off, but it’s probably easiest to spray at this point, and not later, when they are hard to treat. Use Bacillus thuringiensis or a product with spinosad in it, Neier says. When the worms get bigger, you have to hit them with the harder stuff.
Rust on hollyhocks — People are seeing rust on some hollyhocks, Neier says. It appears as little round rust pustules on the undersides of leaves — looking almost like a showerhead, he says. Pick off the affected leaves, he says, and in the future, treat the plants weekly with Immunox from the first of April through May. And when shopping for hollyhocks, look for rust-resistant varieties.
Irrigation trouble spots — Neier saw an irrigated yard recently in which trees were dying in some areas because they were being overwatered, while an area of lawn that had been treated for brown patch turned out to just be dry instead. This points up the need for an audit by an irrigation company to see how sprinklers are delivering water to all parts of the yard, Neier says. If you see problem spots in your yard, see if your sprinkler company does audits, he says.
Grasshopper plague — Grasshoppers — at this point really tiny — are coming in thick, mainly in rural areas, Neier says. They’re thick because they like to lay eggs in weedy areas in really hot, dry years. That means they laid a lot of eggs last year. If you need to get rid of them, use any pesticide labeled for grasshoppers, except in the vegetable garden. There, you can use only Sevin or permethrin, and follow waiting periods for harvest as given on the label, Neier says. To reduce grasshoppers next year, get rid of the weed areas.
Rural snakes — Rick Lyda, who lives near Cheney Reservoir, wrote this week to remind people in rural areas to be alert to snakes when working in weedy areas. “We ... were surprised the other evening by a Massauga rattle snake down by our vegetable garden,” Rick said in an e-mail. “The dogs alerted me to it, and sadly I dispatched (it). ... I don't want the dogs to get bitten.”
Master gardener hotline — Sedgwick County Extension master gardeners answer questions about gardening from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. weekdays at 316-660-0190.
Bartlett Arboretum concert — Grammy-nominated Oklahoma songwriter John Fullbright will perform Sunday at Bartlett Arboretum in Belle Plaine. Tickets are $10 at the gate, which opens at 3 p.m. The concert will be at 4 p.m. Picnics are welcome, and there also will be food for sale.
Petunias and Planters Punch — Raging Sea will perform at Botanica for the next Tuesdays on the Terrace, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Drinks and dinner will be for sale, and Petunias and Planters Punch is the theme. The gardens will be open until 8 p.m. Admission is $7, or $3 for Botanica members.