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Gardener’s almanac (May 24)

  • Published Thursday, May 22, 2014, at 4:48 p.m.
  • Updated Friday, May 23, 2014, at 7:32 a.m.

Plant – Beans (snap and lima), cucumbers, eggplant, peppers, okra, pumpkins (wait until late June to July 4 for a Halloween harvest), sweet potatoes, sweet corn, squash, tomatoes.

Moving houseplants outside – When moving houseplants outside for the summer, put them in dappled shade and in a spot that is protected from the wind and close to water, Ward Upham of K-State advises. Putting them in full sun will sunburn the leaves because they’ve become adapted to low light in the house. “Where possible, sink the pots into the ground to help moderate root temperatures and reduce watering frequency,” Upham writes in the Horticulture 2014 newsletter.

“If you have a number of plants, dig a trench 6 to 8 inches deep (or deeper if you have larger pots) and long enough to accommodate all of your plants without crowding. Place peat moss under and around the pots. Peat moss holds water, helps keep the pots cool and reduces evaporation from clay pots. About every two weeks, rotate the pots a quarter turn to break off any roots that have penetrated the peat moss surrounding the pot and to equalize the light received on all sides of the pot. Water as needed. If the potting soil is dry a half-inch deep in the pot, it is time to water.”

Garden events

Hostapalooza – The Wichita Hosta Society’s garden party is from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Extension Center, 21st and Ridge Road. Admission is free. The event will include shopping from local and out-of-town vendors, seminars from some of the vendors, and tool sharpening. The seminars will be on these subjects: hardy ferns by Wichita grower Duane Petersen at 9 a.m., growing better hostas by “Hosta Guy” Rob Mortko of Olathe at 10 a.m., and Japanese maples by Lee Coates of Highlandville, Mo., at 11 a.m.

Hypertufa pots on stands, garden bells, fairy gardens and outdoor furniture will be among the items for sale. Among the plants: caladiums, Japanese maples and dwarf conifers. And, of course, lots of hostas for sale by the hosta society.

Daylily hybridizer talk – Local daylily hybridizer Terry Pitts will give the program at a meeting of the Prairie Winds Daylily Club at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Botanica. The meeting is free and open to the public.

Chinese garden lecture and ground-breaking – Botanica will break ground Wednesday on the Chinese Garden of Friendship being built outside the new Event Center. Botanica director Marty Miller will give the lunchtime lecture at 12:15 p.m. about the garden (included in Botanica admission), and the ground-breaking ceremony will be at 1 p.m. A reception will follow in the Event Center. The ceremony and reception are free and open to the public. The garden is expected to open next spring.

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