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Gardener’s almanac (May 31)

  • Published Friday, May 30, 2014, at 10:49 a.m.
  • Updated Tuesday, June 3, 2014, at 9:46 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.

Fertilize warm-season grass – June is the best time to fertilize warm-season grasses. Zoysia and buffalo really only need one fertilization a year, though you can fertilize them twice — now and in mid-July. Slow-release nitrogen is best, but quick-release is acceptable, Ward Upham of K-State says. Bermuda can be fertilized two to four times (the latter only if you start in May). Do not fertilize warm-season grass any later than Aug. 15.

Apply 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet per application. More applications will give a deeper green color but will also increase mowing and lead to a buildup of thatch in Bermuda and zoysia, and of weeds in buffalo, Upham says.

Dethatch – Plan to dethatch Bermuda or zoysia lawns that need it in June or July. If thatch is less than 1/2 inch thick, don’t worry about it. Buffalo grass usually doesn’t need to be dethatched.

Rainy mowing – When you can’t get out to mow in the rain, and the happy grass continues to grow, set the mower height as high as possible when you are able to get out there, Upham says. Then gradually bring the height down and mow more often until you are cutting off no more than one-third of the blade to get your target height. If you cut off more, the plant uses its reserve energy to send up new growth, Upham says.

Garden events

Tuesdays on the Terrace starts – A summer season of Tuesdays on the Terrace kicks off this Tuesday at Botanica. The “happy hour meets horticulture” events are on Botanica’s Terrace from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. each Tuesday through September and feature live music and a cash bar. The first week’s theme is Cacti & Cuba Libres, and Carrie Nation & The Speakeasy will perform. Admission is $7, or $3 for members. The gardens are open until 8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays during the summer.

Ozone talk – Tonya Bronleewe, an air quality specialist with the city of Wichita, will be at Botanica on Wednesday to talk about the effects of ozone and how to cut down on air pollution. The lunchtime lecture, at 12:15, is included in Botanica admission.

Brave Combo at Bartlett Arboretum – Bartlett Arboretum in Belle Plaine will be open June 8 for a concert by the danceable Brave Combo from Denton, Texas. The gates open at 3 p.m. and the concert is at 4 p.m. Tickets are $10. Picnics are welcome, and food will also be for sale.

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