Gardener’s almanac (June 30)

06/29/2012 5:00 AM

06/30/2012 8:37 AM

A break in tomatoes – After chalking up a string of early and sweet tomato successes, gardeners are going to have to cool their heels. Most varieties of tomatoes don’t set once the nighttime temperature is above 75 and the daytime temperature is above 95. We’re certainly ensconced in that pattern. Hopefully not for long.

P lant – Beans, tomatoes, pumpkins.

Vacation watering – If you’re going to be out of town and are having someone water for you, it may be helpful to collect containers in one shady spot to make it easier on the plant sitter and to reduce evaporation. Placing them on the ground in the shade rather than on a hot patio surface also could help.

Indoors, there are ways to keep houseplants moist if no one is stopping in to water for you, from Ward Upham of K-State:

• Place well-watered plants in a plastic bag. Prop up the bag with wooden dowels or something similar to keep the plastic off the leaves. Make sure the enclosed plants will not receive full sun, as heat buildup could cook them. Bright, indirect light is best. Plants should keep for about a week.
• Place a dish-drying rack upside down in the bathtub (if the bathroom has some natural light) and add several inches of water to the tub. Push one end of a shoelace through a drainage hole on the bottom of a pot and into the potting soil of your houseplant. The other end of the shoelace dangles into the water. This wick system will replace water in the pot as the plant uses it. Plants can last a couple of weeks if you have enough natural light.
• There are numerous commercial products that can be used to automatically water houseplants. The advantage of these products is that the houseplant does not normally need to be moved. All require a reservoir from which water is either siphoned or pumped to individual plants. Houseplants should last as long as the water holds out.

Garden events

Botanica $4 on the Fourth – Botanica will be open its regular hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday the Fourth of July, and admission will be a discounted $4. There will be no lunchtime lecture that day.

Tuesdays on the Terrace – This Tuesday Botanica will feature music by Knocknasheega and cocktails for sale on the terrace from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Included in Botanica admission.

Pop Up Cinema at Botanica – “The Goonies” will be shown outdoors in the Downing Children’s Garden meadow at Botanica on July 11 for the summer’s second Pop Up Cinema with the Tallgrass Film Festival. This time it’s kids night out. Free popcorn, candy, Nesquik drinks and Freddy’s custard will be served. There will also be a treasure hunt. Bring your own blankets, chairs and other snacks. Non-alcoholic drinks will be available for purchase. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., and the movie starts at 8. Reservations are required. Call 316-264-0448. Adults get in free with a child’s admission – $4 for Botanica and Tallgrass members or $6 for non-members.

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