“Peas can be planted earlier than just about any other vegetable crop because they can grow well at a soil temperature of 40 degrees,” Upham wrote in K-State’s Horticulture 2012 newsletter. “Though other crops such as lettuce, parsnips and spinach can sprout at lower temperatures (35 degrees), they don’t start growing well until the soil reaches about 45 degrees.”
Because soil is often too wet to work in the spring (Upham hopes that will be the case especially this time, since we need the moisture), Upham advises preparing the soil for peas now.
“Wait until soil temperatures reach 40 degrees next spring and sprinkle the seeds on the soil and push them in with your finger,” Upham writes. “Protection from rabbits and deer will probably be needed as they will be attracted to anything green coming up so early.”
Peonies only need to be mulched the first winter after planting, he says; a couple of inches of mulch that doesn’t mat should be enough, applied after the ground freezes. Remove the covering before growth begins in the spring.
Tree peonies should not be cut back at all and should be fertilized this month, Upham says. They should be mulched lightly for winter.
There is no lunchtime lecture next Wednesday. But poinsettias will be the subject for the next lecture, Nov. 28.
The holiday event features several hundred candles lighting the half-mile path around the pond and thousands of Christmas lights on the Fridays and Saturdays of the next two weekends – from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Nov. 23, 24 and 30 and Dec. 1.
The living nativity will take place the first weekend and will feature the newly constructed leaf house as the stable. Throughout the evening, the Christmas story will be read every half hour.
On both weekends there will be s’mores over bonfires, and cookies and hot almond tea. Cookies baked by the Hesston Women’s Civic Club and hot almond tea will be served in the Visitor Center. The gift shop will feature the work of local artisans from noon to 8 p.m. Nov. 23 and 24.
On the second weekend, the Hesston College Bel Canto Singers will perform at 7 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1, and the handbell-ringing duo of Kendra Flory and Janelle Flory Schrock will perform at 7 p.m. Nov. 30 and 5:30 p.m. Dec. 1.
The cost of the luminary walk is $5 for adults, $3 for students and $2 for children ages 4 to 15. Proceeds help to maintain the 28-acre arboretum. For more information, call 620-327-8127.