Gardener’s almanac (May 11)

05/11/2013 7:13 AM

05/11/2013 7:13 AM

Plant – Once we get past the latest (and last?) cool snap, get going on beans, cucumbers, eggplant, melons, lettuce, sweet corn and tomatoes.

Basil and vinca appreciate warm weather, and caladiums shouldn’t be planted outside until nighttime temperatures are consistently at least 65 degrees, a recent master-gardener newsletter says.

Protection from the wind – New transplants that are still wispy may need protection from strong winds. Ward Upham of K-State suggests a plastic milk jug or 2-liter soda bottle with both the bottom and top cut off. Push the jug into the soil so that it won’t blow away, and stabilize it with a wooden dowel or metal rod on really windy days, he says.

Reblooming lilacs – Cheryl Boyer of K-State has a report in this week’s Horticulture 2013 newsletter about lilacs. As with her report earlier this spring on forsythia, Boyer notes that lilacs carry a short span of heavenly flowers – and, in this case, very fragrant ones – but that the shrubs are pretty boring the rest of the year. Plus, depending on the variety, lilacs can get quite large. The good news about lilacs is that they are tolerant of drought, and “they are good in a mixed planting so they can fade into the background as the seasons change and new, exciting features appear on other plants,” Boyer writes.

She writes that she was excited about the reblooming Bloomerang lilac, but “when I finally saw it in person, I was less than impressed. The flower panicles seem to be looser and more open than other lilacs, and the bloom was not as impressive in May, though it did continue to flower sporadically throughout the summer. In essence, it spread out the blooming feature over a longer time, but it had less of a show at any one time. The good news, however, is that the reblooming trait has been isolated, and new reblooming lilac cultivars will only get better over time as breeders select for the trait.”

For a small lilac, Boyer mentions varieties including Palibin, which “has a heavy bloom and is quite compact. It matures at 4 to 5 feet tall and 5 to 7 feet wide, but it starts blooming at 1 foot tall. So, if you want a small lilac that will give you a show this year, look for Palibin.”

Ash-lilac borer – If large canes in a lilac easily break off and there are holes in the bottom of the stem, it is the ash-lilac bore that damages lilac shrubs and ash trees. You can just prune out the oldest canes of lilacs each year (because those are the ones that borers prefer). This also keeps the shrub rejuvenated and blooming at its best. If you need to spray to prevent the damage on ash or lilac), use Permethrin when the Vanhoutte spirea is in full to late bloom, about now, and then one month later

Black spot on roses – This is the time of year to start preventing and watching for signs of black spot on roses. The fungus shows up in black spots on the leaves of roses, usually hybrid teas. Infected leaves, whether on the plant or on the ground, should be removed or picked up and thrown away. To try to prevent it, try not to let water get on the leaves, irrigating along the ground. Plant roses in sunny areas and be sure they get lots of air movement through them. When shopping, look for varieties that are less susceptible to black spot. Once it shows up, you can treat it with regular fungicide applications. Spray every 10 to 14 days with tebuconazole (Bayer Disease Control for Roses, Flowers and Shrubs), myclobutanil (Immunox, Immunox Plus), triforine (Ortho RosePride Disease Control), or chlorothalonil (Broad Spectrum Fungicide, Garden Disease Control, others), Upham says.

Garden events

Daylily sale – The Prairie Winds Daylily Society will have a sale of daylilies proven in this area, from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at Botanica. Admission to the sale is free.

Iris show – The Wichita Area Iris Club will have a show of blooming irises from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission to the show is free.

Rose Expo – The Wichita Rose Society will have a Rose Expo on Sunday at Botanica. Hours will be 1 to 5 p.m. The society’s rosarians will share their favorite varieties, provide information and answer rose-gardening questions. The expo will include a non-juried rose show in which members of the public can display their roses. Entries will be accepted from 9 to 11 a.m. Vases will be provided. Admission to the expo is free.

Bartlett Arboretum concert – Robin Macy will debut a new recording, “Wild Sweet William,” when she performs with the Cherokee Maidens at 4 p.m. Sunday at Bartlett Arboretum in Belle Plaine. Gates open at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the gate; children are free “if under wing.” Picnics are welcome, and barbecue and Italian cuisine will be for sale. Tulip bulbs will be free to mothers. The arboretum is going to try to have a “zero-land-fill event” where all trash is recycled.

“Peonies for the Landscape” program and tour – The Derby Garden Club will have a program Monday evening about growing peonies, followed by a visit to a local garden that has 80 named varieties. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at the Derby Library and is free and open to the public.

Program on understanding pesticides – K-State entomologist Raymond Cloyd will be at the Wichita Rose Society’s meeting on Tuesday at Botanica to talk about understanding systemic pesticides. Light refreshments and a meet-and-greet will be at 6:30 p.m., followed at 7 by the meeting and presentation. Admission to the meeting is free and open to the public.

“Hostas for Color” talk – Karl Miller of the Wichita Hosta Society will be at Botanica on Wednesday to talk about what hosta foliage can add to a yard. His lunchtime lecture, at 12:15, is included in Botanica admission.

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