Gardener’s almanac (May 25)

05/25/2013 7:43 AM

10/09/2013 2:53 PM

Plant – Beans, cucumbers, eggplant, melons, peppers, okra, pumpkins (wait until late June for a Halloween-timed harvest), sweet potatoes, sweet corn, squash, tomatoes.

Feed the hummingbirds and orioles – Some birds have a sweet tooth, and you can draw them to your yard by feeding them what they like. “Orioles have been frantic at the feeder,” Nick Clausen of the Backyard Nature Center says. They love grape jelly and may even land on a hummingbird feeder, he says. Any kind of bowl or cup can work to hold the jelly, he says, or you can buy a jelly feeder. You can also put out orange halves for the birds. Hang or pole-mount the container.

Hummingbirds also have been out and about this spring. More of them will be seen once they’re finished nesting and expand their feeding range about the end of July, but they still feed during the summer. Make a nectar of 1 part sugar and 4 parts water, and keep the nectar fresh by changing it every two to three days. Don’t add food coloring. Putting up more than one feeder will attract more birds.

I’ve been seeing warblers in my yard this spring, which has also been good for seeing summer tanagers and scarlet tanagers, Clausen says. Purple martins started nesting about two weeks later than usual.

Garden events

Mudbugs at Tuesdays on the Terrace – Tuesdays on the Terrace start this Tuesday at Botanica with live music by the Mudbugs and cocktails and other beverages as well as dinner for sale. Hours are 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.; the gardens are open until 8. Hyacinths and Hurricanes is the theme. Cost is $7, $3 for members. Season passes are available for members to buy for $40 for one person and $70 for two.

Hostapalooza – The 4-H Hall at the Extension Center will be full of artists, plants, bottle trees and other curiosities as the Wichita Hosta Society throws its Hostapalooza party on Saturday. Hostas, Japanese maples, dwarf conifers and caladiums will be among the plants, and Tallgrass Forge will be among the vendors selling decorative and other garden-related goods. Food will be available for sale, and speakers will include “Hosta Guy” Rob Mortko. Hours will be 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., and admission is free.

Butterfly house opening – Botanica will open its butterfly house for the summer on Memorial Day. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday Bugs & Balloons performances will be at 10 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. Funnel cakes will be for sale. Admission to the butterfly house is included in Botanica admission.

Dinosaur talk – Traci Kallhoff of Exploration Place will be at Botanica on Wednesday to talk about the “Dinosaurs Unearthed” exhibit that’s at Exploration Place for the summer. Her lunchtime lecture, at 12:15 p.m., is included in Botanica admission.

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