Gardener’s almanac (Nov. 9)

11/09/2013 12:00 AM

11/09/2013 7:16 AM

Fine fall weekend — So far, our autumn has had beneficent rains and fairly stable temperatures, but that may change next week. Let’s enjoy the remaining colorful foliage and green grass, and maybe get some winterizing tasks done.

Garden cleanup — When deciding what to clean up in the garden for the winter, consider first of all any insect and disease problems. Removing dead stems from plants that had those problems can help control them next year, Ward Upham of K-State says. Otherwise, cut back perennials that are messy and leave those that provide beauty, interest or protection over the winter. Seedheads on some perennials can also provide food for birds, Upham says.

Hoses and sprinkler systems — “Hoses and shallow irrigation lines may be damaged over the winter if water is not drained,” Upham writes in Horticulture 2013. “If there is a main shut-off valve for the system, close it and then run through the zones to make sure any pressure has a chance to bleed off. Lawn irrigation systems usually have shallow lines. Though some lines may be self-draining, check to be sure there are no manual drains. If so, they should be opened. Be sure to map them so they can be closed next spring before the system is pressurized.

“Drain hoses by stretching them out and coiling them for storage. Water will drain as you pull the hose toward you for coiling. Store in a protected place. UV light can make hoses brittle over time.”

Just a little light pruning — Fall is not the time to do any heavy pruning of trees and shrubs, Upham reminds us. You can always remove dead wood, and light pruning can be done now, with “light” meaning the removal of less than 10 percent of the living part of the plant, Upham says. Even light pruning of spring-blooming shrubs such as lilacs and forsythias means you will be removing some of their flowers, so you may want to wait to prune them until after they bloom next spring.

Garden events

Holiday wreath program — The Suburban Garden Club will meet at Brady Nursery, 11200 W. Kellogg, on Monday for a program on making holiday wreaths. The meeting begins at 10 a.m., and the club is asking people who attend to bring canned food to donate to the food bank. For those who are interested, lunch will follow at Le Monde Cafe, 602 N. West St.

Pruning demo — The Derby Garden Club’s last meeting of the year will be at 5:30 p.m. Monday in Triangle Park at the corner of Kay and South Derby in Derby, where master gardener Mary Woolsey will lead a pruning demonstration. It’s open to the public. Bring gloves and loppers if you want to participate. The club will then go to the Olive Garden at 6:30 p.m. for dinner.

Rosy-travels presentation — Wichita Rose Society members will talk about and show slides of the gardens they’ve visited on their travels during the Wichita Rose Society meeting Tuesday at Botanica. The meeting is free and open to the public, and attendees are encouraged to bring photos or roses from their garden to display. A meet-and-greet will start at 6:30 p.m., and the presentation and meeting at 7 p.m.

Concert at Dyck Arboretum — The roots-music group Joy Kills Sorrow will perform at 4 p.m. Nov. 17 at Dyck Arboretum of the Plains in Hesston. Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for children; call the arboretum at 620-327-8127. Refreshments will be available for purchase during intermission.

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