Gardener’s almanac (Nov. 30)

11/30/2013 12:00 AM

11/29/2013 9:12 AM

Storing mowers and other power equipment – Before storing mowers, tillers and garden tractors for the winter, run them out of gas or treat gasoline with a stabilizer to keep it from deteriorating, Ward Upham of K-State says. “If using a stabilizer, run the engine long enough for untreated gas in the carburetor bowl to be burned and replaced,” Upham writes in the Horticulture 2013 newsletter. “This is also a good time to replace the oil (and filter, if present), since the engine is warm. Check and replace the spark plug if necessary. Some gardeners will also apply a light, sprayable oil into the cylinder through the spark plug hole. Check and clean air filters and replace if necessary.

“Many mowers and tillers will have a foam prefilter that can become filthy with use. If allowed to become too dirty, engines will run poorly or may not run at all. Sharpen blades, clean tines, tighten screws, replace broken parts and do all the other things needed to keep equipment in good shape. Though such maintenance takes some time and effort, it pays for itself by reducing frustration and lost time due to poorly performing equipment during a hectic spring.”

Garden events

Luminary Walk at arboretum – Dyck Arboretum of the Plains in Hesston has brought in life-size nutcrackers and several performers to depict various aspects of “The Nutcracker” at this year’s Luminary Walk in Hesston.

The walk features a half-mile walking trail lined with 900 candles in jars, and Christmas lights on some areas, including the island. Bonfires will give people a place to warm up and have roasted marshmallows and s’mores, which are included in admission, as are hot almond tree and cookies indoors.

The luminaria walk will be open from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Saturday this week, and Friday and Dec. 7 next week. The cost is $5 for adults, $3 for students, and $2 for ages 3 to 15. Children under 3 years are admitted for free. The arboretum gift shop will include the work of local artisans.

The entertainment schedule: on Saturday, ballet and lyrical dance by Angel Feet Ministry, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., and excerpts from “The Nutcracker” ballet performed by the Bethel College Academy of Performing Arts Dance Ensembles, 6:30, 7 and 7:30 p.m.; on Friday, winter concert of the Bethel College Academy of Performing Arts Suzuki Strings Ensemble, 5 to 6 p.m., and a singing of carols from 7 to 8 p.m.; and Dec. 7, Friendly Baptist Deaf Church Bell Choir performs on Kristal Bells from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., and Hesston College Bel Canto Singers at 7 and 7:30 p.m.

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