Gardener’s almanac (April 12)

04/11/2014 7:21 AM

04/11/2014 7:21 AM

Watch the weather – While we’ve had some really warm days, and Friday was the date of the average last spring frost, the forecast still calls for lows at night near 33 degrees – and some snow! (The snow is fine; it insulates plants on cold nights.) If you have planted a gamble garden with such things as tomatoes already, be prepared to cover plants on cold nights.

Plant – Broccoli, collards, chard, carrots, cauliflower, lettuce, potatoes, radishes, onions, peas, spinach, turnips, beets.

Get mower blade sharpened – Ward Upham of K-State reminds us to mow with sharp blades. If the blade is dull, it shreds the ends of the grass and gives the lawn a whitish cast. In about a month, when grass starts putting up seedheads, the seedheads are much rougher for the mower blade and even more likely to shred, Upham says.

Weeds in the strawberry patch – Because strawberries form a mat, hoeing weeds out of the bed can be hard, Upham says. That leaves hand pulling or the herbicide Poast (sethoxydim), which can be used on weedy grasses after they’ve emerged, he says. Just don’t spray within seven days of harvest. Poast is in Fertilome Over the Top II, Hi-Yield Grass Killer and Monterey Grass Getter.

Garden events

K-State experts at Newton show – Experts who are quoted weekly in these pages will be among those speaking this weekend at the home and garden show in Newton. K-State Research and Extension in Harvey County will have its annual show from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at the National Guard Armory, 400 Grandview in Newton. It will include plant suppliers and exhibitors, an art show and door prizes. Kids can make a gourd birdhouse at 2 p.m. both days. Admission is $1, free for ages 12 and under.

Here is the schedule of seminars:

• Saturday: creating a butterfly habitat, 9 a.m.; fruit from the backyard, 10 a.m.; growing fruit trees in Kansas, 11 a.m.; organic control of garden insects, 1 p.m.; bugs in the house, 2 p.m.; growing heirlooms and saving seed, 3 p.m.; water gardening, 4 p.m.
• Sunday: new Prairie Star flowers, 1 p.m.; hardy landscape shrub roses, 2 p.m.; floral design, 3 p.m.; attract and enjoy backyard birds, 4 p.m.

Orchid field trip – The Suburban Garden Club will carpool to Winfield on Monday to visit the orchid greenhouse at Southwestern College, and Max Thompson will be the host. Lunch will be at Neives’ Mexican Restaurant. For information, call Sherryl at 316-721-4810.

Miniature-daylily presentation – The Wichita Daylily Club will meet at 7 p.m. Monday at Botanica. The program will be a PowerPoint presentation on miniature daylilies. The event is free and open to the public.

GreenAcres market opening – The Tuesday night farmers market at GreenAcres will open for the season on Tuesday. Hours will be 3 to 6:30 p.m. GreenAcres Market is at 8141 E. 21st St. in Bradley Fair. The farmers market is sponsored by Kansas Grown; for more information, see its website at

“Hosta Guy” appearance – “Hosta Guy” Rob Mortko of Olathe will be in Wichita on Tuesday to give a talk at Botanica. The Wichita Hosta Society will host the visit, which will be at 6:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public. The title of the talk will be “Growing Better Hostas – Lessons From the Greenhouse.” Mortko, who owns Made in the Shade Gardens, also will have hostas to sell.

Birding at Botanica – The monthly bird walk through Botanica will set out at 9 a.m. Tuesday. It’s included in Botanica admission.

Talk on unusual containers – Horticultural therapist Katie Nance will be at Botanica on Wednesday to plant flowers in unusual containers. Her lunchtime lecture, at 12:15 p.m., is included in Botanica admission.

Project Beauty basket party — Project Beauty's annual Basket Party will be Thursday at Rolling Hills Country Club, 223 S. Westlink. Lunch will be at 12:30 p.m., followed by drawings for baskets, and costs $17. To reserve a spot, send a check made out to Project Beauty Inc. to Nancy Garrett, 1300 Dry Brook Court, Derby, KS 67037-2832.

Porter Street Artists and “plant recycling” – The 900 block of Porter in Riverside will be alive with artists from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 19. Twenty-four Riverside residents will be showing their original work, from repurposed furniture to drawings to fairy gardens to stained-glass window panels to clothing and jewelry. Baked goods and coffee will be for sale, and there will be a spot where excess plants from gardens can be left and picked up by other gardeners. The addresses are 941, 945, 957 and 932 N. Porter. Riverside Elementary at 1001 N. Porter will be selling their bricks in the outdoor classroom it is developing.

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