Gardener’s almanac (April 19)

04/19/2014 7:22 AM

04/19/2014 7:28 AM

April weather – Hopefully, many plants dodged a bullet in the cold snap earlier this week, and we got some needed moisture along the way – along with a gorgeous morning Monday when we woke up to snow on the flowers. The below-freezing temperatures cooled off the soil, but hopefully the warm-up is back on track.

Plant – Collard greens, chard, carrots, cauliflower, lettuce, onion sets, spinach, beets.

Strawberry blossoms – The blossoms that appear on spring-bearing strawberry plants that were set out this spring should be pinched off, Ward Upham of K-State says. You want the energy that would go to making new fruit to go instead to the development of runners this first year so that you’ll get a good crop next year.

Garden events

Drift roses talk – Don Suderman of the Wichita Rose Society will be at Botanica on Wednesday to talk about Drift roses, which will be featured in the society’s rose sale this year. His lecture at 12:15 p.m. is included in Botanica admission.

Iris program – Iris judges will give a program on what a good show iris should look like when the Wichita Area Iris Club meets at 7 p.m. Monday at Botanica. The meeting is free and open to the public.

Arbor Day celebration – Project Beauty and the city of Wichita will host the 59th Arbor Day Celebration on Friday at Earhart Environmental Magnet School, 4401 N. Arkansas, from 10 a.m. to noon. Anna Myers, a retired nurse who was in charge of Project Beauty’s landscaped median strip in front of Century II for about 18 years, will be this year’s honoree during the celebration. The city of Wichita forestry staff will do a tree-trimming demonstration after a brief ceremony.

The bur oak is the featured tree this year. A large bur oak will be planted in front of the school, and Project Beauty will have a small number of 24-inch bur oak seedlings for sale during the celebration. The bur oak was chosen because it is drought-tolerant, adaptable to most soils and resistant to air pollution. Its large acorn provides food for wildlife. The tree can live for 200 to 300 years.

“Tulips, Fairies and Friends” – Saturday is the last day for the “Tulips, Fairies and Friends” event at Botanica. It is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is included in Botanica admission. There will be an egg hunt and visit by the Easter bunny from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the Studio Singers will perform songs from the movie “Frozen” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The winner of the voice of the new mascot for the children’s garden will be announced at noon, and the winner of the fairy house competition will be announced at 2 p.m.

“Woods, Winds and Willows” – Bartlett Arboretum in Belle Plaine will be open on Easter afternoon for a concert of Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” and Copland’s “Appalachian Spring” by a 20-piece orchestra. Picnics are welcome, and food will be for sale. Tickets are $10 at the door. Gates open at 3 p.m.; the concert starts at 4. The event will go on with local contingency plans if it rains.

Eco-Art Day with Stan Herd – Kids – and adults, if they want to – can get their hands dirty and help make “seed bombs” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 26 at Botanica for planting the next day in the Commerce Street Art District downtown. Seeds will be worked into balls of loam for planting in vacant areas of the art district. Earthworks artist Stan Herd will be on hand to talk about his practice and show examples of plant paintings. Landscape architect Teri Farha will give out plant information. It’s included in Botanica admission. People who make the seed bombs can but don’t have to participate in the planting of the seeds from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 27 during a street party on Commerce Street south of Intrust Bank Arena.

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