Gardener’s almanac (May 10)

05/09/2014 12:00 AM

08/06/2014 11:19 AM

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

Cabbage worms – White butterflies seen flitting around cabbage plants lay eggs of the cabbage worm, a fuzzy, elongated green worm, Ward Upham of K-State says. Controlling them early is necessary to reduce injury, he says. BT (Bacillus thuringiensis) and spinosad (Borer, Bagworm, Leafminer and Tent Caterpillar Spray; Captain Jack’s Dead Bug Brew) are organic products that are labeled for the pest and that do not kill its enemies; BT can be found in Dipel, Thuricide and similar materials, Upham says. Direct sunlight deactivates BT quickly, so try to spray it late in the day or on a cloudy day. Whatever you use, hit the underside of leaves, which is easier to do with a dust applied by a duster than it is with a liquid spray.

Asparagus beetles – “Both the adult and larvae of asparagus beetles feed on asparagus spears by chewing the tips and spear surfaces, leading to scarring and staining of the spear tips,” Upham says. “Asparagus beetles overwinter as adults in trash near the garden. The adults are a blue/black beetle with a red prothorax with yellow spots. The larvae are a soft, greenish grub. Small, elongated black eggs – sticking out long-ways from the side of asparagus spears – are laid on developing spears. Early control of beetles is important to reduce feeding damage later. Sevin will provide control (a one-day wait before harvest is required). Some products with permethrin are also labeled but require a three-day waiting period between spraying and harvest.”

Garden events

Water-wise gardening program — Master gardeners will be in the Great Plants of the Great Plains garden at the Extension Center, 21st and Ridge Road, on Saturday to tour the garden and give information and techniques on water-wise gardening. The garden is between the farmers market and the Extension Center’s entrance sign on the Ridge Road side and includes native plants that thrive on natural rainfall. The master gardeners will be there from 7 a.m. to noon, the same hours as the farmers market.

Summer-rose-care program – Helping roses survive the summer heat will be one of the subjects at the meeting of the Wichita Rose Society on Tuesday at Botanica. Attendees will also play a game of rose trivia. The meeting is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. A social half-hour starts at 6:30 p.m., followed by the meeting at 7.

Gourd talk – Members of the Kansas Sunflower Gourd Group will be at Botanica on Wednesday to talk about growing and decorating gourds for a number of uses. They will also have some decorated gourds for sale. The lunchtime lecture, at 12:15 p.m., is included in Botanica admission.

No African violet meeting this month – The Wichita African Violet Study Club will not meet in May, and its June meeting – the last meeting until September – will be June 27 at Patty’s Plants and Antiques in Winfield. The club does not usually meet in the summer.

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