Gardener’s almanac (June 14, 2014)

06/13/2014 12:00 AM

06/11/2014 10:01 PM

Plant – Tomatoes, sweet potatoes, sweet corn, winter squash, pumpkins (wait until closer to July 4 for a Halloween harvest).

Crabgrass preventer – If you put a crabgrass preventer on your lawn earlier this spring, make the second application by June 15.

New potatoes – “Many gardeners look forward to harvesting new potatoes this time of year,” Ward Upham of K-State writes in this week’s Horticulture 2014. “New potatoes are immature and should be about the size of walnuts. Pull soil away from the base of the plants to see if the tubers are the desired size. If they are, dig entire plants and allow the skins of the exposed tubers to dry for several hours before gathering. These young potatoes are very tender and prone to the skin ‘slipping’ unless they are given a few hours to dry. Even then these immature potatoes will not store well. Red-skinned varieties are often preferred as they are the earliest to produce.”

“Honeydew” rain – If you notice “honeydew” raining down from trees, they have lecanium scale, Upham says. Branches and leaves of trees can also turn black, and branches can die back. If damage is significant to trees, this is the time to treat, followed by another spray in 10 days, Upham says. Registered products include permethrin (under numerous trade names), cyfluthrin (Tempo, Bayer Vegetable and Garden Insect Spray), dinotefuran (Ortho Tree & Shrub Insect Control Ready To Use Granules), carbaryl (Sevin) and malathion. In the fall, imidacloprid (Bayer Tree and Shrub Insect Control, Bonide Systemic Granules IC) can be applied.

Fruit tips – Upham has these reminders for fruit growers:

• Remove fruit from heavily loaded apples and peachesso that apples are spaced an average of every 4 inches and peaches every 6 to 8.
• Remove sucker growth from the base of fruit trees and grape vines.
• Remove water sprouts that grow straight up.
• "Comb" new growth on grape vines so the new shoots hang down for greater exposure to sunlight.
• Continue disease and insect control to prevent fruit damage.

Garden events

McPherson Master Gardener & Friends June Bloom Garden Tour – McPherson County’s master gardeners will have their annual tour from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in McPherson. Four home gardens and the Master Gardener & Friends Demonstration Garden will be on the tour. Tickets are $5, available at all the gardens, along with maps. The McPherson trolley will give free rides from the demo garden to the four others. Tour addresses: 1640 Sunset Drive, 1516 Dover Drive, 200 W. 6th St., 516 S. Ash St., and the demo garden at 600 W. Woodside.

Kite Festival at Botanica – Botanica will have its first-ever Kite Festival on Sunday. Admission will be free for everyone for Father’s Day. Hours will be from 1 to 5 p.m. Professional kite fliers will be on hand, and there will be an 80-foot-long megakite, hot-air balloons, arts and crafts, face painters, a balloon artist, food trucks and music. You can bring your kite, and kites also will be for sale.

Iris meeting – The Wichita Iris Club will meet at 7 p.m. Monday at Botanica. The program will be about how to dig and separate and mark iris for the club’s iris sale. The meeting is free and open to the public.

Birding at Botanica – The monthly bird walk at Botanica is at 9 a.m. Tuesday. It’s included in Botanica admission.

Succulents talk – Ron Marcum and Rachel Westmoreland of Dutch’s Greenhouse will be at Botanica on Wednesday to talk about a variety of succulents and how to use them in gardens. The lunchtime lecture, which will include plants for sale, will be at 12:15 and is included in Botanica admission. Colette’s Catering will have lunch for sale.

Tuesdays on the Terrace – Shantel Leitner will provide the music at Tuesdays on the Terrace from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Botanica. The theme will be Miniature Roses & Midori Sours. Drinks will be for sale, and the gardens will be open until 8. Cover is $7, $3 for members.

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