Gardener’s almanac (July 12)

07/11/2014 12:00 AM

07/11/2014 10:05 AM

Plant for a fall garden — Beans, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower can be planted now. Plant slightly deeper and more thickly than you would in the spring, and thin the seedlings later, advises Ward Upham of K-State. Protect plants from rabbits with fencing if necessary.

Use a light amounts of fertilizer before planting and sidedress two weeks after transplanting or four weeks after seeding, Upham says. Water often enough that seed does not dry out. Use a soaker hose next to the row, or sprinkle peat moss, vermiculite or compost lightly over the seeds to prevent soil from crusting from overhead watering, Upham says.

“Plants should be ready for harvest in late September to early October, with broccoli side shoots developing well into November, weather permitting,” Upham writes in the Horticulture 2014 newsletter.

Take care of pruning — Finish the summer pruning of roses, perennials, shrubs and trees by July 15 — that’s Tuesday — and then refrain from pruning through the first frost. That’s because pruning puts on new growth that will be apt to winter-kill when the weather turns cold.

Tomato Day coming up — Tomato Day will be July 26 at the Extension Center, 21st and Ridge Road. Contests are part of the festivities, so keep an eye on your developing tomatoes to see if any can be entered in the categories of largest tomato, ugliest tomato, best plate of three standard tomatoes, best plate of three Roma or plum tomatoes, and best plate of six cherry, pear or grape tomatoes. Contest rules and more Tomato Day details can be found at sedgwick.ksu.edu; click on the full story under “Upcoming Classes & Events.”

If you have any favorite tomato varieties or growing tips that you’d like to share with Eagle readers, email acalovich@wichitaeagle.com.

Getting rid of Bermuda — If there is Bermuda in your yard that you want to get rid of, plan to tackle it about the middle of this month, or as soon as it is growing well, Upham says. Fertilize and water as needed to get it thriving. To kill it, spray with a 2 percent solution of glyphosate (Round-up, Kleen-up, Killzall, Kleeraway), and spray again about a month later if you see any green. Wait two more weeks and reseed, Upham says. It may help to scalp the lawn (mow as low as possible and remove clippings) two weeks after the first application so that dead grass does not keep the glyphosate from reaching the recovering Bermuda, Upham says.

Garden events

Thornless-blackberry talk — Master gardener Everett Price of Haysville will talk about the benefits of growing blackberries, how to plant and maintain them, and how to harvest and store them at a meeting of the Derby Garden Club on Monday. The meeting will be at 7 p.m. at the Derby Library, 1600 E. Walnut Grove, and is free and open to the public.

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

Tuesdays on the Terrace — Jenny Wood & the Watchers will perform on the terrace at Botanica on Tuesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The theme of Tuesdays on the Terrace will be Junipers & John Collins, and drinks will be for sale. Cover is $7 ($3 for members). Blue Moon Caterers will have food for sale for $7.

Talk on California condors — Jim and Patty Marlett will be at Botanica on Wednesday to talk about their encounter with California condors at the Grand Canyon and about the condors’ comeback from near-extinction. The lunchtime lecture, at 12:15, is included in Botanica admission.

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