Plant damage — Many plants were damaged last fall when the temperature plunged suddenly and extremely. Give plants plenty of time – another month – to bounce back this spring, extension agent Bob Neier says. If tips of branches are dead, cut them back to where there is living wood. You can use your fingernail to scratch the bark to see whether there is green inside or not. Crape myrtles can be cut to the ground or left for a while to see how they come back. They should all grow back from the roots, he says. Yews that have some growth also should bounce back. But some roses won’t make it, and some hybridized ones may have frozen back to the graft, meaning they will start growing back from the roots without their hybridized qualities. At that point you can decide whether you want to keep them or not, Neier says.
Fireblight treatment — Because fireblight has been a problem the past couple of years, susceptible varieties of crabapple, apple and pear trees should be sprayed, Cathy Brady of Brady Nursery says. Use a copper-based bactericide (or fireblight preventatives that contain streptomycin) during bloom and a couple of weeks later. If a tree is already out of bloom, it’s too late.
Plant — Collards, chard, carrots, cauliflower, melons, lettuce, onions, peas, spinach, turnips, beets.
Pinch strawberries — Flowers should be removed from newly planted spring-bearing strawberry plants as they develop so that the plants can put more energy into their roots for a good harvest next year, Ward Upham of K-State says. New everbearing plants should have fruits removed for the first four to six weeks after planting, he says.
Never miss a local story.
Boost cole crops — Cole crops such as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower that were planted around St. Patrick’s Day can benefit from a little fertilizer boost to get them growing fast before the weather gets too warm, Upham says. Side-dress about three weeks after transplanting using a fertilizer high in nitrogen such as nitrate of soda or blood meal at the rate of 2 pounds per 100 feet of row, Upham says. You can also use a lawn fertilizer that have close to 30 percent nitrogen such as a 30-3-4 or 29-5-4, but cut the rate in half to 1 pound per 100 feet of row and be sure there are no weed killers or preventers in the fertilizer. Water it in in the absence of rain.
Last weekend for Tulips, Fairies & Forts — This is the final weekend of Botanica’s spring-blooming event. Tulips, Fairies & Forts will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and is included in Botanica admission or membership. There are crafts, fairy dress-up and props, games, a scavenger hunt, fort-building, bubbles, forts throughout the gardens, fairy story time, and a bounce house. Also this Saturday: a specialty art project with Paint the Towne from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Poppy the Clown and balloon artist from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Porter Street Artists — A free plant exchange will be part of the Porter Street Artists event Saturday in Riverside. Plants, bulbs, seeds and starters are welcome; leave an item and take one in exchange from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. That’s when about 25 artists will be showing their wares in the 900 block of Porter. There also will be live music and Chino’s Parrillo Food Truck.
Bartlett Arboretum concert — John Reischman and the Jaybirds Canadian bluegrass will perform at 4 p.m. Sunday at Bartlett Arboretum in Belle Plaine. Gates open at 3. Picnics are welcome, and food will be for sale. Tickets are $10 at the gate. More information: www.bartlettarboretum.com
Dyck Arboretum concert — Barnaby Bright, a six-piece indie folk band from Brooklyn, will perform at 4 p.m. Sunday at Dyck Arboretum of the Plains, 177 W. Hickory St. in Hesston. Tickets are $20, $10 children. More information: 620-327-8127, dyckarboretum.org
“Hosta Guy” at Botanica — Ron Mortko of Made in the Shade Gardens of Olathe, aka “the Hosta Guy,” will be at Botanica on Tuesday evening to talk about what’s involved in getting a new hosta to market. The talk, sponsored by the Wichita Hosta Society, will be at 7 p.m. He’ll also have hostas for sale before and after the event, and light refreshments will be served. Doors open at 6 p.m., and admission to the event is free.
Talk on plant combinations — Janet Gordon, landscape designer and consultant and a staff gardener at Botanica, will give a lunchtime lecture at Botanica on Wednesday about how to combine compatible plants for a variety of textures and colors in your garden. The lecture, at 12:15, is included in Botanica admission. Lunch by Truffles will be for sale for $8 from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Tree seedling sale at Arbor Day — Project Beauty will have seedlings of its featured tree of the year – the Caddo sugar maple – for sale during the city’s Arbor Day Celebration at 10 a.m. Friday at Dr. Glen Dey Park at the corner of Hillside and 27th Street. The sugar maple is a slow to moderate grower that has colorful fall leaves and eventually reaches 40 to 60 feet tall with a spread of 35 to 50 feet. Project Beauty will have 18- to 24-inch seedlings in containers for $8.
Sneak peek at Botanica’s Chinese Garden — Botanica is offering sneak-peek tours of its new Chinese garden from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday as part of the citywide ICT Art Day of Giving (ArtDog). Donations are requested that day at www.ictartdog.org to help finance new benches for the garden. The garden’s grand opening will be June 5.