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Gardener's almanac

Happy April, Happy Easter and Happy spring! _ When did the pear tree outside my bedroom window suddenly start blooming? Wow, am I happy that it — and so much else — is. Enjoy the green grass and cheerful flowers of our Easter-basket yards this weekend.

Planting calendar _ Seed directly in the ground beets, turnips, collard greens, Swiss chard, carrots, lettuce, spinach, radishes. Plant plants of cauliflower, rhubarb. Plant bareroot roses, trees and shrubs.

Crabgrass preventer _ If you want to prevent crabgrass in a lawn that has had a problem with it, apply a preventer when redbud trees are approaching full bloom, Ward Upham of K-State says. A follow-up application will be needed in about eight weeks, unless you are using the longer-lasting Dimension or Barricade. Dimension is the best choice if treating a lawn that was planted late last fall, Upham says.

That's henbit _ The plants with the little purple flowers that are showing up in lawns are henbit. There's no use trying to spray them now, as they'll disappear with hot weather. Keep them mowed. If you want to avoid them next spring, spray 2,4-D, Weed-B-Gon, Weed Free Zone, Weed Out, or Trimec in early November, Upham says.

Want to help community garden? _ Grant Chapel A.M.E. Church at 2750 N. Hillside is expanding its Grant's Victory Garden this spring, and is looking for helpers next weekend to till and plant seeds. The work will be done from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 10, and a barbecue lunch and drinks will be provided. The garden was started last year, and its produce is available for the picking and also is used in lunches for the homeless. The needy also can receive produce along with bread and cookies inside the church. For more information, call Brandon Johnson at 316-518-7747.

African-violet-basics meeting _ The Wichita African Violet Study Group will meet at 1 p.m. Friday at Botanica with a program of "Back to Basics." The public is invited.

Botanica bulb tour _ Botanica's first topical tour of the season will be Thursday at 10 a.m. It will be a guided tour of tulips and daffodils and is included with garden admission.

Perennials-for-all-seasons talk _ Master gardener and perennial grower Jan Longhofer will be at Botanica on Wednesday to talk about a variety of outstanding summer-blooming perennials that retain interest even through the winter. The lunchtime lecture, at 12:15, is included in Botanica admission. Truffles will have lunch for sale for $7 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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