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Gardener's Almanac

Gardeners love it — Meteorologists have reported that temperatures have been about 10 degrees above normal this month — the more for gardeners to get into an early planting frenzy. See more about the effects of the weather in the story about Brady Nursery on Page 1C.

Planting calendar _ Seed directly in the ground: beans, sweet corn, Swiss chard, carrots and radishes. Plant tomato plants if you don't mind pushing your luck just a bit. The forecast looks pretty amenable at this point.

Cabbageworms — Keep an eye on your cabbages for pests that like to eat them as much as you do, and move on to other plants through the summer — cabbageworms.

"Vigilant gardeners can prevent severe damage by looking for the presence of white wings, the first hint of potential problems," K-State entomologist Bob Bauernfeind says. "When butterflies light, observe egg laying by examining that leaf for the presence of newly deposited eggs. Holes appearing on the outer wrapper leaves indicate the presence of cabbageworms and the need to reduce populations before they begin moving to the developing head.

"Numerous insecticidal products are registered for use against vegetable pests such as cabbageworms. They are rated both as nonorganic (synthetic insecticides) and organic (botanicals, spinosyns, bacillus thuringiensis, horticultural oils, horticultural soaps) products."

Organic pest control talk — The public is invited to a discussion with K-State entomologist Raymond Cloyd at the next meeting of the Wichita Organic Garden Club, at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Botanica. Cloyd will discuss organic techniques for dealing with plant-damaging insects.

Daylily meeting _ The public is invited to a meeting of the Prairie Winds Daylily Society at 7 p.m. Monday at Botanica. The program will be about the Wichita Area Garden Council and what it means to you. Len Suchy will be the presenter. Admission is free.

The society is also planning its daylily sale, which will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 1 at Botanica.

Arbor Day celebration _ The city's annual Arbor Day celebration will be at 10 a.m. Friday at Gammon School, 3240 N. Rushwood. Project Beauty will honor Tim Martz and Thane Rogers, both retiring from the city's parks and recreation department this year, for helping the group select tree seedlings each year and for caring for the seedlings of the trees between events. There will be a planting of a Trident maple in honor of Rogers, and city arborist Justin Combs will talk about the tree and proper planting techniques. The forestry department will give a tree-climbing demonstration and display its equipment.

Early iris show _ You've probably seen some irises blooming already __ I can't help but stoop down to drink in their fragrance __ and you can see a wide array of the early bloomers in all their colors and fragrances as the Wichita Area Iris Club has its early iris show on Sunday at Botanica. It will be open to the public from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission to the show is free.

Composting and Plant a Row for the Hungry talk — Kae Bowles, a passionate gardener and composter, will be at Botanica on Wednesday to talk about how to recycle yard waste into compost and how to use that compost to amend clay or sandy soil. She will also talk about the Plant a Row for the Hungry program and how you can contribute. There will be a drawing for a compost bin. The lunchtime lecture will be from 12:15 to 1 p.m. and is included in garden admission or membership. Truffles will serve lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for $7.

Plant & Book Sale — Botanica's Plant & Book Sale continues today, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be a variety of shrubs, perennials, annuals, vegetables, herbs, tulip bulbs and water lilies for sale in the parking lot, along with used garden-related books and magazines in the lobby. Proceeds benefit Botanica. Admission to the sale is free.

Early-bird native-plant sale — Dyck Arboretum of the Plains is celebrating Earth Day with an Early Bird Native Plant Sale from 8 a.m. to noon today. Horticulturist Scott Vogt will be available to help with selections, which will include hard-to-find plants and those for shady areas. The plant sale will continue with the FloraKansas Great Plains Plant Bazaar from May 6 to 10. For a list of plants, go to the website www.dyckarboretum.org and look for the plant list under the FloraKansas heading.

The arboretum will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2011, and to commemorate, anyone bringing a friend to the plant sale or becoming a new member will receive a burr oak sapling. The first tree planted in the arboretum, on Oct. 10, 1981, was a burr oak that can be seen in the east side of the arboretum parking lot. New and renewing members will also receive a one-year subscription to Better Homes and Gardens magazine.

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