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Gardener's almanac

A fall garden — Moving on to the fall garden, this is the week to sow seeds of snap beans, carrots and beets; plant plants of broccoli and cauliflower.

Extension agent Rebecca McMahon will give a lunchtime lecture Wednesday at Botanica about how to stretch the garden to December. The lecture is included in Botanica admission. Truffles will serve lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for $7.

Examine flowers and vegetables — This is the time of year when pests can show up and hurt flowers and vegetables, so gardeners should carefully inspect their plants each day, recommends extension agent Rebecca McMahon.

"When you're looking for insect problems, you'll want to get in close and look at the leaves. Remember to get down and look at the bottom of the plant, because insects may start near the bottom and work their way up," she says.

If you see holes, check both sides of the leaf for insects, eggs and frass, or insect excrement.

But not all signs of bugs are bad. Ladybug larvae feed on harmful insects, and some plants are meant to attract what will become beautiful butterflies, such as the swallowtail butterfly caterpillar, Rebecca says.

Flowers and no fruits? _ If your edibles are producing flowers but no fruit, there are a few things to consider. First, they may be getting too much nitrogen, Ward Upham of K-State says. Squash can have a lack of bees for pollination. If you have male and female flowers (females have fruit behind the blossom), use a painter's brush to transfer pollen from the anther of the male flower to the stigma of the female flower, Upham says. Make sure you're not killing off your bees with insecticides.

Tomatoes don't need bees; they're wind-pollinated, Upham says. But they won't produce when temperatures are above 95 in the day and 75 at night, with hot, dry winds.

Brown patch _ Fescue lawns have been showing signs of brown patch because of warm nights and prolonged dampness. Brown patch can show up as distinct spots, or a general browning of the grass, Upham says. Depending on the weather, it should clear up in two to three weeks. Don't fertilize during this time, and water only in the early morning.

Jimmy LaFave at Bartlett Arboretum _ Singer-songwriter Jimmy LaFave will perform Sunday at Bartlett Arboretum as part of the Tree House Concert Series there. Sam Baker will open the show. Gates open at 2 p.m., and the concert starts at 3. Tickets are $10 at the gate. Picnics are welcome, and barbecue will be available. Dogs are not allowed. For more information, go to the website www.bartlettarboretum.com.

Iris sale _ The Wichita Area Iris Club will have its annual sale next weekend, at two times in two locations. First, iris rhizomes will be for sale from 7 a.m. to noon during Tomato Day on July 24 at the Extension Education Center, 21st and Ridge Road. Then they will be for sale from 1 to 4 p.m. July 25 at Botanica.

Zinnias and Zinfandel — That's the theme of Tuesdays on the Terrace this next Tuesday at Botanica. Thane and the Zydeco Kanjuns will perform, and cocktails will be for sale on the terrace from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The gardens will be open until 8 p.m. It's included in Botanica admission or membership.

Daylily show _ The Prairie Winds Daylily Society is having a daylily show _ featuring flowers off the stalks _ from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at the Extension Center at 21st and Ridge Road. It will be preceded by a mini sale of daylilies starting at 7 a.m., the same time the Kansas Grown Farmers Market opens in the parking lot of the center.

There will also be educational materials and members on hand to answer questions. Admission to the show is free.

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