Killing Bermuda — When Bermuda is growing well, or about mid-July, is the best time to kill it if you want to get rid of it. Spray with glyphosate (2 percent solution), and again about a month later if there is any green left in the Bermuda, says Ward Upham of K-State. Wait two more weeks and reseed if you're planning to put in fescue.
"It may also be helpful to scalp the lawn (mow as low as possible and remove clippings) two weeks after the first application so that dead grass does not prevent the glyphosate from reaching the recovering Bermuda," Upham says.
Potato harvest — Potatoes are ready to harvest when the vines are about half dead. Keep them in a shady, dry location for a day or so, then move to a cool, moist environment such as a cellar or cool basement for longer storage, Upham says.
Onion harvest — Onions are ready to harvest when about half the plants have tops that have fallen over.
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"The secret to onions keeping well is to allow the tops to dry completely before storage," Upham says. Move onions to a shaded, well-ventilated area to let the tops dry. Then store in a cool, dry location, using an open mesh bag. Plastic bags will shorten the storage time because of lack of circulation, Upham says.
Check fruit plants' water — Some of us have had lots of rain lately, others not as much. But once it dries out and temps head into the 90s, "fruit plants lose water quickly," Upham says. "When this happens, moisture is withdrawn from the fruit to supply the tree." This can harm not only this year's fruit but next year's as well.
Upham recommends checking fruit trees, vines and canes at the roots by inserting a probe such as a long screwdriver into the soil 8 to 12 inches. "If the soil is hard, dry and difficult to penetrate, the moisture level is very low, and plants should be irrigated to prevent drooping and promote fruit enlargement," Upham says.
As long as hot, dry weather continues, he recommends checking soil moisture at least once a week, but strawberries, which have a shallow root system, may need to be watered twice a week, as may newly planted fruit trees in sandy soil.
Blackberries in season — On the heels of the blueberry harvest we now have blackberries. One place to pick them is Blackberry Heaven at 1870 SW Santa Fe Lake Road in Towanda (that's at Highway 254 and Santa Fe Lake Road, on the northeast corner of the street).
Ginger Johnson-Cordell of Blackberry Heaven says the fruits are "beautiful. They're big and plump and real sweet this year. We've got a lot of blackberries out here." The harvest usually lasts six weeks, she says, and then red and yellow raspberries come on. For more information, call 316-541-2729.
A different kind of daylily show _ The Prairie Winds Daylily Society will have a different kind of daylily show July 17 at the Extension Center: Flowers will be displayed off the scape, meaning just the flower, without the stalk. "Other clubs have done that," said Sharron Gregory of the society, and the local club wanted to try it. It will allow club members to show individual blooms without having to sacrifice the scape, which produces more flowers if it's not cut.
"We wanted to do a much more casual show," Sharron said, and it will include ongoing demonstrations on how to plant daylilies and create floral arrangements with them ("you can save them for a dinner in the evening," Sharron says), as well as a video on how to divide daylilies.
The show will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Extension Center at 21st and Ridge Road and 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.
Tools and tips for the gardener talk — Master gardener Karla Jahn will be at Botanica on Wednesday to give tips on how the proper tools, equipment and protection can make gardening less strenuous. Her lunchtime lecture, at 12:15, is included in Botanica membership or admission. Truffles will serve lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for $7.
Wildflowers and Whiskey Sours — That's the theme of Tuesdays on the Terrace this next Tuesday at Botanica. The Irish Jam Band 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.
Wildflower Family Fun Day — Families can talk a walk to check out Botanica's wildflowers and learn how to identify them, and then create a wildflower guide, starting at 10 a.m. July 17. The fee is $20 per family, $15 for Botanica members. Preregistration is required. Call Karla at 316-264-0448 to register.
Derby Garden Club meeting — The public is invited to the next meeting of the Derby Garden Club, at 7 p.m. Monday. The topic will be tomatoes!
The meeting is in the basement of the Valley State Bank Building, 330 E. Madison in Derby (north door). Visitors are welcome.
Plant a Row for the Hungry — Between local growers and gardeners, 15,186 pounds of produce has been donated to the needy through Plant a Row for the Hungry so far this summer.
"We have had some great produce to distribute," Kevin Enz of the Food Bank says.
If you have extra fruits or vegetables to donate, you can leave them at these locations during business hours:
Kansas Food Bank, 1919 E. Douglas; Augusta Ace Home Center, 316 W. Seventh Ave. in Augusta; Brady Nursery, 11200 W. Kellogg; Hillside Nursery, 2200 S. Hillside; Hillside Feed and Seed, 1805 S. Hillside; Johnson's Garden Centers, 802 N. Ridge Road, 21st and Woodlawn, and 2707 W. 13th St.; and Valley Feed & Seed, 1903 S. Meridian.