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Gardener's almanac

Happy Herby Day! —Herb Day is from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at the Extension Education Center, 21st and Ridge Road. The celebration of herbs and other green things is free and features information on selecting, planting, maintaining, cooking and decorating with herbs; vendors; garden-club and master-gardener plant sales; the farmers market in the parking lot; a children's activity; and food. Admission is free.

Seminars in the Sunflower Room:

* 8 a.m., Lavender

* 9 a.m., Bee research

* 10 a.m., Pollinators

* 11 a.m., Beekeeping

* Noon, Cooking with Horseradish

Seminars in the Demonstration Garden:

* 8:30 a.m., Container or Handicap Gardening With Herbs

* 9:30 a.m., Demonstration Garden Tour

Plant! —The weather has warmed up for the mainstays to all go in the ground: beans, cucumbers, eggplant, melons, lettuce, peppers, okra, pumpkins (wait until later in June for Halloween-timed harvest), sweet corn, tomatoes.

Wind protection — You can protect new transplants from the wind with 2-liter bottles with the bottom and top cut out and pushed down into the soil, Ward Upham of K-State recommends. They may also need to be reinforced with a wood or metal dowel.

Poison ivy — I discovered some poison ivy growing in my front shrub and flower border — after I had been in there weeding. I came away with some marks on my feet and arms that may or may not be related to the poison ivy. No itching, so I may be safe — this time. You can't be too careful about where the devil weed may pop up.

It can appear as a woody shrub, a ground cover or a woody vine, which often looks like a fuzzy rope, Upham says. Even though the plant always has three leaflets, the leaves can be toothed, incised, lobed or smooth.

Choose your method for removal based on the form poison ivy takes:

* If the plants are in the form of a ground cover, you can spray them or pull them out by hand from the roots when the soil is moist. If you are going to be grabbing poison ivy, be sure to cover your body, including your hands (I wear old clothes I can throw away and cover my arms and hands with plastic bags that I peel off as I go). Wash skin and hands thoroughly when you're done, and try not to come into contact with any other surfaces.

* If the plant is in a shrub form, direct spray is most commonly used.

* For a woody vine climbing a tree, Upham recommends cutting the plant off at the base and treating the sprouts after they emerge or treating the freshly cut stump directly. The cut stump treatment should be used only if directions for that are on the label of the herbicide that you're using, Upham says.

Herbicides that can be used on poison ivy include glyphosate (Roundup, Killzall Weed and Grass Killer, Nutgrass, Poison Ivy and Vine Killer) and triclopyr (Brush-B-Gon Poison Ivy Killer, Brush Killer Stump Killer).

Daylily sale _ The Wichita Daylily Club will be selling daylilies at Herb Day today from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Extension Education Center, 21st and Ridge Road. There will be many varieties in a wide range of colors sold as bare root and potted with prices ranging from $2 to $20. The daylily sale table will be right across from the Wichita Hosta Society sale table so gardeners can purchase daylilies and hostas at the same time.

Daylily meeting _ The May meeting of the Wichita Daylily Club will be at 7 p.m. Monday at Botanica, There will be a mini-auction of newer daylily varieties. Visitors are welcome to attend the free meeting and bid at the auction.

Daylily talk _ Linda Farris of the Prairie Wind Daylily Society will be at Botanica on Wednesday to talk about how to choose and care for daylilies. The lunchtime lecture will be from 12:15 to 1 p.m. and is included in Botanica admission. Syl's Catering will serve lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for $7.

Free Mother's Day at Botanica _ Admission to Botanica will be free for everyone who visits on Mother's Day this Sunday. The gardens will be open from 1 to 5 p.m. There will be a sale of used garden-related books and periodicals and an iris show:

Iris show — You've seen them blooming around town, but you can get an intense experience of irises on Sunday at Botanica when the Wichita Area Iris Club has its midseason show. It will be from 1 to 5 p.m. and is free, as is admission to Botanica that day in honor of Mother's Day.

Calling children's garden volunteers _ Training will start next week for people who want to volunteer at Botanica's new Downing Children's Garden. The garden is to open in July. Sign up for one of these training sessions: 11 a.m. to noon Wednesday, 10 to 11 a.m. May 14, or 6 to 7 p.m. May 19. Contact Holly Laird at 316-264-0448 or hlaird@botanica.org.

African violet discussion _ The Wichita African Violet Study Club will meet at 1 p.m. Friday at Botanica for a group discussion on the summer care of African violets. The meeting is free and open to the public.

Project Beauty luncheon _ New officers of Project Beauty will be installed at a luncheon at 12:30 p.m. May 19 at Crestview Country Club. Also, Wayne Bryan, director of Music Theatre of Wichita, will present a program on the 40th anniversary season of Music Theatre by reviewing the five coming shows. Reservations are due by May 16 by calling Jeanne at 316-744-2571. Cost of the lunch is $17.

Farmers markets _ Kansas Grown Farmers Market at 21st and Ridge starts afternoon/evening hours on Wednesday; the Old Town Farmers Market opens Saturday mornings starting May 14.

Plant It Pink campaign _ The American Cancer Society's Plant It Pink campaign is working with Congress to protect cancer research funding, celebrating breast cancer survivors and honoring those who have died from the disease.

There will be a kick-off event for this year's campaign at 3 p.m. Monday at Botanica. There will be talks by members of the Cancer Action Network and breast cancer survivors, and pink cookies and pink lemonade will be served. People will also be able to order Pink Impression tulip bulbs to support the campaign.

If you join the network for $20, you will receive a membership plus 10 Darwin hybrid tulips from Holland. The bulbs will be available for pickup in October. For more information, go to the website plantitpink.org or call 800-359-1025.

Garden tour ticket discount _ The master gardeners' garden tour will be May 20 to May 22, and you can get tickets for $2 off if you buy them today. Tickets are available for $8 today during Herb Day at the Extension Center and at Brady Nursery, Denning's Greenhouse, Johnson's Garden Centers, Dutch's Greenhouse, Hillside Nursery, Tree Top Nursery, Stone Creek Nursery, Hong's Landscape & Nursery and Scenic Landscapes. After today, tickets will be $10 and will available at the tour gardens during the tour as well as at the garden centers.

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