Whippin' wind — The vegetable garden at the Extension Center is showing a bit of wind damage, a bit of heat stress and a bit of herbicide damage, extension agent Rebecca McMahon reports. I am, too.
Black spot — I've been picking black-spotted leaves off my roses, and you should join me if your roses have them. You also may want to spray, at 10- to 14-day intervals, with a fungicide labeled for black spot. Be sure to keep water off the leaves, and remove infected canes, Ward Upham of K-State says. Also be sure to plant roses in full sun where they have plenty of air movement around them.
Onion sightings — Onions are growing and developing rapidly, and regular watering (if needed) and a light fertilization will maximize growth, Upham says. Onions can develop so much that two-thirds of the bulb is out of the soil. That's normal, and there's no need to cover it up, Upham says.
You will know that onions are getting ready to be harvested when the tops begin to fall over, Upham says. "You may wish to break over the tops that haven't fallen to encourage drying of the neck," he says. "Allow a few days to pass and then dig the onions to ensure they don't sunburn." Then put them in a dry, well-ventilated area for a week or two before cutting the tops to insure the necks are completely dry. Remove the foliage (or braid the leaves) and store in a cool, dry place, Upham says.
Tipping berries — First-year canes of blackberries and raspberries, called primocanes, emerge from the soil and grow but do not fruit, Upham says. Primocanes become floricanes the second year. Floricanes fruit and then die. Each cane lives only two years. Pinching (tipping) the top 2 to 3 inches of the primocanes increases branching and fruiting the next year.
Blackberries not grown on a trellis are normally tipped when they reach 3 to 4 feet. Trellis-grown blackberries are tipped when primocanes are 10 to 12 inches above the top wire. Black or purple raspberries are tipped at 30 to 40 inches if trellised, and 24 to 30 inches if not supported. Red raspberries are not tipped, Upham says.
Caterpillar pests — K-State entomologist Ray Cloud notes that this is the time of year when caterpillar pests including imported cabbage worm and cabbage looper may be feeding on vegetable crops. He says that pest controls can alleviate damage caused by caterpillars. Products include Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki (Dipel, Thuricide and BT Worm Killer), spinosad (Captain Jack's Deadbug Brew and Lawn and Garden Spray), and pyrethrin (Pyrethrin Garden Insect Spray). Treat a plant thoroughly while caterpillars are small, he says, and follow label instructions.
Plant _ Beans, sweet potatoes, pumpkins (wait until later in June for Halloween-timed harvest), tomatoes, squash, peppers, okra.
Fairy garden talk _ Anne McCartor will be at Botanica on Wednesday to talk about fairy lore and what elements are necessary to make and maintain a fairy garden. The lunchtime lecture will be from 12:15 to 1 p.m. and is included in Botanica admission.
Daylily meeting — The June meeting of the Wichita Daylily Club will be at 7 p.m. Monday at Botanica. The program will be about preparing exhibits for the daylily show on July 3. This program will be especially beneficial to first-time exhibitors who are interested in entering the show. The meeting is free and open to the public.
Rose-rating meeting _ The Wichita Rose Society will have annual booklets that rate roses for a special price of $3.50 at its meeting Tuesday, and a rosarian will give a presentation on how to use the books, which are put out by the American Rose Society. The local society also will be offering half-price memberships at the meeting, which will start with a social half-hour at 6:30 p.m.
The discounted membership offer is good through the end of the year. A single membership costs $6.25; a family membership $7.50.
Tuesdays on the Terrace — The Flatland String Band will play bluegrass tunes Tuesday evening on the terrace at Botanica, with the theme of Coneflowers and Cuba Libres. A cash bar will serve alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks from 5:30 to 7:30, and the gardens will be open until 8 p.m. It's included in Botanica admission or membership.