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Gardener’s almanac (May 12)

Holey hostas! – As I mentioned in the story on Page 1C about garden tours, some hostas around Wichita are being consumed by cutworms. You may see holes in the leaves, you may see hostas chewed down to stubs. Holes in the ground and frass around the base of the plant are signs of cutworms. Sprinkle the plants with Dipel dust.

If you love hostas, put May 26 on your calendar. The Wichita Hosta Society will be presenting a Hostapalooza fest at the Sedgwick County Extension Center, 21st and Ridge Road, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Plant – Beans, cucumbers, eggplant, melons, peppers, okra, sweet corn, tomatoes, squash. And don’t forget to Plant a Row for the Hungry – the program of collecting produce for the needy will take place again this summer.

Thin excess fruit – Lack of a late freeze may mean too much fruit on trees, especially apples, Ward Upham of K-State says. An excess can affect fruit production next year as well as be too heavy for branches. He gives these guidelines for fruit spacing:

•  Apples and pears: 4 to 6 inches apart



•  Peaches: 6 to 8 inches apart



•  Plums and prunes: 4 to 5 inches apart



•  Apricots: 2 to 4 inches between fruit.



“These are averages, and so you may have several fruit clustered closer than this distance,” Upham says. “As long as the average on the branch is close to the recommended spacing, the fruit should size well. Cherries are not thinned and can produce a full fruit load.”

Compost source – In addition to the sources of compost that I listed last week, Singletree Stables has compost available. It costs $30 for a pickup load if you pick it up yourself, or, if you want it delivered, the charge is $80 plus a surcharge for a trailer full (about four pickup loads). Call 316-838-7846 or 316-207-9513.

Garden events

Daylily sale today – The Prairie Winds Daylily Society will have its annual spring daylily sale today at Botanica from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or until all are sold. Admission to the sale is free. The prices for the daylilies start at $2.

Mother’s Day iris show – The Wichita Area Iris Club will have an iris show that will be open to the public from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Botanica. Most of the irises that are blooming now and that will be in the show will be of the beardless type, primarily spurias and Louisannas. The show is free.

Daylily-design meeting – The Wichita Daylily Club will meet at 7 p.m. Monday at Botanica. The program will be a lesson on how to design with daylilies. It is free and open to the public.

Suburban Garden Club meeting – The Suburban Garden Club will meet Monday at the home of Sheryl Fitzpatrick. The tour will start at 10 a.m., and there will be a sale of plants grown by members. Lunch will be at Jason’s Deli. For more information, call 316-721-4810 or 316-682-5555.

Birding at Botanica – The monthly bird walk through Botanica will be at 9 a.m. Tuesday. It’s included in admission.

History of Botanica talk – Keith Sondra will be at Botanica on Wednesday to give a preview of a book he’s writing about Botanica’s history. The lunchtime lecture, at 12:15, is included in Botanica admission.

Annie Calovich

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