Winter damage to leaves – Leaves on the euonymus shrubs at my house look horrible, and apparently that’s the norm for broad-leaved evergreens because of the extreme cold of January, horticulturist Ward Upham of K-State says. But good news: It’s not serious. Upham says that the ugly leaves will drop and new ones will replace them this spring. “If we had received these temperatures in the fall before the plants had hardened off, the damage could have been devastating,” Upham writes in Horticulture 2014 this week. “As it is, we just have to put up with some ugly plants for the rest of the winter.” Can do.
Seed-starting times – Upham gives these approximate dates for starting seed indoors for some common vegetables and then for transplanting them outside. A week earlier or later should be fine, too. He suggests keeping notes on how well the transplants do so you can tweak the planting schedule.
• Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce: start seed Feb. 8; transplant April 5.
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• Peppers: start seed March 22; transplant May 17.
• Tomatoes: start seed March 29; transplant May 10.
Botanica Family Fun Fair – Families with kids of all ages will get into Botanica for free and make free take-home crafts during Botanica’s Family Fun Fair from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Crafts will be bird food on a string, thumbprint plant stakes and grass seed heads. There will also be silly story writing and a scavenger hunt through the gardens and free hot chocolate and popcorn (one per person while supplies last).
Habitat planting talk – Ardath Lawson, a biologist with Pheasants Forever, will be at Botanica on Wednesday to talk about planting native grasses and wildflowers for quail, pheasant, prairie chicken and other native Kansas wildlife. The lunchtime lecture, at 12:15 p.m., is included in Botanica admission.
African violet club updates – The Wichita African Violet Study Club will not be having a sale this year; it’s normally in March at Botanica. And the club has decided to move its monthly meeting from the second Friday of the month to the third Friday at 1 p.m. at Botanica. So the next meeting, which is free and open to the public, will be Feb. 21.
SHEL concert – The four sisters from Fort Collins, Colo., who make up the chamber-grass group SHEL will perform at 4 p.m. Feb. 9 at Dyck Arboretum of the Plains in Hesston. The young women are classically trained musicians who both sing and play. Website: shelmusic.com. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children; call 620-327-8127 for reservations. Appetizers and desserts will be available for sale during intermission.