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Gardener’s almanac (Aug. 2)

Gary Holzman of Wichita had the largest tomato at Tomato Day, a 1-pound, 13-ounce Cherokee Purple.
Gary Holzman of Wichita had the largest tomato at Tomato Day, a 1-pound, 13-ounce Cherokee Purple. Courtesy photo

Plant for a fall garden — Carrots, beets, kale, broccoli and cauliflower.

More on mold — Curtis Redington, environmental quality specialist for the city of Wichita, added some perspective to the column I wrote last week about moldy mulch. “All mulch will get moldy, like the grass clippings – mold’s munching on it. … It’s a normal, natural part of gardening,” Redington said. The only thing to avoid is overexposure, he said, such as breathing in clouds of dust that might get kicked up, or by putting wood mulch someplace where it will be disturbed a lot, like under a swing set, where kids will drag their feet on it, kicking it up and breathing in the mold.

Peony “measles” — Peonies that experienced a rainy spring may have the “measles,” extension agent Bob Neier said. This is a disease that leaves reddish-purple spots on upper leaf surfaces, Ward Upham of K-State says. Fertilize lightly and make sure the plants don’t suffer drought stress, Neier says. Upham recommends removing diseased tissue, including stems, at the end of the growing season and replacing mulch that contains plant debris.

Garden events

Tuesdays on the Terrace – Water lilies & Washington Apple Cocktails is the theme of the next Tuesdays on the Terrace at Botanica. The Appleseed Collective will provide the music, and drinks will be for sale, as will food from Bite Me BBQ. Hours are 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.; gardens are open until 7. Cover is $7, or $3 for members.

Butterflies-of-Kansas talk – Elsie Newmann, Botanica’s first butterfly-house gardener, will be at Botanica on Wednesday to talk about her love of butterflies. The lunchtime lecture, at 12:15, is included in Botanica admission.

Rare and exotic cactus show — The 17th Annual Rare and Exotic Cactus Show and Sale will be at the Plant Shoppe at Karma Konnections, 1123 E. Douglas, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 9 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 10. It will feature refreshments, a free cactus to children 12 and under, and a display of the cactus collection from the Midwest Cactus guru. Smaller rare and exotic cactuses also will be for sale.

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