Happy planting! — It’s May, and it’s Herb Day, and it looks like we are finally getting our warm-up. Starting Sunday night, there is a chance of an extended wet spell, so plant while you can. Herb Day is from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Extension Education Center. Admission is free.
Plant a Row for the Hungry — As you plant your garden this spring, keep in mind that the Plant a Row for the Hungry campaign will be back for its 15th year. You can take peak produce to several garden centers this summer, and it will be donated to the needy. The Sedgwick County master gardeners and the Kansas Food Bank ask gardeners to plant extra for these donations. Over the past 14 years, 546,676 pounds of fresh produce was donated to the needy. The goal for this year is to push that total to 650,000 pounds.
Plant — Beans, cucumbers, melons, lettuce, peppers, okra, pumpkins, sweet corn, tomatoes.
Watering fescue this summer? — If you plan to water your grass this summer rather than let it go dormant, fertilizer can be applied to the lawn in May, Ward Upham of K-State says. Slow-release nitrogen is the best type to apply in May, available in such products as Milorganite, cottonseed meal, alfalfa-based fertilizers and other products derived from plants or animals (not bloodmeal, however), Upham says. Apply enough to give the lawn 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet. If you plan to let the lawn go dormant in dry spells, wait until September to fertilize.
Asparagus beetles — Keep an eye on asparagus plants for the presence of asparagus beetles, Upham says. They chew the tips and spears, scarring and staining the tips, Upham says. The adults are blue-black with a red prothorax that has yellow spots. The larvae are a soft greenish grub, he says. Small elongated black eggs are laid on developing spears. Treat early with Sevin (a one-day wait before harvest) or permethrin (a three-day wait between spraying or harvest), Upham says.
Daylily sale — The Wichita Daylily Club will be selling daylilies at Herb Day on Saturday at the Extension Center at 21st and Ridge Road. A variety of daylilies will be for sale from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Rose sale — The Wichita Rose Society will have a sale of easy-care Drift roses and Buck roses during Herb Day from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Extension Center. Shop early for best selection. Proceeds are used for such project as roses for Botanica’s new Chinese garden.
“Growing Wholesome Veggies” lecture — Melvin Epp, president of the Wichita Organic Garden Club, will be at Botanica on Wednesday to talk about how to incorporate organic routines into the garden for healthier produce and more visits by bees and butterflies. The lunchtime lecture, at 12:15, is included in Botanica admission. Syl’s will have lunch for sale for $8 from 11 a.m. to 12:15.
Deck the Gardens fundraiser — The Heart of America Mens Chorus will have a “Deck the Gardens” fundraiser from 7 to 10 p.m. May 9 at the St. James Episcopal Church Guild Hall and Celtic garden, 3750 E. Douglas. There will be a silent auction that will include spring garden and decor items provided by local businesses and members of the chorus, as well as appetizers and drinks and entertainment by the chorus. Tickets are $25 at the door or by calling 316-708-4837.
Hutchinson iris show — The Hutchinson Iris Club will have its annual iris show from 1 to 4 p.m. on May 9 at Trinity United Methodist Church, 17th and Main Street in Hutchinson (at the east end of the north parking lot). The show is free.
Mother’s Day at Botanica — Moms get in free to Botanica on May 10, and admission is $5 for everyone else. There will be activities and treats for sale, artists in the gardens, live music and flower shows. Hours will be 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“A Century of Gardens, Music and What We Wore” — Seventy women will portray iconic women from the past 105 years, dressed in authentic fashions, as a live band performs music of each era at 4 p.m. on May 10 at Bartlett Arboretum in Belle Plaine. Bonnie Bing will serve as commentator and, while they last, free tulip bulbs will be given to moms. The cost is $10; kids get in free. A conversation with vintage clothing collector Pat Watt will precede the event at 3 p.m. More information: www.bartlettarboretum.com.