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Gardener’s almanac for Dec. 20: Christmas tree recycling, dormant seeding of grass, indoor farmers market, Illuminations at Botanica

There’s still time to look for a fresh Christmas tree – or you can already recycle one, if you’re heading out of town or yours is already dried out.
There’s still time to look for a fresh Christmas tree – or you can already recycle one, if you’re heading out of town or yours is already dried out. Tribune

Christmas tree recycling — Sedgwick County’s Christmas-tree recycling program is already in operation for people who are going out of town for the holidays and don’t want to come home to a crispy tree. The program runs through Jan. 16. Remove all lights and decorations before leaving your tree at one of the sites, where the trees are chipped for mulch. The mulch is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Here are the locations:

In Wichita:

Boston Park, 6655 E. Zimmerly

Buffalo Park, 10209 Hardtner

College Hill United Methodist Church, First and Erie

Earhart Environmental Magnet School, 4401 N. Arkansas

Edgemoor Park, 5815 E. Ninth St.

Extension Center, 7001 W. 21st St.

Great Plains Nature Center, 6232 E. 29th St. North

Old Cowtown Museum, 1865 Museum Blvd.

Osage Park, 2121 W. 31st St. South

South Linwood Park, Hydraulic and Mount Vernon

Elsewhere in Sedgwick County:

Cheney, East South Avenue and Garfield

Clearwater, Aquatic Center parking lot

Colwich, 115 N. 3rd St.

Derby, 2801 E. James (northwest corner of High Park)

Garden Plain, at the water tower

Goddard, Means Park

Kechi, 107 Sioux St.

Maize, 201 S. Park

Mount Hope, 400 S. Thomas

Mulvane, 117 E. Main St.

Park City, 6801 N. Hydraulic

Valley Center, Veterans Park.

These areas are offering their own recycling programs:

Haysville, north of public works facility, 401 S. Jane

Andover, Central Park, north of compost bin, 1607 E. Central (Dec. 26 through Jan. 15)

Newton, Harvey County rodeo grounds, 700 W. 1st St. (starting Jan. 2)

Butler County: Butler County landfill, 2963 Southwest 40th St., El Dorado, open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday; free.

Dormant seeding of grass — After winter-type weather took out some of the late-seeded lawns in the Wichita area in the fall, it seems a little strange to mention this, but it’s true: You can put down fescue seed during the winter to help fill in bare spots. Germination won’t take place from December to February, but if there is good seed-soil contact, the seed will stay in place, ready to germinate at the earliest warm moment in the spring. Here’s how to do dormant seeding, according to K-State horticulturist Ward Upham:

Wait until there has been a light snowfall, so that you can still see bare spots, and spread the seed by hand. As the snow melts, it will pull the seed into the soil.

When moist soil freezes and thaws, small pockets form on the wet, bare soil that are ideal for catching and holding seed. If you put seed on the wet soil before it freezes, as the soil dries, the pockets collapse and cover the seed.

If the soil is dry enough and unfrozen, you can core-aerate, verticut or hand-rake the soil and and broadcast the seed immediately after.

This seeding will limit the herbicides you can use on the lawn, Upham says. Tupersan (siduron) can be used as a crabgrass preventer even before the new grass comes up; dithiopyr, in Hi-Yield Turf and Ornamental Weed and Grass Stopper, can be used two weeks after germination. Dithiopyr is longer-lasting and more effective than siduron. The lawn has to be well established before other pre-emergence herbicides can be used, Upham says.

Garden events

Indoor farmers market — The Kansas Grown Farmers Market will have an indoor market from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20, in the Extension Center at 21st and Ridge Road. Vendors will be selling items including meats (bison, beef, chicken and pork), fresh produce, jams, jellies, salsa, honey, baked goods including gluten-free items, handmade gifts and garments, wood crafts and herb plants. Admission is free.