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Gardener’s almanac for Dec. 27: assessing drainage problems

Assessing drainage – “Winter is often a good time to fix areas in the garden where water sits and does not drain properly,” Ward Upham of K-State writes in the Horticulture 2014 newsletter. Plant roots can be hurt in such areas because they don’t get enough oxygen. You can correct the problems by adding topsoil, mixing it into the underlying soil, because plant roots “do not like to cross distinct barriers caused by one type of soil sitting on top of another,” Upham says.

You can also improve the internal drainage of soil by adding a 2- to 4-inch layer of organic matter such as peat moss, rotted hay, cotton burrs, rotted silage or compost to the surface of the soil and tilling or spading it in as deeply as possible, Upham says.

Garden events

Botanica aglow – Illuminations, Botanica’s holiday-season event, continues nightly through Dec. 31 (with the exception of Christmas Eve and Christmas). Tickets are $8, $7 for members, $6 for ages 3 to 12, under 3 free. Advance tickets at Botanica, 701 N. Amidon, or QuikTrip stores. Adult tickets discounted to $6 if they bring two cans of food for the Kansas Food Bank. Information: 316-264-0448; botanica.org.

The gardens also will be closed from Jan 1 to Jan. 4.

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