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Wichita gardener’s almanac for May 21, 2016

You can buy and learn more about hostas and other shade plants at HostaPalooza next weekend.
You can buy and learn more about hostas and other shade plants at HostaPalooza next weekend. Tribune

Anthracnose on sycamores — Leaves have been falling from sycamore trees in the cool, wet weather, a sign of the fungal disease anthracnose. There should be no harm to affected trees, and new leaves will appear on healthy trees in a few weeks, Ward Upham of K-State writes in this week’s Horticulture 2016 newsletter. Fungicides applied now will not help.

Anthracnose also can affect birch, elm, walnut, oak and, especially, ash trees, Upham says.

Planting and fertilizing warm-season grasses — If you’re putting in or refurbishing a warm-season lawn of Bermuda, zoysia or buffalo, look for plugs, seed, sprigs or sod this month and in June. Warm-season lawns can be planted through July.

If you fertilize warm-season grass just once this summer, do so in June. It’s best to fertilize Bermuda twice – now and again in July.

Plant — Beans, cucumbers, eggplant, melons, peppers, okra, pumpkins (plant closer to July 4 for a Halloween harvest), sweet corn, tomatoes, squash, salsify, sweet potatoes.

Pinch mums — When mums reach 6 inches, pinch off the top inch just above where a leaf is attached. When they reach 6 to 8 inches, pinch them again. Do not pinch after July 15.

Garden events

Master gardener Cindy McWilliams will be at Botanica on Wednesday to talk about what master gardeners do and to preview their garden tour that will be June 3 to 5. The lunchtime lecture, at 12:15, is included in Botanica admission. Truffles will have lunch for sale for $8 between 11 a.m. and 12:15 p.m.

Rob Mortko, the “Hosta Guy” from Olathe, will be in McPherson on Thursday to talk about caring, choosing and planting hostas. The program, sponsored by the McPherson County master gardeners, will be at 7 p.m. at the 4-H building at 710 W. Woodside in McPherson. The cost is $5.

HostaPalooza, the Wichita Hosta Society’s annual party with seminars, plant sales, garden decor, food and the farmers market outside will be 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 28 at the Extension Education Center, 21st and Ridge Road. Admission is free.

Shade plants such as caladiums, ferns and Japanese maples, as well as hypertufa planter troughs and garden art from local and out-of-state vendors also will be for sale.

Here’s the seminar schedule:

9 a.m., composting with worms by master gardener Donnah Taylor; 10 a.m., “My Hupertufa Journey” by Keith Wheelter of Blue Springs, Mo.; 11 a.m., “Hostas of the Future” by Rob Mortko of Made in the Shade Gardens in Olathe.

Annie Calovich

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