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Wichita gardener’s almanac for May 28, 2016

Straw-bale gardening? — The Extension Service is getting a lot of questions about planting in straw bales, extension agent Rebecca McMahon said. They require lots of water, which can be hard to get done in the hot months, she said, and all the watering causes nutrients to leach out, so you have to be sure the plants are fertilized appropriately. One watering tip that Ward Upham of K-State gives in the Horticulture 2016 newsletter is to use soda bottles or milk jugs. Poke drip holes in the lid, fill the bottle with water, then recap and turn the bottle upside-down next to a plant.

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

Garden events

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

In addition to hostas, other 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, will be for sale. The Wichita Rose Society will have a booth selling easy-to-grow Kordes rose bushes in 1- to 2-gallon pots at a discounted price.

“What Hostas Can Do for Your Garden” — Karl Miller of the Wichita Hosta Society and owner of Lark Label will be at Botanica on Wednesday to talk about why hostas are an ideal plant for the landscape. 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.

Memorial Day at Botanica — Delano Wind Ensemble will perform at 2 p.m. on the Terrace at Botanica on Monday, Memorial Day. The gardens will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and regular admission will be charged.

Little Tipi on the Prairie — The Mid-America All-Indian Center, 650 N. Seneca, will have a Little Tipi on the Prairie event from 1 to 3 p.m. June 3. It will celebrate the opening of the Outdoor Learning Center and feature talks on gourds and pollinators, crafts and activities. Cake celebrating artist Blackbear Bosin’s birthday will be served at 2:45 p.m. The event is free; museum admission will be half-price. More info: 316-350-3340, www.theindiancenter.org.

Strawberries & Art — Sweet Berries & Brambles farm north of Harper will have its third annual Strawberries & Art fest on June 4. The farm is at 309 NE 120 Road in Harper, 45 minutes from west Wichita. The fair will feature local artists, musicians and food — including barbecue, tacos and tortas — in addition to the fresh fruit for picking. Art will include wood, pottery, paintings, photography and reclaimed furniture. Hours are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and admission will be free. For more information, visit www.sweetberriesks.com or call 620-955-7373.

Annie Calovich

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