The cool spring has finally ushered in May flowers. I love cut flowers from the garden. There is a simple, happy satisfaction that comes from picking a bundle of peonies for the kitchen worktable. Just be sure to shake the ants off first.
The other thing about a cool spring with adequate rain fall is that the weather is acting as a sort of preservative: all those beautiful blooms are lasting much longer than normal.
Now that it looks like springtime has finally arrived, many of us will turn our attention to our gardens, yards, and pastures. I think all of us are glad that spring is here for now at least.
Many of us have our gardens up and growing, but with the cooler temperatures that we have had over the last few weeks, some of us haven’t been able to get our gardens out yet. But once the plants start growing, it is almost inevitable that your garden will get some sort of disease on tomatoes, squash, etc.
Local families are needed to host Japanese exchange students, ages 12 to 15, for four weeks this summer as part of an exchange program sponsored by Kentucky 4-H. The Japanese youth will stay with their American host families from mid-July to mid-August. To find more information about the program or request an information packet, visit the website at: http://www.kentucky4h.org/InternationalExchange.
Last year, I spent some time rejuvenating, if you will, our “Miss Kim” lilac. It had gone years without any maintenance pruning, just never making the priority list for chores out at the farm. Although “Miss Kim” is considered a dwarf variety and needs less maintenance, it was in need of some serious reduction.
Warmer weather brings more pest problems. Horn flies and face flies are key pests of cattle in Kentucky. Both species breed in fresh pasture manure piles, but present very different threats and management problems. Fortunately, there are a variety of fly control options.
I am heading to Boulder, Colo., for a Slow Money National Gathering Conference and, when writing this, the city is melting a record April snowfall; a warming trend occurs before my arrival, thank goodness. Our cold spring, met with a blizzard in my destination that is the one opportunity I have to get away for some continuing education this year, does not sit well.
Pasture provides a significant percentage of horses’ nutrient needs. Although horses have more grass than they can consume in the spring when moisture is adequate, the hot, dry conditions of summer greatly reduce available pasture. Good management is the key to getting through this growth slump.
I used to have a visceral response to lush spring grass. It gave me anxiety because I knew it was time to get on the Scag and start mowing (and usually the Scag would not start when first brough out of winter storage).
This year, I see the grass in a different way because it is potential pasture for our growing herd of sheep. We use moveable, electrified fence and rotational grazing methods to keep the pasture and the herd healthy; so the more grass I have, the better. It is a liberating feeling not worrying about getting the grass mowed.
Now is the time for young people and their parents to begin making plans for an annual summer ritual, 4-H Camp.
4-H camps are open to all Kentucky youth between the ages of 9 and 14. At 4-H Camp, young people learn independence and responsibility, have a lot of fun and make new friends.