Our current warm, sunny weather — it’s about time — has made everyone just delighted and the intoxication of it all may lead us to act impulsively. I am as anxious as anyone to move some of my houseplants outdoors: my gardenia looks terrible in the dining room and the jasmine downstairs seems to stare into space dreaming of better days. Those days are coming, just be slow about the transition from indoors to out.
Winter outstayed its welcome this year, and with the weather finally warming up, many Kentuckians are anxious to get outside and make improvements to their yards. For those who plan to seed grasses this spring, now is the time to do it, said Gregg Munshaw, extension turf specialist with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture.
Lilli Hanik, Liz Walker and Shelby Wertz all participated in the 4-H Teen Summit at the Kentucky Leadership Center March 21-23. Tonya Tucker and Mollie Tichenor served as chaperones. Hanik and Walker took full advantage of the leadership classes that were offered and Wertz, a Kentucky State Teen Council Member, taught a variety of classes. Everyone had an amazing time.
Mulch has become a landscape staple, almost to a fault when it is over-applied, smothering roots and girdling trunks. When done properly, it can help to suppress weeds, retain moisture and moderate temperature. These things can be achieved using a variety of materials, but which type of mulch suits your needs best?
Each growing season, many different diseases threaten Kentucky vegetables. However, by practicing good management techniques before and during planting, home vegetable growers can minimize disease risks, said Kenny Seebold, plant pathologist with the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.
Diseases usually are caused by fungi, bacteria or viruses. While they can appear anytime during the growing season, many favor wet, cramped conditions for development.
One of the signs that spring has arrived is when yellow buttercups begin to appear, but it’s during the winter months that the vegetative growth of buttercup actually takes place. As a cool-season weed, this plant often flourishes in over-grazed pasture with poor stands of desirable forages. In fact, many fields that have dense buttercup populations are fields heavily grazed by animals during the fall through the early spring months.
Last year our serviceberry was afflicted with a whimsical looking disease; the beautiful blue berries that appear in the summer looked like something from a Dr. Seuss book. In a good year the cedar waxwings usually flock in and eat the berries as they ripen, not so last year. The strange, white tubular protrusions that the berries were covered in not only looked funny but they kept the birds away, too.
I generally have seed trays full of little sprouts by now, but this year the lingering cold weather has me languishing, quite frankly. The seed potato and onion sets sit waiting for the soil to dry out a bit, and seed packets glare at me from their neat stack strategically placed on the kitchen worktable.
The Spencer County Cooperative Extension Service’s 2013 Share Our Selves Program has begun.
SOS is a community education program sponsored by the Extension service. The program consists of people sharing their talents and knowledge with others.
With spring just around the corner, and with my brain a little mushy from a long cold winter, I thought it was time to brush up on some garden nomenclature. I have long been convinced of the value of understanding more about plants than the mere fact that they need sun, soil and water. The more we learn about what plants need and how to determine if they are getting it, the more we will enjoy the act of gardening.