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Agriculture

  • COLUMN: Match mulching material with plants’ needs

    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?

  • COLUMN: Proper management early on can lower disease risk in gardens

    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.

  • COLUMN: Control buttercups in pastures

    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.

  • COLUMN: Rust diseases travel between host plants

    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.

  • COLUMN: Cold need not prevent garden seed starts

    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.

  • Share Our Selves program is off and running at Extension Service

    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.

  • COLUMN: Plants grow in soil; dirt gets under your nails

    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.

  • COLUMN: Spring mowing is most important of yearlong lawn duties

    It’s difficult to envision mowing your lawn this spring when frost or snow greets you nearly every morning. Yet that first spring mowing, usually in late March, begins your most important annual lawn duties.
    The first mowing makes the lawn look spring-like and very attractive.  Subsequent regular mowing hardens the grass for drought and heat stresses later on.
    So when the first clump of grass grows above the mowing height, mow, even if a lot of the yard doesn’t need to be mowed yet.

  • COLUMN: Local 4-H members attend Skill-a-thon

    Eleven members of the Spencer County 4-H Livestock Club attended the State Skill-a-thon that was held in Bowling Green on Feb. 16.  This was the largest contest ever with more contestants and teams.  We had several members attending this year for the very first time.

  • COLUMN: Fire blight season is approaching; Preventative copper is recommended

    As apple flowering-season approaches, growers should begin thinking about management of fire blight.  This bacterial disease can cause severe damage on apples, pears, and related ornamental plants during warm rainy spring weather. The following information has been provided by Dr. Nicole Ward, Assistant Professor of Extension, Department of Plant Pathology.