Late summer and fall offer a third growing season for the home gardener, though both new and experienced gardeners often overlook the opportunity to extend the bounty of the home garden. Spring gardening is marked by relief that winter is over, with the anticipation of warmer weather. Summer gardening brings its own joys, with longer days and the natural cycle of rain and sun that helps plants yield ripe, delicious fruits and vegetables. But with some planning, fall can provide just as much enjoyment as spring and summer, and you can extend the harvest well into the cooler months.
I just got a call from a reader in Taylorsville who was seeking an ID on a pest that was stinging her in the blackberry patch. She described the offender in very human terms – it looked like it was wearing glasses, had a green jacket on, little ears, etc. I could see the saddleback stinging caterpillar in my mind’s eye as she continued.
John W. McCauley, FSA State Executive Director, reminds Kentucky farmers that the Farm Service Agency (FSA) is modifying its Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) policies to help those affected by sustained drought conditions. Throughout this year of extreme weather, USDA has supported and delivered assistance to farmers, ranchers, and rural communities across the country.
One of the very first insects that I identified as a young gardener was the pine sawfly. We had planted over a hundred white pine seedlings over 30 years ago, and after a decade or so, we started to lose a couple each year to one problem or another.
I was charged with inspection duty. Looking for and plucking bagworms; collecting beetles in jars for identification at the County Extension Service; or closely noting the color, legs and chewing habits of the various caterpillars I encountered.