If someone asked me what my favorite perennial was, I could only say that it changes with each passing year. This year the answer is the Hardy Geranium, known around these parts as the Cranesbill. My fascination with Hardy geraniums has grown steadily as I have discovered the countless varieties that exist. In European gardens they are as commonplace as phlox is in American perennial gardens.
Most of us think of geraniums as an annual that we plant in our yards or in pots to add color to our patios during the summer months. Well, this plant is actually a Pelargonium.
Heavy rains in April and May delayed the home gardening season this year, forcing many gardeners to wait later than usual to plant or transplant seedlings into the garden. And June’s moderate temperatures have continued the early trend of slow growth. But as more sun hits garden plants and accelerates growth, vegetables should begin to flower, develop fruit and, eventually, ripen.
This time last year, I had some healthy looking tomato plants, which was a delight because in 2009, I had some disease issues.
Turned out that 2010 was a bust though because of all the crazy heat we had. This year, the garden and the tomatoes look promising, but I am always on the lookout for emerging problems. So far, the 2011 daytime and nighttime summer weather and temperatures are absolutely perfect for tomatoes.
The 2011 Spencer County 4-H Tractor Contest was held on Friday, May 27th at the Spencer County Fairgrounds. The Spencer County Youth Service Center provided snacks for the group, which were greatly appreciated. All participants took a knowledge skill test, inspected the tractors, and drove through an obstacle course, while using the safety procedures that they learned at the tractor safety S.O.S. class, taught by Adam Butler and Todd Bivens this past March.
Exceptionally wet weather delayed hay cutting this spring, but producers likely still have time to make enough hay to last them through the winter.
While many producers were able to make hay during the hot, dry weather the first two weeks of June, producers of alfalfa and alfalfa-mixed grasses were about a month behind with their first cutting. This delay will likely cost them one cutting this year.
On Saturday, June 4, the Spencer County 4-H Horse Club, the “Trailblazers”, attended the District 3 Horse Show at Lakeside Arena in Frankfort. District is a regional pre-qualifying competition for the 4-H State Horse Show in July.
Summer months are the harvest season for blueberries and blackberries, both of which have the potential to grow very well in Kentucky. Blueberries, which are native to North America, are harvested from early June through early August. Blackberries are harvested from mid-June to early October. These delicious fruits offer newly recognized health benefits, but best of all, they capture the essence of summer in their sweetness.
Who among us is guilty of not noticing it until it’s too late? Yes, all of a sudden there is nothing left of your blue spruce or arborvitae. Bagworms have been munching on the needles for weeks and we wonder how it all happened.
Well, they are at work right now, so go outside and take inventory of your evergreens because that’s what the bagworm likes the most. Now is the time they do their damage unless we put a stop to it.
I can hardly wait for this year’s first harvest of summer squash. Last year was a bust because of the heat; so, I have high hopes for a bumper squash crop this year. Mostly, gardeners complain about losing their plants to the squash vine borer; but, I have managed to offset that pest pressure by delaying planting in order to miss peak egg-laying time. I have also used row covers, lifting them in the morning so bees can do their pollinating, then covering them during the day when mama wasp of the vine borer does her work.