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Features

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  • Mulch has become a landscape staple, almost to a fault when it is over applied, smothering roots and girdling trunks.  When done properly is 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?

  • I do not worry about perfection in our lawn around the house.  It largely blends in to the pastures where we graze sheep and poultry.  However, we do need to spot seed from time to time to recover heavy use areas and around bale feeders.

  • Wildfires recently consumed about 1 million acres across the plains of Kansas, Okla­homa, Texas and portions of Col­or­ado.

    At least seven lives have been lost, several firefighters injured, thousands of head of livestock destroyed and as many ranchers have lost homes and livelihood.

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  • Spring break from teaching at U of L falls conveniently during the week of St. Patrick’s Day; which is also my target date for planting onions and potatoes.  I typically manage a mid-March planting, but the condition of the soil is my primary concern.  I will not start digging until the soil dries out and is considered workable.

  • Don’t let the maintenance of your tractor go by the wayside when you get busy. There’s a tendency to put maintenance on the back burner as spring and summer field activities get into full swing. Often when we do think about maintenance, it is the implement we think about, and we ignore the tractor.

  • It is the time of year when 4-H’ers across Kentucky prepare their speeches and demonstrations for upcoming local communications contests. These programs offer so much more to youth than just ribbons. They give young people the opportunity to develop important life skills and receive a sense of accomplishment in a job well done.

  • I have my orders placed for onion sets and seed potatoes along with some of my favorite summer crops that will be directly seeded in the garden once the temperatures really warm. I can barely stand the wait! I have just seeded out several trays of early season vegetables that like a cool start to the season.  Kale, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts are just beginning to push through the light potting mix.

  • Absolutely nothing says spring more than the distant chorus of spring peepers.  There is a wooded stream just off Conner Station that is home to a cacophonous band of peepers all competing for as many females as they can.  On a warm March evening, especially after a shower, spring peepers remind me of how glorious rural life can be.  Just by listening, a whole other world can be imagined.

  • Kentucky 4-H is one of the most important and influential youth programs in our state and our county. Across Kentucky over 279,000 youth ages 9 to 19 learn about leadership, citizenship and life skills in “learn-by-doing” experiences such as communications and public speaking, through agriculture projects like livestock judging, science projects with robotics, 4-H camp, Teen Conference, and many other 4-H programs and activities.

  • Tall fescue, specifically Kentucky 31, is a cool-season grass that is widely grown throughout Kentucky and the eastern United States, because it is resistant to many unfavorable conditions including drought tolerance and insect resistance. However, the very reason for its resiliency is also its Achilles heel. It contains a harmful fungal endophyte that causes fescue toxicosis in cattle and horses. Affected animals get sick, have reduced weight gains, reproductive problems and other issues.

  • A healthy fruit crop from your favorite fruit tree can dramatically increase with some late winter attention.  Pruning is key to healthy fruit trees and fruit production.  You can prune any time after the threat of harsh winter weather is over until just before the tree is in full bloom.  Prune out any winter damage, branches that grow inward and crowded limbs.

  • In a fit of gratitude, I made a list of the things I loved about my life the other day.  I managed eight solid things. None were frivolous and one prompted the whole exercise:  I love warm February days.  This beautiful February day set into motion a very productive weekend.  It felt fantastic to get some good old fashioned garden clean up done with my husband by my side and the sheep grazing freely about.  It makes you feel optimistic about the rest of your life.

  • The kissing bug may sound like a virus that plagues the protagonist of a romantic comedy, but in fact, these insects are real, and one species does occur in Kentucky. These blood-feeding insects have received a lot of media attention due to the potential health effects of their bites in the southwestern United States. University of Kentucky extension entomologist Lee Townsend recently discussed what Kentuckians need to know about the insect.

  • Cut flowers are undoubtedly the most popular manifestation of showing your love for someone on Valentine’s Day, but potted flowering plants can do the trick, too.  Perhaps the potted bloom has the potential to remind your lover that the sentiment lasts all year…but what does it mean if you can’t get it to bloom again?  Is your love doomed? Of course not, but here are some tips just in case.

  • The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) has come forward with legislation to help businesses and individuals who wish to donate food to organizations that serve hungry Kentuckians.

    “These measures would provide incentives and protections for those who want to join the fight against hunger in Kentucky,” Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said. “This is due to the work of the Hunger Task Force, which met for the first time last spring. This is just the beginning of our efforts to reduce food insecurity in the Commonwealth.”

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